Here’s A North Indian’s Confession On How She Fell In Love With Everything About South India

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The first 18 years of my life were spent in a little town called Kanpur, and a lot of ignorance. Don’t get me wrong. It has nothing to do with my upbringing and the way my parents raised me. That was absolutely wonderful. But when you do your entire schooling from a girl’s school and then join a Symbiosis college for under graduation, it comes with a big, BIG cultural shock.

I met a lot of people from different parts of the country, and it opened a whole new box of perspective for me. Different languages, different rituals, different attires, different political views, a different take on life in general, much different from what I had seen in Uttar Pradesh. I was an introvert, so I took a lot of time to soak all of it in. From all the cultures I had encountered, the South Indian culture stood out. Maybe because I had been as away from it as possible, maybe because I had NEVER visited any place there, and maybe because I grew up with certain prejudices of South Indians being extremely rude. (I can’t remember who told me that, but it grew on me).

Slowly…unknowingly…I fell in love with everything about South India. Here’s how it happened.

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I fell in love with the South Indian girls…

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The first friend I made in college was a Malayali and we became friends as soon as we met. She was my first connect to this beautiful world of South. She was extremely beautiful (still is) with big black eyes, long hair and an inevitable grace that you just can’t ignore. She had a very clean heart and she took me to her house one day to fulfill my craving for home cooked food. I met her parents there. Very simple and quiet people. Her house was decorated in a different way. I couldn’t get a lot of it, but something about her home was very soothing.

 

I fell in love with their simplicity…

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I myself am a very jazzy person. I love dressing up, but it’s strange how the style of all my friends from the south has always fascinated me. I’m not saying that they can’t rock a gaudy outfit because believe me, they can. But something about their personality gives a very calm, composed and simple vibe. I am absolutely amazed by that every single time.

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I fell in love with the food…

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Don’t know where to start from. My idea of South Indian food started from Idli and ended at Dosa. They are pretty amazing, yes. But I was absolutely amazed by the variety when some of my friends introduced me to the other dishes. Aila Curry, Kheema with Coconut Curry, Payyoli Chicken Fry, Fish Molee…the list is endless. Good South Indian food can do things to your taste buds you never thought are possible.

 

I fell in love with the dance…

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I took Bharatanatyam lessons in school for around 5-6 years. They were compulsory, and my knowledge didn’t go beyond the mudras. But after being exposed to beautiful forms like Kathakali, Kuchipudi, and Mohiniyattam, my perception of the South Indian dance forms has completely changed.

 

And their film industry…

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No, I’m not saying this after watching Baahubali. But, I came across some brilliant pieces like Vishwaroopam, Bombay, OK Kanmani etc. which were absolutely beautiful. Apart from the films, I cannot get over all the songs which Bollywood rehashed and used in the Hindi films. They sound mesmerizing in the regional language.

 

And their culture…

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South Indian culture is one of the most vivid cultures in the world. From the gorgeous Kanjivaram Sarees to colourful lungis with batik patterns, everything exudes grace and love. South Indian weddings are my favourite. The early morning rituals and the bride’s attire has totally won me over. And, you all know the obsession with the gold jewelry, and it just adds to the charm.

 

The languages always intrigued me…

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Like most of the people, I was extremely ignorant of the different languages present in South India. But, did you know that among the 6 classical languages in India, 4 are from the South? Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu. To a novice from North India, all of them sounded like each other. But, when I got to know about the origin of each one of them, it just became extremely intriguing.

 

Carnatic music is blissfully soul-stirring…

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I am a big music buff, and Carnatic music is without a doubt, one of the best things I have heard in my life. M. S. Subbulakshmi is my favourite, but if you venture out to music by Nithyasree Mahadevan, K. J. Yesudas, and other brilliant artists, you are only going to fall in love deeper.

 

I fell in love with the natural beauty…

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There’s a reason why 9 out of 32 UNESCO World Heritage sites in India are in South India. But, the beauty doesn’t limit itself to heritage. Apart from being home to the largest biodiversity in India, South India is home to beautiful places like Alleppey, Hampi, Kovalam, Munnar, Coorg, Ooty…the list is endless.

 

And, South Indian men are the most interesting men I have come across.

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Now, this might be extrapolating because it’s purely based on the number of men I have met but I’d be lying if I say that they didn’t surprise me. Yes, a different perspective on life and politics is always a plus, but the way they have been brought up has somehow made them very sure of what they are doing. Even if they are confused, they know how confused they are. They are more self-aware. Now, these are just the qualities that happen to be in almost all the South Indian men I have met, and I won’t deny that I find them attractive!

I know that there is so much more to the South than what I have mentioned here. But, this has been my experience so far. It’s strange how I spent a big part of my life without knowing anything about these cultures and how they have become so close to my heart.

But, there is so much yet to explore. 🙂

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