I thought about Valentines day….from our farm…


A little bit of systems thinking!. Till a couple of decades back, joint family system was prevalent in India. A large number of family members lived in large ancestral homes (tharavad). When the members were more, there was always some reason or other to celebrate. Then came the population control programs, better education, globalization, nuclear families…so we also started emulating the western cultures and life styles. Since these were imports, it never penetrated in depth into our hearts and souls, resulting in very shallow celebrations of foreign festivities similar to all other imports like the Pizza, KFC, Mcdonalds etc. Nothing matched the brilliance of kanji and payar, kappa and fish, prawns ularthiyathu with coconuts, the kamasutra, love after marriages, murappennu…..Even after so many years of reading, writing and speaking English, my Malayalam is better. When I have to handle English, I think in Malayalam, then translates that thought into English, and always there is a loss in translation. Unlike the Russian, French, Spaniards…we do not take pride in our local languages. Inability to speak English is often considered as lack of communication skills, rather than English speaking skills. If my speculation is right, this year also we will have a shallow, noisy, meaning less Valentines day comprising of lot of copied facebook messages, and some mad parties. It is not in our culture. My brother quoted this sometime back. An American and an Indian child were in conversation. The American child said “My Mom expresses her love to my Dad by saying Í Love You, the Indian child’s response was ‘My Mom makes a tea for my Dad, to express her Love :-). In Malayalam (my mother tongue) there is a saying; ‘echu keetiyathu muzhachirikkum’ meaning, whatever is added artificially will bulge out..:-).

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