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Codes of reality!

What is language!

Social setting

I was born to the Thiyya community. This is a community belonging to North Malabar. It is a lower caste, that used to exist somewhere in the middle of the Malabar caste hierarchy. Though currently it is equated with the Ezhava community of South Kerala, actually some 30 years back, this connection was not mentioned. This connection was created and later emphasised to aid the political ambitions of certain caste based politicians.

The Thiyya community is actually a lower caste, serf-like community of individuals. Most of them used to have the looks of subordinated, low confidence, contorted physical expressions. However, in my very younger years, like say 2 or 3 years age, I was impressed by the superior looks of certain of my relatives. They were from Tellicherry, a small town in Cannanore district of Kerala.

I would not have believed that I was from a lower caste, if I had been so told at that time. My parents, especially my mother who belonged to Tellicherry seemed to have very superior attributes.

I did not discern any inferiority complex as such at that time among the few Thiyya persons that were related to me, in Tellicherry. At the same time, there was also a group of servant class persons (of the same caste) who served the family and were addressed as Thiyyan, Thiyyathi etc. They had starkly different facial expressions, especially of an inferior social group. However in my own family links also the majority were not of the higher-income persons.

It took me some time to understand that the superior looking Thiyyas and the other inferior expression bearing Thiyyas were actually of the same caste.

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