Saturday, October 31, 2009

Comments on God’s own country from God’s own creation – Kerala differs

He was tired and that made him sleep easily. Soon the train passed Andra and Tamil nadu and stopped at a station called coimbatore in the morning with a jerking noise, “Kshirrrrr”. He opened his eyes, went outside crossing the doors and washed his face. The train soon started running and after a couple of hour he saw plenty of coconut trees and greenery around him, he recognized it was none other than God’s own country, the Kerala. This was the first time he was traveling alone to Kerala where he had permission to visit on vacation basis, once in a year. There was a gap of 6 years between his visit to Kerala.

By noon of that paralyzing day when Kerala was merely a hot burning ball and not a cold ice-cream, he stepped out of the train and started walking on the platform of Kayamkulam Junction, a part of god’s own country until he reached an end where he could rest his hands that were tired holding a heavy briefcase and a packet full of eatables. He saw a bench half filled with two people and sat on it, making him comfortable. He gripped the towel and began rubbing it over his face, sinking it around and into the sockets of his eyes and across the exposed flesh of his neck until his skin was apparent.

He took a long breath and started walking again towards the bus stand. He knew less about Kerala and its culture; he was only familiar with god’s own country through amma who used to tell him about its beauty. This was the first time he saw sun, so unpleasant and showering loads of hot wealth in the environment. He was completely wet with sweat but happy to see the land that god had created, full with his artistic creations.

He saw a bus coming towards him and made efforts to read the name plate as Adoor. He knew this bus can take him to his destination. He got in and sat besides a lady the age of his mother. Soon the bus stopped at the stop and two women got in from the front door. They started staring at him and one lady asked him to stand and let her sit. He said “why should I when I am the first to pick the seat”. This resulted in a quarrel and later he come to know that in god’s own country women and men are supposed to sit on different seats. Ha ha, this was my first chance being god’s own creation to understand his country and its customs.

I always think why women and men in Kerala cannot be seen with the same eyes. I did not get a convincing answer to my question yet but I would appreciate comments and opinions.

You all who sincerely read this post for complete will think why I am writing so long when I could have said this using short sentence. I don’t know why but my friends complain me being too descriptive.

I read a post written by Swapna raghu sanand named saree woes where she writes about the problems she faces with draping layers of saree. That is worth reading and makes me remember an incident when my friend landed in kerala to visit god’s own country. He visited padmanabha swami temple and was stopped at the doors for wearing pants. They requested him to wear a mundu(a clothing similar to lungi, white in colour weared in Kerala and nearby south Indian states) which he was hearing for the first time.

He got himself dressed in the mundu with the help of a retailer and went for praying. While he was busy praying his mundu left his waist and slipped heading towards the ground. He noticed it when people started laughing at him. She then continued the prayers round the temple holding his hands on the mundu. He said he would never return to kerala if he has to wear a mundu.

I am surprised why cant people enter a temple wearing pants? Any comments and opinions on this would be appreciated.

I mentioned prior in my Article named 100th post on My Akkidies (mistakes) in Kerala, Gods own country about the problems caused by CITU and INTUC union in Kerala where they are said to be authorized for every loading and unloading tasks, and open hand fishing. Is this the right way and are they doing the right things?

Isn’t every citizen in God’s own country authorized to decide what he need to purchase for his house/ office and who should unload it? Any comments and opinions on this topic would be appreciated as you are one of god’s own creation.

I went to a temple and they instructed me to remove my shirts, even my baniyan. It was another venue for me to showcase the 6 pack abs but irritation for the ones who were new to this culture and had big hanging tummies. My friend asked me why is this restricted to temples in Kerala and are the gods interested to see their devotees undressed? I had no answers to his question.

I asked the priest and he said that god’s statue emits positive energy that is directed towards men’s chest and woman’s forehead. He had an answer to my question but I was not convinced. The next question would be why god isn’t emitting rays on the chest of the people living in north India. Do the concept of ray’s change with locality?

I think Women are also not allowed to wear salwar suit in some temples. Now why is this?

Is the god in God’s own country watching devotees more different than other states? Any comments and opinions on this topic would be greatly appreciated.

This is no where criticizing the creation of god neither it is to showcase only the wrong sides of the things happenings here but these are the unanswered questions by me, and my comments on God’s own country being god’s own creation. This is why I say, Kerala differs.


  1. Hi abhilash..hope ur feeling much better now..Was really nice reading and i feel u think a lot and have many questions each time u think isnt it...ya in few temples they dont allow girls to wear western clothes,even i feel it so strange sometimes,but there are certain rules everywhere,cant help it also...must go accordingly..

  2. Re: Sushma

    Thanks Sushma. Yes I am feeling better.

    I have written this post as I felt there are a lot of customs we have to follow forcefully which god had never requested for.

    As you said can't help it also, must go accordingly

  3. Abhi,

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I love food in general. All are my favourite. Dry Mango powder is amchur powder which is readily available in any indian grocery store. Its an subtitute of adding lemon juice which keeps bhindi crispy and kills the slimyness. Adding lemon juice cuts down crispiness.

    Coming to your post,
    God's own country, the name was given because people in Kerela prefer not to work or work less and earn whatever is sufficient for everyday bread and butter from nature's lap. They are very content with that.

    I think this is what makes Kerela different from other states in India.. It is because the people are so close to nature/ super religious/rich in culture that even People outside India feel amused and prefer visiting Kerela than any other state in India. Kerela is rich in tourism (Which is nothing but its nature) and most of earnings comes from it.. People in other parts of India and even outside feel this aspect amusing.

    Also, I could never understand why a woman should ask a man to stand up and allow her to sit. When women says we are equal to men, they should not talk about priviledges only, they should learn to take equal responsibility. It is very convinient for a woman to say I am weaker sex or equal sex depening on circumstances.

  4. Re: Soma Pradhan

    I appreciate your comments and thanks for the help in amchur...

    Girls and boys, women and men should be treated equally... it appears awkward when people are seen fighting for seats like children saying that is reserved to them :)

  5. Lovely and interesting post. I have been to Padmanabhan temple and was remembering my trip while reading your post. I feel that Kerala is the best place in India and thousands of tourists visit all the places because of its scenic beauty, greenery and also for the good and polite behaviour of the people.

  6. Re: Babli

    Thank you for the comments. Yes Kerala is indeed a beautiful place of India thats why people refer it as God's own country.

    Also padmanabha swami temple is said to have a feature where the lord vishnu can be seen in different versions when viewed from different windows.

  7. I have visited Padmanabha temple infact I have visited all the places in Kerala as it is my favourite state.
    You are absolutely right that I have discovered new preparation of egg and you are correct that the tiffin box should be stainless steel.

  8. Hi Abhi

    I cna add to your confusion here:

    In Padmanabha swami temple, if you wear the mundu over your pants, thats cosnidered okay :-) Isnt that really funny? Ladies wearing Churidar or Salwar have to buy the dhoti ( available for a fee!) and then drape it over the Salwar or Churidar. Other thant he authorities collecting some money for renting out dhoties.. I dont find any logical reasoning behind it!

    Coming to the dress code inside temples, they are just part of tradition.

    Having separate seats for ladies, I think is a malayali concept borne out of ignorance. It is seen as a welfare measure for women so that they dont need to compete with men who have more agility! But in the end it only serves to widen the gap. Hey, you have given me thoughts for a new post! Thanks!


  9. Re: Mahesh

    Mahesh, Thank you for the comments and I agree with your views. But the question is whether the things have to be continued in this modern age without any logic and should people follow the things that are just imparted as a custom.

  10. Interesting questions. I have no satisfactory answer, but it was interesting to get a view on another's culture. Some things don't make sense to us, and a lot I feel is born from ignorance, lack of education, prejudice, and just plain ol' tradition.

  11. Re: Sophia

    Thanks for the comments.
    Yes you said it right, most of things are born in the name of tradition.

    This is very important topic to me as these are the questions I am finding answers to for long.

  12. we still carry a lot of such traditions from the past. i guess slowly but surely some of the unnecessary will wear off. at least recently there have been efforts and court orders encouraging the logical/practical side.

  13. Re: Roxy

    I will look forward to these customs being removed.

  14. Hey u back with full of energy...gr8 post and wat to comment..Once i was stopped at guruvayur temple becoz i was wearing 'Lacha" dress,they thought i am muslim,they were not ready to believe even after hearing my name,they said,perilonnum karyamillennu...ennal ente koode ullavar Christians aayirunnu he he...i got really angry,wat to do,bhakthi moothu branthu aayavar...

  15. Not being able to go to temple in Pants..Well in US you could but I never went in India with pants..My reasoning behind it is perhaps for women the traditional dresses have chunari to cover their heads.

  16. Re: Vrinda

    Very sad to hear that ladies and gents have to show a relegion proof to enter temples.

    Does god loves hindus, muslims, christians all seperately?

  17. Re: Shri

    In kerala you are not allowed to wear chunari on your heads in some temples.

  18. So many questions Abhi... nd we dont have any answers to most of them....

    My MIL doesnt like it when I pray without my head being covered even at home... but then I understand that for some these are neccessary for their faith and all I can do is not be a hurdle to their faith.

    as for the seating arrangements on the bus.. even with all this, women are still harrassed... (dont know if the attitude has changed now)

  19. Hummm What to say Because this is India.but I think in andhra there are no rules like this you have to wear mundu to go inside the temple like in tirupathi temple you can go in side with pants and shirts na...even in tamilnadu also... any way nice post i just love to come back to Kerala (hope my hubby will get a job again there)I am missing Munnar and cochi a lot......

  20. Six parts of a man's body should face an idol so that the body can absorb the power emitting from the idol through these. This includes the knees also. So, a dhothi is advised to expose the knees. But unfortunately, people wear dhothi inside temples in such a way that the knees are still covered!

  21. Re: Srejith Kumar

    I never knew this information. I have heard about the forehead and chest theory. It was nice to know that knees to have significance.

  22. hello Mr Abhi,
    i am a malayali girl presntly in Europe. Well i accidently bumped into this blog of urs and saw some thngs which i thnk i need to talk about my opinion. well, u said about the seat problem in bus. Well, i thnk that (personally,)if u ask 10 girls who travel regularly by private bus in kerla, atleast 9 would have experienced harrasments like pinching on their body, and some other cheap things that even old men do to girls of their grandchild's age to satisfy their sexual desires! this is a sad reality and hence women need a secure place to sit, usually found in the front so that women are protected. its a hard reality dude...but then i feel gud that the presnt generation is better. everyone says.."in olden days,...the people wer gud n blah blah blah..but i feel most of the people who create bad envirnmnt for women in public transport are middle aged/old! hope the next generatn becomes better n slowly we need not keep any more resrvations n women can go home happily aftr college/work without having bitter experiences!


Thank you for your valuable comments. I do respect your opinions.

All the posts are about my life with a pinch of comment on social activities and new discoveries happening around us.

The purpose is to impart knowledge and welcome comments for correction on views, since these are from a single spectator.

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