9 comments on “Fascination with Kerala

  1. Richard,
    Roaming around the web and remembered you’d posted about Kerala. Excellent reasons for your fascination, especially the Padmini justification! I’ve been meaning to comment on this and while surfing through good golly miss bolly’s page,


    I saw someone recommend a reputable travel group and I clicked here:

    and found this and wanted to show you:


    I have loved what I’ve seen of Kerala from the movies. Watch “Autograph” if you haven’t already


    and you’ll love Kerala even more. Obviously we know life isn’t as it is in the movies, or isn’t it?

    Also about Kerala, I recall reading, I believe in “Bollywood , A History,” by Mihir Bose, that southern Indian cinema had different tastes due to the high literacy rates. As a result, there was a time when movies had different endings made for the south, because the more literate folks weren’t as keen on the happy endings that went over well in Bombay. Interesting.

    And speaking of south India, have you ever seen “Bombay?”


    Part of the film is set in seaside village in Tamil Nadu.

  2. Hi, Sitaji. Thank you for all these recommendations. The trip to Kerala is actually a tempting idea, but things are kind of uncertain now so I’ll have to see what my financial and employment situations are a little later on. However, the price looks surprisingly good compared to what I had expected (going to have to see if there’s a catch somewhere).

    I haven’t seen “Bombay,” unfortunately. I did happen to stumble upon a copy of “Autograph” over here:


    I’m watching it on and off right now, and it does look very nice. However, I think I would do better watching this film with the benefit of subtitles.

    I have found a couple of sites that offer Tamil films online for free. The main one that I’ve been going to is:


    One film that I saw there had subtitles; most don’t. Nonetheless, some of these are such a pleasure to watch – especially with all the dance scenes, etc. – that I can enjoy them fully even without understanding a word that’s being said.

    One such movie is “Uthama Puthiran” (1958)… I got some good plot summaries, so I could more or less figure out what was going on (it was the “Man in the Iron Mask”)… And the singing and dancing scenes made it an absolute joy to watch. With Padmini and her sisters and Sivaji Ganesan and even a lively scene with Helen… I’m sure you understand…

    There was another one that I watched, without subtitles, that was quite grim: “Veerapandiya Kattabomman” (again with Padmini and Sivaji Ganesan). When you mentioned, above, how some films in southern India didn’t need to have happy endings, I couldn’t help thinking of the ending of this one, when the hero says his last lines with his head inside a noose.

  3. You know Richard, I can’t imagine how great life would be with Tamil, Telugu, Mayalayam and Kannada language films translated into English. I ‘ve pleaded for this on the WWW:


    Glad you’re trying to watch “Autograph” which I was able to see with English subtitles. I found that one at a local library.

    Thanks for the tip on http://livetamilmovie.blogspot.com/. I’ll check that out soon.

    “Veerapandiya Kattabomman” sounds great as does “Uthama Puthiran”.

    I think Tamil and Telugu films are movie meth, and I will get so hooked I will kiss my current life goodbye. Just get me a small trailer somewhere, in which I can watch movies, and more movies, and once and a while I’ll eat, and rarely bathe. Just watching, and watching.

  4. Oh I love Kerala!!! My best friend is from there and I have had the opportunity to visit the place a couple of times. Place and scenic beauty apart, like you said there are lots of things that I like about Kerala. I have enjoyed my Kerala visits to the fullest.
    It’s interesting to see that almost every third building in Cochin is a Jewellers shop, how particular people are about buying gold, huge hoardings of Poppy umbrellas everywhere. Here’s one of the ads…

    There are lots of interesting ads…and each of these ads have a song. My friend had even taught me one of those songs!
    I love their traditional costume – the cream saree with golden border looks so royal….the house boats, the food served on banana leaf (my mouth’s watering just at the thought of it), the people there….so highly educated and yet they are so simple – everything is so wow about that place.

    And having lived in South-India (Hyderabad) for quite some time now and with friends from all over other states as well, luckily I follow the language a little (Tamil and Malayalam). I thoroughly enjoy watching the movies down south. I even went for one Malayalam movie to the theater in Kerala, it was such a wonderful experience. And like sitaji rightly pointed, movies down south don’t necessarily have happy endings. It’s really interesting to see them first and notice how the climax is changed in the Hindi version.

  5. I told you I would find some way of reading this before I went to bed! :) For Malayalam films, which I think have some of the best cinema from the sub-continent (of course I’m not biased!) do visit http://www.olangal.com/movies/watch-malayalam-movies-online.html

    And if you ever want to visit Kerala, I offer you my parents’ or my husband’s home as your base. My husband and I visit every year if possible, so you’re welcome to tag along if you so desire.

  6. Anu, I almost got to sleep at a semi-normal hour tonight (which is very unusual for me), and then I got woken by a phone call (from my elderly mother, who usually stays up all night), and then, since I was up anyway, I went online again, and I am glad I did!

    Thank you for the link to the Malayalam films, and thank you, especially, for the co-traveling and home-base offers! That is very nice of you and this is very intriguing… What time of year do you usually go? :)

  7. Usually during the summer, Richard. This year, it’ll be August. I’m in the process of calling up my travel agent to book my tickets – probably the first or second. The home-base offer stands whether we are there or not. :)

  8. Hmm, August in Kerala… That’s OK, I don’t mind a little rain. :)

    And I also appreciate your offering the “home base” at any time, even if you aren’t there… This is very good of you!

    I’m not sure about this year, as my fortunes would have to change a little. But who knows, it might be possible. So, Anu, I am going to have to keep in touch with you regarding this idea. Expect more thoughts over e-mail, and thanks again!

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