The South Is Strong In This One- Life, Brewed #002

You know that feeling when you’re eating khichdi but you’re thinking pongal? This is me, right now, right this moment.

Moving to Mumbai has been an exhilarating experience, in various contexts. Paying rent, cooking your own food, sweeping the house and doing the laundry can be some great activities to try if you are moving out from home for the first time and you choose India’s busiest city ha ha. And if that doesn’t cut it, you can easily step out for some fresh air which also happens to be Mumbai’s most coveted resource.

The effects of industrialisation on Mumbai notwithstanding, the city can really deliver life lessons. You just learn to appreciate the value of simple human connections and the grace in sharing the burden of someone’s struggle.

Somedays though, as an NRI who lived for a good 5 years in the South, you just want a sip of that hot filter coffee, or a good bite of some idli-vada-sambar, or even that bisibele bath you keep eating despite not knowing what’s in it. If you’re in Bengaluru- okay, yes, traffic, I know. GetoveritIloveSouthIndia.

My roommate (check her out on and I talk often about the South and with good reason. This is why-

  1. Coconut is life. Coconut is the taste of flavours coming alive. When you have chicken curry with coconut milk, nothing, and I mean not even butter chicken can make you feel that way again.
  2. Coconut trees- ^same, but for nature.
  3. Am I the only one who thinks dabeli tastes just like misal pav with less fluid content? Blame it on the assembly-line like rows of masalas we have down south.
  4. Our lingo. The dais and the annas and the poda pattis and thirutupayyas. I mean, come on, you’ve got to love it after a point.
  5. The Karnataka-Kerala-Tamil Nadu love triangle. There is never so much fun as when kind and good citizens from each of these states come together. Just say “Cauvery”, trust me on this.
  6. The beaches- sandy shores, salty water and a people-less surrounding. That’s how you enjoy a beach.
  7. Rajnikanth, Raj Kumar, Mammootty and Mohanlal- never has so much greatness resided in one sentence.
  8. But more seriously, South Indian cinema is a piece of art. Bollywood in fact has borrowed heavily from South cinema in recent times. Run a Google search and you’ll be surprised.
  9. How you don’t need to be hot bod in the conventional sense to be an actress of worth in Malayalam cinema.
  10. Nope, I’m not Malayali.

The last time I went to Bangalore, I wanted to kiss the ground. That’s what South India gave me- an aching desire for home, where the autowallah’s “madam, salpa side” still makes me smile. South India is an emotion. And sure, this piece is very subjective. But when you talk of home, there’s no point in being politically correct, is there?

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Rightly said, can relate to it being in the same position. Wonderfully written bringing out all all emotions and making me nostalgic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sharon Lewis says:

      I’m really happy to hear that!


  2. I thought you were Mallu?!


    1. Sharon Lewis says:

      Easy misassumption to make, no?


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