Mallus or Malayalis, the natives of Kerala, the Southern state of India are historically known to leave homeland in search of greener pastures. Many a jokes surround this nature, like; any airplane accident anywhere in the world will have a mallu victim also! and the like. There are multiple reasons and debatable opinions about the fact that Keralites leave the state for other places in India and abroad.
- There’s hardly any development in the state.
- No Industries, No jobs.
- Communism will not let anything grow in the state.
- 100% literacy? (Well, Most good things have a dark side as well)
Not opening up debates on any of the above topics, and leaving those to the learned majority, the point I want to drive across is the addition of one more major Indian city, Hyderabad to which mallus have started migrating and it’s indicators. Though a South Indian city, Hyderabad was never much in the list of wannabe places till the latter half of first decade of the 21st century, largely because that was when Hyderabad also started getting into the list of big cities and industries started getting set up. Till then Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi and somehow Gujarat was also among the major places where we migrated to, apart from Persia & Amerikaa.
The increase in traffic between Hyderabad and Kerala can be best understood by observing the evolution of modes of transportation. While I am unsure about the exact dates, prior to the Sabari Express, there was no direct train from Hyderabad to any of the cities in Kerala. Passengers had to travel from Kerala to Chennai and then change trains at Chennai to come to Hyderabad. Though Sabari still takes a long 30 hours and roundaobout route, still is a blessing for many to avoid train changes and even longer hours.
Flights too were not direct (via Chennai again) to start with and bring on the explosive domestic aviation phase, Hyderabad is now connected directly to Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode. Three International airports in a state running a length of ~600kms should also talk a bit about the amount of air traffic. Multiple airlines including Indigo, Spicejet and Jet airways fly directly to one or more of these cities and if one has some advance time to book or if season is lean, can cut a great bargain with tickets around 3K for a 1.15 hrs. flight.
With India shining and more and more toll roads along the length and breadth of the country and Volvo B9R i-Shift multi axles on the roads, around 2010-2011, buses came as the latest addition. Started with Hyderabad-Kochi (~1100 kms by road), now there are atleast 3 services, Kallada, Kesineni and K.P.N connecting Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi and the other cities through which they pass to Hyderabad. The bus journey takes around 18-19 hours with just one dinner stop in between. Buses from Thiruvananthapuram takes a route through Nagerkoil, where as the ones from Kochi goes northbound via Coimbatore, Salem, Krishnagiri, Anantapur, Kurnool and Hyderabad. While it can be a bit tiring and might take a day to recover, it’s standard priced and tickets are mostly available even on short notice.
The reverse flow is also not too bad, but not much for work/settling. Andhrites travel to Kerala, primarily to visit Lord Ayyappa of Sabarimala and offlate to see the hot tourist locations in God’s own country!
With better connectivity and more opportunities, Hyderabad too has got into the list of places where mallus can quickly reach and hence many more choose to settle down in Hyderabd. Yet another indicator can be increasing number of restaurants serving Kerala cuisine and more so in the developing areas of the city, probably material for another post. 🙂