Wednesday 1 June 2011


 There is a famous Malayalam proverb which when translated goes something like, “it’s when you loose an eye that you realize its value”. Now why am I suddenly bringing it up here? It’s just that I am stuck in an emotional wreck right now.

Our prawn shaped lungi clad land of Kerala is famous for three things- Eating rice, Drinking TODDY (followed by the famous half mast lungi erratic dance) & Gold mania. But very less is the fourth and the most common feature of this land known and that is STARING.

Staring as defined by our own WIKIPEDIA is- ‘a prolonged gaze or fixed look. In staring, one object or person is the continual focus of visual interest, for an amount of time.’ But in my land you get more. The amount of time given to one person can continue even beyond the point when you show discomfort and ask the person to quit gawking. I am not talking about ‘man stares at bootylicious woman’ kind of stare but the ‘Equality before law’ kind of stare. Men will stare and even women will stare. You don’t have to look good to be stared at, nor skimpily clad. A fully covered Salwar-kameez will give you equal eye exposure.

KSRTC (Monster Bus) is the cheapest way to travel in and around Kerala and it is in here that you get served with the best and unprecedented kind of staring ,especially if you happen to be standing since the men are sitting on the seats reserved for women and you let them sit because they think they are ladylike. The men stare at your face and then the gaze runs down and up and sideways. They have literally scanned you out while you suspect their glasses to have an X-RAY machine fixed in them. The women crowd stares at you with a grim but demeaning look and your mind suddenly starts to calculate the reason behind that look. Is it because I don’t wear gold, or because I am wearing jeans or because my hair is not matching the level of oil required? Relief touches me when I see that I am not the only one being stared at. The staring does not stop even after you get down on your stop. The eyes continue to be stuck on you from the windows. I shudder and walk towards my den (the hostel) when I am welcomed by two eyes fixed on me. The mundu clad uncle on Pulsar showing off his hairy legs stares at me with a ´Hey Babeee’ look, while his better half does her part by giving me the ´blank stare’.

After my semester got over I decided to take a trip to Singapore and its friendly neighbors to sooth my senses. I landed and I noticed that not a single soul was interested in my existence. Not one stare, not even a fraction of second lasting look. I was happy to notice that even the prettiest of females wearing shorts and sleeveless tops were not being looked at. To my bitterest shock, it was me who was staring at them. Never thought that Kerala could have such an effect on me. I have been pampered by so many stares that now not getting one makes me troubled. Kerala does that to you. Gives you the importance you don’t need and it has definitely left a mark on me.

P.S- I Love Kerala and only i and my fellow Keralites have the right to make fun of it and its people!  Wokay???


  1. Aww I soo missed your smart posts and your way with words!! Staring seems like a habit with all Indians but staring till the other party asks you to stop gawking! Omg! That is too much now!! :)

  2. Well frm a guys perspective, it's better 2 b stared at rather than not stared at at all :)

    Gud read, Red :)

  3. @Maithili- hah thnku sweetheart.

    @R-A-J- I am not complaining anymore!! :D

  4. good one! but believe me, its not just Kerala but our capital city too that walks in hand when it comes to staring specially in DTC buses!
    My way of dealing with these unwelcomed stares is to make as pathetic a face as u can...job done! :P


  5. loll..have u ever noticed how similar kerela n karela sound .. ha haha ah a
    :P i m jus hoarsing around
    n btw we men do have xray vision gifted to us by gawd mm...!! h h ah ha aloll..
    singapore how was tat. tel more bout those slevless gals u saw out there ..!!

  6. @ Sarah- i tried making faces but maybe my making faces amuses them more. they dont give up. I am not talking bout the men folk here!

    @Amnn-How i sometimes wish people cud just say hello lookign right on our faces :P...jokes apart Singapore chicks are beautiful. Made me stare...did i mention drool?

    Thanks for reading :)

  7. Lol...naiiice post :D...I love the way you write, gurl! :D

  8. @ Red, OMG re.. I love the way you capture the essence of Malayalis....every single time xD

    Oh and lets not even TALK about KSRTC!!I had the misfortune of having to use it ONCE and I have had enough to last me a lifetime... Even staring can be put up with, it's the pawing that gets to me.

    It was crowded and we were pushed up almost against the men in the seat with our chests in level with their faces and they took every opportunity, every brake and every bump to rub up against us. Ugh! *shudder* I am so grossed out even by the memory that I'd rather walk than take a KSRTC bus.

    And yeah, even staring back doesn't help na=D we just succeed in turning it into a contest of stares. LOL.

    Good one.

  9. I really like this , love hearing this subject from a women's point of view.

    Sometimes I have to fight not to stare at a beautiful women, trying to be polite and not make her feel uncomfortable. But I'm photographer my eye tends to travel to beauty.
    I started following you

  10. Okay, I won't comment on the Keralites, but staring is really considered rude in other parts of the nation, or so I think.
    But sometimes, it is an interesting activity, to see how many stare back, ain't it? :P :D

    Blasphemous Aesthete

  11. gahhh....this staring thins isnt restricted to Kerala. Delhi is toh full of such people.
    And you're right. I've been to Singapore and its one of the best places ever! People mind their own business and no one gives a damn about what you're wearing or not wearing :)

  12. LOL:-) we used to call them MLAs (Mouth Looking Agents)

  13. @Indumathy Sukanya- Ah thankyou. Your being a sweetheart :)
    @Priyanka- Nice to hear it from an amazing writer like you. So true about the KSRTC. i am so grateful that i am finally getting a vehicle though its in the final year. But still i am thankful!
    @JIM- looking at a woman and staring are two different things. Beautiful women are meant to be looked at but staring for long creeps one out. Dont you think so? I am gonna check your blog now :D
    @Blasphemous Aesthete- Staring is rude even here. But it has also changed into a widely followed custom. :( Thanks for commenting sire! :)
    @ash89-Delhi toh phir bhi theek hai...and you have the protection of metros. Yahan toh wo bhi nahi. nd you know we are known for our world class perverts :D
    @sajeevkmenon- Wat a shortform.... I am gonna use it from now!!!

  14. great writing style, wonderful narration and me, a keralite...the three went well together :)

  15. I wonder why women do not take a step ahead to stop these perverts. Why they are not reacting to them in a way that these perverts will think about their woman at home before they do such sick stuffs. But i guess just like these perverts even the girls are gutless to react and ready to take the embarrassment!! A blog about it does not make girls stronger or stop these kind of sick activities!! I believe that all the girls who have read this post would be more scared by now than being stronger to face these troubles, Which we experience in each corner of India.

  16. @APARNA- thankyou for commenting :)
    @Artistic- Its true that writing a blog wont make anyone stronger but i did not write this to inspire anyone or to scare anyone. strength never comes from blogs but individuality. You deal with things your way and when i write,it doesn't mean that i don't react. I have reacted in whichever way i could. I do not believe that anyone will have a personality change by reading this blogpost. Its an opinion and a depiction and it remains that way.

    Btw real happy you brought it up :) Thankyou sire :)

  17. i would rather love to read a post about how you handled these perverts than how you got molested by them, and you did nothing about it!!

  18. @ Artistic- Challenge accepted! u will be given a post describing the same.. but i am sad you did not read the rest of my posts. somewhr thr is something bout how i reacted. But yes you will be delivered a better one. Keep commenting! again i am not here to inspire. just writing down stuffs coz its my blog :)

  19. I just wanted you to get inspired to lead woman to a better world in real life(not by reacting in here). If everyone are sharing the same thinking like the way you do then you will find more perverts and bloggers in this world!!

    I am new in here. I'l go through your old posts. Also will check out some of my favorite writers and follow them too!! It is not about delivering a better post. U wrote what you have gone through which failed to impress me as a woman or as a civilian!!

  20. @Artistic- Appreciate your view point and the concern. But i repeat i am not here to impress nor to make people read me.About finding more perverts and more bloggers...i think you should rephrase the way you said it. I write what i feel and that's going to continue. Still disappointed that my post couldn't get your flag high. Continue reading miss!

  21. let me rephrase. I did not mean that you should not write your heart out. I meant woman should act more practicable in real world to avoid any kind of calamities.

  22. Lol, "equality before law stare"... I hear you.
    So we stare... in a world on guns, drugs and child rapists...

  23. Wonderful post.... U do have good sense of humor... I often wonder is it the stare or the person who stares is the gals problem...

  24. @Artistic- I dont know about woman but i am practicable enough and thats all i can talk about. Thankyou again!

    @ Samarth Bharadwaj- Lol....thanyou for commenting sire! :D

    @Partha- I try to be funny but sometimes fail miserably. Happy that you read it till the end :D. nd you got a lovely point out thr. Yes its definitely who is staring but i think even that will creep one out if its a prolonged stare. Looking is different. No?

  25. lolz.Its not just kerala. I guess its quite evident in most of the places in india. ppl would stare for reasons known only to them.

  26. hahahaha..
    yeah very similar thing used to happen with us in london...

    we used to easily know if he is indian or not... if he is staring you... for sure indian :)

    this atre stare stare ..,.is in our blood :D :D

  27. @Angie- so true! Thanks a ton for commenting :)
    @Chakoli- I am telling you i was the only one staring in Singapore...its in our blood...

  28. RED
    hahaha.... yea.. kerala is a nice place... n makin fun of its ppl is reserved to keralites... :D wokay wokay.... hehehe...
    nice post...

    n yea.. this happens only in india.. or only with indians i must say...
    i happened to go to new york durin summer..n i was like.... i dono..i dint kno wher to look.. i mean... whr to stare..omg..u kno wat i mean... ;) hehehe.. n its easy to find an indian...cuz they r the ones who stare... :D

    hey m inspired..i wanna write a post too..abt this.. :D

    n hey btw, tat post of mine is a least in my life... :D so dont suspect me..okay.. :D pls pls...

  29. This post is like u just wrote what I frequently talk about... in Kerala even if u wear a Pardah u get those dirty stares !! SIngapore is fine...goto Bangalore...u dont get stares there...its the same country ! Only in Kerala it happens...!

  30. @Anoop- Seriously tracking down an Indian has become more easy. :) Lol yes sir, you wont be suspected for writing such a post.:P

    @Anita- I have been to Bangalore and the staring totally depends on which part of it you are staying. But yes comparing to other places Bangalore has less staring eyes.
    :)Thanks for commenting miss!

  31. hehe... well narrated... I felt like having a trip through the clean streets of kerala,.. sweet place!


  32. @aakash-Its a great place ..simply beautiful I must day so!

  33. ugh! you aren't alone in this. Freaking buggers exist everywhere x-(

  34. Hehehehe...The stare effect haan..singapore made your realise the effect :P

    Gosh! I think this post gives me chills down the spine but let me tell you atleast they stare for a good cause :P (now here good cause means the comparisons made in a true keralite and in a not so:P)
    And the proverb after all told what it truly meant when i read your post ;)
    The P.S. is loud and clear and i am rolling on floor after reading it :D

  35. @psychopneuma- Lol...thanks for commenting :D
    @Alcina- You are loved for the way you write and the way you comment honey. Thanks for dropping by

  36. Well, same thing applies to places like Bombay. Even if you are out dead cold in the middle of the busiest junction in the city, you wouldn't even get so much as a glance towards you. Its only places like Kerala where you are subject to constant staring

    PS: I too wash my hands in red here. I stare too :(

  37. Reading your post on the Kerala stare and your Singapore comparison an incident came to my mind. I was sitting in a bus in Kerala along with my aunt who is based in Singapore. There was a woman standing in front of our seat and we could a see a man standing behind her trying to touch her backside. The woman turned around gave an angry look at the man and he looked the other way as if nothing has happened. Seeing this my aunt told me "ee rogathinu Singaporil chanthikku kodukkunna marunnu kittum" I thought she is talking of some medical injection given to reduce libido so I told "evanokke aa injection kodukkanam" My aunt started laughing and said "marunnu ennu paranjathu avidathe sexual harassment nulla punishment annu, caning" :D


Spit It Out I Say !!!