Sunday, May 6, 2012


I’m not sure if anyone stops by here anymore but if you do, ohai! I have come back after a longish hiatus which involved moving out of the smalltempletown. I am slightly sadface about this because the smalltempletown was the best third world writer cred ever. When people would tell me that they had an MFA, which back in the day I assumed was some kind of urinary infection, I would say ohai I come from smalltempletown in South India and even though they never really said anything about this barring a ‘wtf?’, I knew in my heart that they wished they could be like me. This is why I never missed an opportunity to put that up in everyone’s face when they made the mistake of asking for a ‘bio’. Speaking of bios! 

‘Writer, big city-dweller, chaidrinker, bike lover, foodie, wanderer, music aficionado, beer enthusiast, book-lover, serious sense of humor, human being’

Who is this person? Is it every Indian person in the internet today? Has it become the equivalent of ‘I love meeting new people, traveling and hanging out with my friends.”? Why am I being so racist against Writer, big city-dweller, chaidrinker, bike lover, foodie, wanderer, music aficionado, beer enthusiast, book-lover, serious sense of humor, human beings? Is it because I am jealous because I lost my smalltempletown bling? Yes.

So anyway, I bid a fond farewell to the smalltempletown and relocated to Bengaluru where all the cool people live. These are some impressions, alleged conversations, and things that happened during that first blush of Bengaluru when it was still making my nose bleed. 

- People are not speaking Tamil here. I don’t understand this. I am that gross species of person that thinks everyone speaks Tamil or English and I am flabbergasted when they don’t.

-  - "Ok wow you actually say ‘yougaiz’ when you talk."
"It’s really irritating. Like REALLY."
"Because like at least on the blog, you can close it when your lingo gets too irritating, no?"
"Yeah. That’s a drawback of having to talk to me in person."
"Right. Because it’s REALLY annoying."
"I know. Sorry yougaiz."

-        - Unrecognizable large green fruit! Wtf, it’s like I’m in Africa or China or something! SO EXOTIC!!111 ok that’s a watermelon. Nemmind.

-          - Sprite, muscular young man crossing road in very short shorts. Ok those are clearly not shorts, this publicfellow has come out in his undrawers. WE CAN TELL WHEN YOU DO THAT YOU KNOW!!! CROSS THE STREET AGAIN!!!!11

-           - ‘And this drinking place is called bacchus? Like tiny Hindi children people?’
-          ‘No, like Bah-Kus.’
-          ‘Then why is it spelled like tiny HinHinihfsdHindi children people? Hay, will everyone like me there?
-          ‘Probably not.’
-          ‘Oh. Tiny Hindi children people never seem to like me for some reason.’

-   - I had some dodgy pork and contracted some kind of stomach food poisoning type thing and thought I was going to die and now whenever I pass the establishment from whence I procured said dodgy pork I shout ‘I HATE YOU!’ but I don’t think they care at all. Also, LAZEEZ DOUBLE CHICKEN DOUBLE EGG ROLLS OMG I LUV YOU FOREVER

-        - “Excuse me, can you tell me where *someplace I can’t remember* is?”
“Yeah just like you can proceed over here and you can take a left and just keep going straight for some time then one Nilgris will come over there, like pretty big and you just don’t want to miss it because you can head over there and you can get all the information about that over there.”
“So you don’t know where it is?”
“Yeah no I don’t know.”
“Ok thanks.”
“Yeah don’t mention.”

-       - “Kuzhali? That’s an…unusual name.”
“Kuzhali? It’s Malayalam name I think so.”
“Sorry, I just can’t get that, I’ll call you something else?”
“Your name is what? Ok whatever, I’m calling you something else.”
Yes please call me SomethingElse.

-      LOL you’re talking to me in Hindi like I know what you're saying and like I am going to reply in Hindi also LOL!!!111

Like many people who have come to this coll city, I had trouble finding accommodation and I am going to talk all about that in the next few posts because this is my blog. It is also my hope that I will gradually start picking up some Kannada and this Kannada will gradually infiltrate my polluted “English” and soon I will suddenly discover I have some kind of Kannadiga ancestry and decide I am not so much Tamil anymore and actuallytotally Kannadiga. In this way, I hope to appropriate the cultures of all four Southern states, which is a close second to coming from a smalltempletown.

There were some other things I wanted to blog about but frankly, this blog post is already too long so I will just go through them fastly here.

-The Ashton Kutcher Racist Ad- Big ups to the righteous peeps who had to use multiple exclamation marks to tell us Indians to Calm Down!! Because it was Just a Joke!!!! And My Indian Friend Thought it was Funny so it’s Ok!!!! Also big ups to the righteous peeps who took the time to remind us that India still follows caste system so who are we to get offended by Ashton Kutcher in brownface. I for one was confused for two reasons- one, I thought he was being Mexican/Italian/Spanish so I was like STOP BEING MEAN TO MEXICAN ITALIAN SPANISH TYPE PEOPLE YOUGAIZ. Then also we must consider, if he didn’t do brownface et al, how would we know he was Indian? There’s no other way for people to identify Indianness, isn't it? It is.

-Speaking of Brownface! I saw a bit of a movie called Bhowani Junction, which featured wellknown brownfaced actors Ava Gardner and Stewart Granger. According to the summary, the movie is about a half-caste. A half-caste is someone who has partial rights to be offended by Ashton Kutcher’s racist ad. There was one gentleman in the movie whose face bore a striking resemblance to a basted turkey, which meant he was the brown dude, which meant he was an Indian. I was only able to see a bit of this glorious bit of cinema and that bit featured a limerick type thing which was about a girl from Sharkie who hooked up with a Darkie and they had two white kids, two black kids, and two khaki or something like that. Or maybe her name was Sharkie. Could be that also because in the English culture they have strange naming habits. Isn’t it neat how English people can make darkie rhyme with khaki? That’s so neat. It’s one of the reasons why they had such colonial powers.

-I saw a trailer for a movie called The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel which apparently is Slumdog Millionaire but with old, white people. This movie also features brown people but these people are naturally brown and not brownface so it’s not racist and ok

Before I go, I want to say that

Damien Walter said some nice things about my book in his column in The Guardian  

I did this interview with my thozhi Ranjani at STS  
And a verynice review of my book appeared here

And now some ‘Oh My God This Is Adele Right?’ Songs



Amritha said...

OMG you're back!!!! *Applause, tears of joy*

KA Iyer said...

I bought your book and didn't get the humor so instead of accepting I'm dumb I'm going to think you write gibberish.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back! I've never commented before, but you are GR8 and it's awesome to see you posting again.

Deepa D. said...

I just wanted to remind you that some of us stalk you via RSS feed, so we do not need to haul our butts over to your blog every now and then to see if you have broken your silence. No indeed, we just get it all home delivered in our feed reader of choice. Does that make you feel like a cheap, hastily cooked pizza?

(I am hoping this time your blog lets my comment get through to you.)

Space Bar said...

You are back! We are happy!

And this is one (more) reason to go to Bangalore soon.

Loafer said...

ohai amiga! and this loafer for one is very glad to see you are back! Also glad to hear you be shifting to bengaluru becoz then I can come and ask you for an autograph personally!
Warning: landlords in bengaluru are a gigantic pain in the ass.

Anonymous said...

I hope I speak for the whole internet when I say that I'm so glad you're writing here again.

We've missed you.

Aishwarya said...

<3 <- see, this is my heart. It is happy that you are writing on the blog again.

Sabbah Haji Baji said...

OmaiigawdGanesha, Kuzhali, you are back! *Kashmiri cartwheels* One is so glad to see you again, humsheera (which BTW is just a fancy word for 'sister' in Urdu, and way cooler than 'behen'.) One is even gladder to #note that you are now Bangalored. (Okay please what is this Bengaluru and all mins like no thanks.) The extra gladness is because I have been known to make periodic visits to the BLR city which gives me great hope that someday I might be able to fall at your feet, holding your books aloft for autograph, and 'Best wishes, K,' type of signings. I will be too much thankful if this were can able to happen. Like, totz.
So, on this my third attempt at posting a comment on your magic back-in-the-return post, I hope it gets through.

(In the meanwhile, room in mountain cottage still lies in wait. Come off, ra.)

Now going to Google MFA, because you have piqued my interest and MFEO I think doesn't come close at all.
Okay that's all, but also love and adoration and so much happiness for this village girl.

Sharanya said...

You're back! Thank goodness, i was dying.

Battameez said...

Heylo Kuzhali -- of course only I still check on here, because mostly no one else has Marine Life and Drowning Girls on the same line.

Hope you find tons of things you don't understand in Bengaluru (tarbooz, I'm told is very common there and it is not even called tarbooz, I cannot imagine suchalife).

Anyway, yay! You're back <3

Anonymous said...

I, for one, am glad you are back.
signed, a woman in DC who stumbled across one of your short stories on-line, bought your book, and has been following your blog ever since.

Emily said...

Glad you're back :)

Sharanya said...

!! :)

Lost and Found said...

'Thangod' you're back! (Have you noticed how it is always 'thangod' and not 'thank god'?)so you're in Bangalore now? I used to like that city till it turned into something that it isn't. My cousins live there and they sound like they live in Beverly Hills, not Bengaluru. And for the record, I'm hell bent on calling you Kuzhali and not 'something else'. You're lucky to have such a unique and unusaul name...

s(m)al said...

Welcome back. Eat some sambar podi. Drink some coke. Sometimes you could mix your sambar podi in your coke. Possible remedy to ease pain of loss of smalltownbling.

kuzhali manickavel said...

@ Amritha- HAI!!11 your enthusiasm is very pretty, I am happy to be back also

@ KA Iyer- ohai! Thanks for reading the book anyway, not sure if that makes you dumb, there are many illustrious people out there who think I write gibberish

@ gloss- you are nice and I am appreciate and I hope you will comment again and again :)

@ Deepa D- haifraand! My blog has very obligingly decided not to eat your comment this time. come and visit me!11

@ Space Bar- ohai!! very nice to see you here, if you ever come this side let me know

@ Loafer- ohai amigo! I am glad to be back also :)

@ anonymous- that is very nice of you to say, I missed the internet too yougaiz!!!

@ Aishwarya- aw, happy to see you here maifraand <#. Iyo. I mean <3

@ Sabbah Haji- ohai humsheera, thank you for teaching me a neat word and for saying nice things also. You MUST MUST come and see me when you come to b’lore and we will discuss the room in mountain cottage and all. Love and adoration and all to your face also.

@ Sharanya- ohai! very pleased to be back also :)

@ Battameez- ohai!1 there are many things in Bengaluru I don’t understand but mostly I think it is soveryfine and I like it very much. I am going to ask someone what tarbooz is. Is it something gross? Ok I guess I will find that out after asking.

@ anonymous- hai, I am soglad that you bought my book and all, I hope you will come and say hai here more often :)

@ Emily- glad to be back :)

@ Sharanya- !!! :) :)

@ Lost and Found- ohai! I drove through Beverly Hills once when I was very young! It didn’t look like Bengaluru at all. Also, am just mentioning that because I want peeps to know I drove through Beverly Hills once, thus making up for loss of smalltempletown bling. Also thank you for not calling me somethingelse

@ s(m)al- you come off ra, we will drink together. And possibly lose our lunch in the process.

Shruthi said...

y u go to bangalore? NOOOOO!!!!!

oh well, it's okay wherever you are as long as you keep blogging. :D

Yes, I'm a cheap and demanding fan.

once known as 'marry me' said...

Dear maam respectful pranams to you and everwan at home madam

first of all i would like to be congratulating you on your moving to bangaluru because it is one number urbancity and urbanlife in urbancity is so urban yougaiz

i am also having want to ask you that now you have moved to bangaluru will you support royal challengers bangalore or will you support the chennai super kings please answer yes or no madam

madam i also would like to want to say that when i heard that you have posted a new blogpost i was totz like this :

please be copying link in address bar because i am being #HTMLfail

Raji Chockaiyan said...

Nice!!! Glad you are back!

Vidya Sury said...

ohai! Good to see you back. Which part of Benga-grrr-luru have you moved to?

Anonymous said...

Welcome back, where in Bangalore ?
Few tips : don't eat dosa with sambar from nandini or udipi, they think it gets the colour from jaggery. Don't touch sagu, it's bastardised boori masal,(why would anyone add brinjal to boori masal) . Don't travel in vajra bus, it will eat ur monthly rent. Don't worry about Agni natchathram - it rains here all the time. Don't believe anyone who says you'll get IT in the mall, you pay for mall's EB bils and rent charge with MRP. Respond to me and I'll give more Bangalore (oops Benga loo ru) pointers ;)

Pallavi Rao said...

Thank you for linking me officially! First official list I'm on, which is very exciting.

Also, I join your hordes of fans in hoping I run into you in B'lore, falling at your feet for an autograph and holding your next book like a trophy I've earned.

Please keep blogging. The world makes no sense to me elsewhere.

- Uglywords/In a Brown Study/Pallavi

A said...

bangalore! what fun! I would love to meet you! do you have any reading on your calendar? :)

kuzhali manickavel said...

@ shruthi- ohai :) universewilling, I hope to blog every other week. Bengaluru is nice you come off ra

@ once known as ‘marry me’- ohai fraand! My respectful pranaams to you and your family members also. Heart is currently torn about who to support in IPL. Part of me is saying have respect for newcountryland and part of me is saying have respect for oldcountryland so I am currently having no respect for anyone and supporting the nonIPL team called Chidambaram ChooChooTrains. Also thanks for the best gif, will credit you when I use it in the coming future

@ Raji Chockaiyan- thangsya, am glad to be back also :)

@ vidya sury- ohai! I have been advised by mostillustrious peepal not to say where I live on the internet because I got rape comment on here once and now they’re like, see??? That’s what happens when you’re not a dude and you talk on the internet, which makes no sense but makes a lot of sense also. Please don’t mistake, ah?

@ anonymous- ohai! Thanks for the tips, I learned the hard way about the sambar but feel like I will get used to this kind of sambar also. This is sambar unity in the diversity.

@ Pallavi Rao- ohai!!! Thank you for writing such a wonderful review of my little book, I am mostproud to link to it. I hope we run into each other as well. Not literally of course. Because that would hurt.

@ A- ohai! No readings planned right now. I read something to someone in my kitchen recently but I don’t think that’s what you meant and that was unplanned also.

sara crowley said...

Yay, it's you. I missed your words.

kuzhali manickavel said...

and yay it's you sara crowley :) i have missed you, hope you've been good. will mail soon.

Sachita said...

aiyoo, i also want to comment. Especially when you write one post after a bluemoon and all.
So, please accept my sincere heartfelt comment from the bottom of my heart
Ps: I am also ' love your blog but cant understand your book too well" person.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back. You were missed. That is all.

kuzhali manickavel said...

@ shachita- ohai! please accept my heartfelt comment thanking you for your heartfelt comment :)

@ anonymous- thank you. you are nice.

Madhuri Maram said...

you are back! *tears of joy* my weekends are more meaningful, now! :D

kuzhali manickavel said...

ohai! glad to see you are back too :)

mem said...


I Love your blog and think the pots are hilarious. Also loved your book.
Surfacing to comment because Im long time Banglorean and thrilled to hear you've moved here.

kuzhali manickavel said...

hai! thank you for surfacing and saying nice things, your city is veryfine i say! :)


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