The latest super-hit Malayalam film is named after Bangalore. It is called Bangalore Days. The migration of the film’s protagonists to the city forms the film’s context . Though the film is not about the city, Bangalore is a metaphor to an aspirational urban life for youth from Kerala in the film.
Bangalore is estimated to house around 10 lakh Keralites, many of whom are second generation migrants. Mento Isac, president of Bengaluru Malayalee Cultural Association, said that there has been a substantial increase in the number of Malayalees migrating to the city in the recent years and that the trend is set to continue. What connects Keralites to the city?
Anjali Menon, who made Bangalore Days, said that Bangalore has always been associated with a liberal, aspirational lifestyle in her home state, which does not have much scope back home.
She said that the Information Technology (IT) boom coupled with Bangalore being an educational hub has turned the city to a sort of “dream destination” that most Keralite youth chase. Another Malayalam film-maker based in the city Salil Lal put it thus: “Bangalore is the nearest New York for Malayalees.” Bangalore is the “most happening city” in terms of not just technology and jobs but also in arts, and an urbane culture; the way New York has always had a special place in American life, Bangalore has for Malayalees, Mr. Salil Lal, who has directed a film on the Carlton Tower fire tragedy, added.
Arjun Sundaresan, an information technology professional, who came to the city three years ago, said that it was the anonymity here he enjoyed the mostBut the migration of Keralites is not a recent phenomenon. The public sector units here have had many Keralites working in the early 1950s. Ms. Menon says that Bangalore was being seen as an ideal urban space for decades now. She said that her memories of the city dates back to 15 years before. “The city was a lot calmer then and has mutated now for good and bad. But the dream of Bangalore lives on in the minds of our youth , which I have tried to capture on screen,” she said.