What is the weirdest thing you’ve witnessed in an Indian wedding?

So I was attending a wedding in Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram) in Kerala a few years ago. As I have written on a couple of earlier answers, Hindu Nair weddings are generally a demure affair. There’s nothing garish or loud about the entire function. So I was standing near the wedding dais as I was one of…

Which given names are unique to your language, country or culture?

Malayalam Although Malayalam is a relatively new language as compared to the more ancient languages from which it was coined, there are (were?) some given names among our lot that I haven’t heard being used in any other language. Before I go any further, I need to explain a bit of history behind our naming…

What is your favorite Malayalam word/phrase? Why?

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon: I use a lot of Malayalam slang words and phrases in my daily banter… some of them are native to Ernakulam and Tripunithura, while some are picked up from my dad’s native place, Thrissur-Palakkad border, and thereabouts. Uvva! (ഉവ്വ ) This is like saying ‘Yeah right!’… intense sarcasm intended. Oh…

If you were royalty, what would your name be?

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon: In the state of Kerala in India (where I’m from), there is a specific procedure for naming royalty. Kerala had three or four principal kingdoms but only two major royal families – the royal families of the kingdoms of Travancore and Cochin. If I’d been born into the Travancore Royal…

What are the names of a few forgotten brands in Kerala?

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon: Maybe they still exist but they aren’t as popular today as they were while I was growing up. Okay, I’m getting all nostalgic now as memories of all those ads come flooding into my mind… Radhas Soap It was almost a ritual for any new-face movie actress to pose with…

Is Vasuki, the Lord of Patala Bhumis, married?

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon: I believe that He is very much married. In all Nair ancestral homes, it was customary to have a serpent grove in the woods around the house. The idols kept for worship in these groves are those of Nagaraja (Vasuki), Nagayakshi and several other smaller idols representing their daughter, Nagakanyaka,…