Malappuram, the Friendly Land

The state of Kerala in India is unique in many ways.  Nature has endowed the state with a lot of attractive locations.  Rivers, hills, forest areas, paddy fields and backwaters render the place an image of god’s own country, a phrase given by the government.  It is true that there are hundreds of temples in the state besides a lot of mosques and churches, but today’s society seems not to move towards a divine goal.  The people here are intelligent, able and some people think that Keralites are the most intelligent people in the world.  Now life is guided by a desire to amass wealth and compete with one another and people believe that money can buy everything.

In the midst of rapid urbanization and sophistication, Malappuram district stands apart as a place of communal harmony, friendly behavior of the people, simple life style and comparatively low criminal rate.  It is a nice place to visit and every foreign tourist will find at least a couple of very friendly men who will be happy to help them, in every small town of the district.

Malappuram town is the heart of the district.  From the town, you will get bus connection to Kozhikode, Palakkad and the various small towns of the district.  There is a new amusement part set up by the government, called Kottakkunnu.  It is on top of a hill and from there you can get a view of the town.  As the government has banned all bars, there are only beer and wine parlors in Kerala now.  Bars are attached to only five star hotels.  If you are a beer lover, you may take an auto rikshaw and go to  Hotel Mahendragiri.

Manjeri is about ten kilometers from Malappuam and it is a developing town in the district.  From Manjeri, you can go to Nilambur by bus and the distance is about 25 kilo meters.  Nilambur is famous for its teak forest, the teak museum and the Nedunkayam forest retreat.  Adyanpara water falls is about six kilometers from the town and it is a place of tranquility, raw nature and cool water.

The particular thing about the district is that most of the hotels here are non vegetarian.  Beef, chicken and mutton dishes are more common than vegetarian food items.  In all the towns there will be one or two vegetarian hotels mainly run by people belonging to the Hindu community.  Most of the non vegetarian hotels are run by the Muslim majority community.  But people do not divide themselves into religious sects and most of the people in this area are friendly.

India is known for its cultural heritage and strict social norms.  Things like dating are still looked down upon and the state of Kerala is very traditional when it comes to male –female relations.  Because of the suppressed instincts of the people here, soft porn movies found a huge market in small towns of Kerala. In the eighties and nineties, twelve O’clock shows attracted many adult film lovers.  Films from Europe, Hollywood and Hong Kong, which were more promiscuous than Indian films, were welcomed by the ordinary people in this place with hilarity.  There was the practice of placing hard core loops in the middle of both Indian and foreign films and sex hungry lads watched them avidly.    More than the raunchy scenes in the films, funny comments from the crowd entertained the audience.  Liquor and tobacco also were a part of the occasion.  It was a scene of happy, jolly and care free life.

The psychology of the people here is also driven by money and love.  Normally people have strong interpersonal attachment.  Enmity arises when people compete for both of the above things and it is heard that black magic still plays an important role in this society.  Most people have the extremely difficult situation of having and enemy and the pain of being belittled by them.  When things do not work out well with the man at the receiving end, mind becomes deplorably disturbed.  This problem of enmity is only amidst people who are relatives.  Everything is okay with strangers.

Until recently there were bars in every town.  The number of alcoholics is very high and now people have to resort to the remaining retail shops since the government has banned all the bars.  Liquor was the only way to find some solace from the difficulties of life, for many people.  Now there are beer and wine parlors in the state.  Liquor is allowed only in five star hotels.  Earlier there were bars in Majeri, Nilambur, Perinthalmanna, Chemmad, Edakkara, Valancheri, Malappuram town, Tirur, Kottakkal  and Edappal.  Now they have all become beer parlors.

Problem of marijuana is also there in many places but the police are very vigilant about the problem. At least once in a month one can see news about the capture of marijuana from people who clandestinely bring it from the neighboring state Tamilnadu.

All these indicate that there are pluses and minuses in this place also.  When there is success and money, society will show respect and when there is a little failure, the same society find joy in teasing the victim.  Girls sometimes elope with boys of another caste and there will be a lot of problems associated with such incidents. People in Malappuram have shown tremendous emotional quotient when dealing with the problems of life.  At present, young boys and girls study better than the earlier generation did, and they rank high in the various entrance examinations.

Malappuram is a hospital district, a place for Ayurvedic treatment and beautiful place to just loiter once or twice a year.  There isn’t anything to be excited about, but a nice place for enjoying rural life and rusticity.

Adyan Para in Nilambur is a place of tourist attraction.
Adyan Para in Nilambur is a place of tourist attraction.
The gate is still there, carrying memories of a century.
The gate is still there, carrying memories of a century.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *