Not Just God's Own Country

Movies and Culture in Kerala

The lockdown that Covid-19 insisted on us has forced many of us look beyond our comfort zones. One such out of the box idea was to watch movies from other Indian languages. Trance has become the first destination in the exploration of good movies in other Indian languages. Positive word of mouth spread like a wild-fire and helped the movie grab many eyeballs. Fahad Fasil's amazing acting has received huge applause from a wider audience. There was no evidence of protests to question the disclosure of what's behind the scenes of the so-called religious preaching. The movie lover in one of my friends couldn't just stop with that one movie. Out of his recommendations, I have watched Ayyapanum Koshiyum, Kumbhalangi Nights, Koode, Take Off, Android Kunjappan Ver 5.25 and many more. I am very impressed with the simplicity that has been maintained in these movies. One could hardly notice any commercial elements such as the protagonist facing tens and hundreds of rowdies with out a drop of sweat oozing out of him or forceful insertion of songs picturized in some foreign location, though the screens were occupied by top actors like Fahad Fasil and Prithvi Raj. 

It is very difficult to believe Koode, a movie which revolves around a brother and sister relationship, is the 100th movie for Prithvi Raj. A farrago of unimaginable hype and a massive budget is what Telugu audience can picture for a hero's 100th movie. Encroachment of commercial elements into the core of the movie is oblivious to maximum percentage of movie lovers in Kerala. Not just the story but what is projected in the movies also caught my attention. No location outside Kerala can be seen in most of the movies, the characters doesn't display any trendy clothes, they just stick to using beautiful green lusters around the state. They never tried to project what they are not with the so-called ultra-modern dressing or over the top locations. This has been helping them preserve the culture and also enhance the love towards the place. 

Even in the off-screen, they always focus on laying the foundation strong by taking care of what is required for better living. Kerala has been comfortably sitting on the state-wise literacy rate list at least from the last two decades. No other state is equipped to give a tough fight for the first place. The only state that has taken the first place seriously is Delhi, which has sharpened their focus on education. Health care index has also gave an enjoyable lead to the state. The state has been improving the health care system which has resulted in standing tall with highest life expectancy and lowest infant mortality rate. 

Above all these, Munnar and Alleppey fill the memories of many when they think of Kerala. These have been the top honeymoon spots in the country since long. Green blankets covering large portion of the land in these places is the reason for it. Kerala stands as a lulu on how to preserve the environment. None of the places are commercialized in the name of development. Tiruvananthapuram, being the capital of the state is able to maintain a healthy air quality index (AQI) when other tier-III cities in the country fail to do so. During diwali Delhi's AQI reaches 300, which is a hazardous number, but Tiruvananthpuram has the same at 42. 

It might be abstruse for many to understand how they are able to protect what is required for healthy life. An obdurate determination to emulate the state can help other states provide a better living conditions to the citizens. If that happens, no state have to witness billowing smoke that causes pollution, raising infant mortality and dropping literacy rates.


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