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As a Punjabi who grew up in the ‘Gelf’ (Malayalam for Middle East) with a healthy diet of ‘ayyo’ and murukku; a dad who wore lungis at home; a best friend in college from Cochin; and finally married a Malayali myself, Kerala has pretty much been the de facto theme of my life – my conversations and mindscape have always had large doses of Mallu food, language, cities and towns and, of course, men.
This past month, however, Kerala has been on a lot of people’s minds. Sadly, it had to do with a terrible calamity, as rains and floods inundated the state. While it brought out the worst in some people – such as those who peddled fake news coloured with their own prejudices – it also brought out the best in others, especially authorities that stood united and the common people who pitched in with rescue and reconstruction. A family who survived the devastation shares their experience in this issue (p.42).
Kerala was also in the news for a positive reason: our cover personality Anjali Menon’s latest film Koode, which has a sensitive angle and treatment much needed in the Malayalam film industry (p.22). It’s a sign of progress and change. May the land of coconut trees bounce back to vitality again!