There are stark differences in the way road traffic at MP and Kerala works.
Compared to cities in Kerala like Kochi, cities of MP like Bhopal has lesser traffic blocks owing to the dedicated tracks for public vehicles and properly designed roads.
All buses, whether private owned public transport buses or the government buses, run at defined time intervals in Kerala. This means a particular bus will have to be there at a specified time at a particular stop. In MP, it is altogether a different scenario. The private buses there can run at any route at any time and that too with no name boards. And they drive as if the road is their personal property (same with many KSRTC buses).
Well, those Keralites who are still repeating your ‘H’ and ‘8’, you are welcome to MP. Here, you can get a driving licence without a proper test through ‘standardised’ bribes. And the bribes are way lesser than the actual test fee in Kerala. Well you have to pay the price for the easy licence by being extra cautious on roads for the drivers with little knowledge of traffic laws.
Dogs can just come out of anywhere onto a road in Kerala and can cause even an accident worth the life of the confused bike rider. Well, in MP, dogs are fewer, though there are cows. Unlike dogs, they rarely jump onto the road. They just stay there on the middle of the road….for hours.
2. Politics (In daily life)
In MP, politics of the state rarely interferes with your daily life. On the other hand, in Kerala, you can feel the presence of the ruling and opposing parties, at least through the Harthals.
Telling about the Harthals, they are surprise holidays for a school student, cultural fest for a college student and the worst time of the year for a traveller.
And you will seriously miss Che Guevara once you are out of Kerala. As someone mentioned, there are more pictures of Che on the road sides of Kerala than those of Gandhiji.
3. Cultural Factors
Well, almost all Keralites consider traditional dresses as super cool. Mund(dhoti), kerala saree, thattam are just so perfect. And, a thick moustache is a MUST for every malayali. And the notion that Keralites are conservative is absolutely true for most of them. Note: There are no freakers/popzeins/smokies/chunks/broiis in MP (Please search FB for more info) MPites have a varied opinion amongst themselves regarding dressing style. Many youngsters prefer western clothes to Indian. One strange thing (strange since I didn’t know before) about Bhopali women is their practice of covering their face almost completely when on road at any time of day or night.
Keralite parents are so caring about their child’s education that they will go through any hardship to educate their child (And they will seriously make their child study even if it requires beating). I don’t know much about the Islamic rules, but Muslim women of Kerala are much more educated than those of MP. Of the 15-20 Muslim students of our medical college, almost all of them are from Kerala.
In my first year at college, while looking outside from my room, I saw a guy on a horse with people dancing around him. I wondered what it was and went out to call all of my friends. Well, it was no surprise for them. It was just a Baraath (idk how it is written). Ya, marriages of MP are much more grand than any kind of marriage in Kerala. They just dance and sing and celebrate it well. In Kerala, the traditional marriages of the three main religions start with the religious prayers and end with a good feast and finally a photo-shoot (Conservative!!!).
Obviously, keralites speak Malayalam and MPites speak Hindi. Well, differences are here too. Although malayalam and hindi have similar alphabets, Keralites are a bit lazy in pronouncing them properly. Instead of ka,kha.ga,gha Keralites prefer to tell ka,ka,ga,ga and so on. So MPites may feel weird when Keralites speak things wrong with no concern at all.(gaana gaao instead of khana khavo). Even English is terribly different. ‘Gelf’,’umberla’,’omelettu’ for Keralites and I-run-man(Ironman), estyle(style), esmile(smile) for MPites.
Gutka, pan, supari are common among most people of MP. They prefer tobacco to alcohol which is just the opposite in Kerala (except for Muslims). Since many chewable tobacco products are banned in Kerala, you won’t find coloured spits everywhere unlike in MP. Owing to lack of public toilets, seeing a man peeing on to a coconut tree is just so common in Kerala. In MP there is a bigger problem of less access to toilets by poor people which keep the footpaths dirty (The government is doing a lot to change this situation. Near my college almost every bus stop has a public toilet on the side.)
Kerala: Football Cricket Volleyball
MP: Cricket Cricket Cricket
5. Food Habits
Most of Keralites are non-vegetarians unlike those of MP. Non vegetarians will have to suffer a lot of cruel stares by the people in MP who are angry at your cruelty to animals. The statement which appeared recently appeared in FB that Kerala is the most beef friendly state is true for most parts of Kerala.(People of all religions consume beef)
MP has a variety of exotic sweets to which the sweets of kerala can never match.
“Good food not only fills your stomach and satisfies your hunger, but also fills your mind with happiness”-Ustad Hotel (2012 Malayalam Film). In that case, Sadya of Kerala is just the perfect meal.
Most people of Kerala eat using their hand whether it be rice, idli or chicken. MPites prefer spoon.
For most people ghar ka khana (home made food) is the best, but eventually many adjust to newer tastes. Unlike the solid food items, people of MP hate the drinks of Kerala and vice versa and find it very difficult to adjust.
The common fruits like chambakka (water apple), passion fruit, muttapazham, karaka (NewZealand Laurel), lubika (Indian plum) are less available in MP (Bhopal to be precise). There are a variety of Bananas found in Kerala unlike the single one found in MP (May be I have explored less). And one surprising thing is that people of MP don’t use jackfruit as a fruit. Rather they use it as a vegetable.
Note: MP people prefer RO filtered water to clear looking water to boiled water.
Alcohol. Yeah.. they can’t beat keralites. From marriage to death anniversary one thing that remains common is alcohol.
Good guy in Kerala: May drink alcohol, but will never lose control
Good guy in MP: Never drink.
And Keralites have a special talent in making wine out of anything, especially during Christmas. And drinking wine is considered normal in many places of Kerala (except Muslims). I seriously don’t remember the age when I first drank wine.
Note: I lived for 18 years in a village in kerala and for 3 years at Bhopal. The differences between life in a village and city may reflect in this article.