Editorial: The Karela Story

Editorial: The Karela Story

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Tuesday, April 09, 2024, 08:36 PM IST
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Karela: It's good for health! | freepik

In the ongoing saga of linguistic mispronunciations, Keralites lament the average North Indian’s inability to articulate their state's name properly. They say that only those who can pronounce Pazham (fruit) properly can master the spoken Malayalam. Apparently, even in the written form, it often morphs into "Karela," a term more familiar to them as a vegetable rather than a geographical entity. Legend has it that even the illustrious Birbal, famed for mastering all major Indian languages under threat of death, struggled with Malayalam. Resorting to an unconventional method involving pebbles in a brass jar, he dubbed the resulting sound as Malayalam, thereby evading the gallows through royal sympathy. The vexing conundrum of Kerala seems to have infiltrated political circles, with the ruling BJP purportedly endorsing a cinematic venture titled The Kerala Story. While it could have passed as fiction, the director's assertion of its authenticity prompted a statewide outcry, branding it as calumny.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a moment of metaphorical flourish, likened the Congress to the bitter gourd (karela) during a rally in Maharashtra. He quipped that even after myriad culinary attempts, the vegetable refuses to shed its bitterness, akin to the enduring characteristics of his political rival. Yet, behind this culinary analogy lies a profound truth — the bitter gourd, renowned for its medicinal virtues and diabetes-preventing properties, mirrors the Congress's enduring relevance in the political landscape. Indeed, if sweetness alone was sought after, sugarcane would reign supreme. However, the perils of excess sugar consumption, leading to diabetes, called a silent killer, underscore the importance of balance and moderation. In inadvertently extolling the virtues of karela, Modi inadvertently highlights the enduring relevance of the Indian National Congress, much to the chagrin of political pundits and vegetable enthusiasts alike.

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