We all know that the answer to the ultimate question is 42. But if you are a Malayali (Mallu for short) this answer will not be enough. Because unlike the ‘general’ ultimate question, the ultimate Mallu question is known and has been haunting Malayalis for years of their waking lives, night and day, while drunk and sober (if there is something like that). People have searched for the answer from the deserts of the ‘Gelf’ to the pubs of Bangloor, in the shaaps of Palakkad, potholes of NH-47 and Thampanoor bus stand. Even the drinking problem prevalent in Kerala is said to be attributed to people getting depressed unable to find an answer to this question, ultimately turning to alcohol. Will there be an answer that will finally lay to rest all of this? Will that too be a number?
Yes! It all ends today. Finally, thanks to the all-answer-providing Google, the answer is nigh! Yes, the ultimate Mallu answer iiisss: *drumroll*
And well, the ultimate question about Mallu Life, Universe and Mallu Everything is:
How many kilometers from Washington, D.C., to Miami Beach??
Still doubting, O Thomas? Check it out, yo!
You now have your answer. You may go in peace. And don’t forget the beer.
This question was first asked during an epic showdown between American pompous stupidity and Indian cunning stupidity. And like all important questions, these question also arose over a woman. Ever since, this question had been deeply engraved in the Malayali psyche, causing them to turn to Communism for answers.
(Shambhu (Mohanlal) a simpleton but cunning driver and M.A.Dhavan – Madhavan (Srinivasan) a pompous US return vie for Shobha (Lizzy). Shambhu poses as the US return and says Madhavan is the actual driver. He tries to win over Shobha’s egoistic and at the same time stupid dad (Jagathy) using his hilariously shortcoming version of ‘English’, which convinces Jagathy that Shambhu is the real US return.)
Oh and the very cult answer to the question as provided in the movie:
I am the answer! Kilometres and kilometres! In these days of degenerating decency of Miami beach to Washington DC when diplomacy and duplicity become interchangeable from complicated America to America!!!”
Other facts that have come out of this epic showdown:
- There is no place that does not have a junction. Even America. (American junction)
- In America, English doesn’t have grammar.
Arguably the most loved comedy sequence from any Malayalam movie, this piece from ‘Mazha Peyyunnu Maddalam Kottunnu’ has become an epic, cult, figure of speech and has passed into the realm of immortality as something that will be remembered and laughed at for ever. And of course it is my favorite comedy scene ever. Unlike contemporary humor which is often mundane, graphic, over the top, forced and sometimes vulgar, this is raw even senseless slapstick and down to earth tomfoolery, which is why it is remembered to such an extent even today, that phrases from the movie have entered into everyday usage of Malayalees.
They don’t make movies like these anymore. Srinivasan!
P.S. In case you ask what is so important about all this, I would say: “Just for Horror!” :P
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