Wait! Before you call your lawyer to sue me for libel; I am not talking about your er…character or qualities! Nor am I making war on the inhabitants of Mallu Pradesh! ‘Fraud Mallu’ for your information is an Orkut community of Mallus, for Mallus and by Mallus, only you need to be a pardesi mallu or Marunadan mallu as they say in Malayalam.
In other words if you speak good Malayalam, sorry you aren’t an FM, you are a RM or a PM (real Mallu or pure mallu) and you don’t qualify. But in case your Malayalam is pathetic and mallu grannies look at you with sympathy oozing from their sensibilities, welcome “aliya” (means brother-in-law literally, but here the call is for ladies too) you are in. And please don’t take the literal meaning of Fraud here, it is just an evidence of the evergreen sense of humor of the Mallu, in laughing at themselves that allows this title to survive. Which other ethnic group would have allowed the MTV ‘Lolakutty’ to go on and on?
Ok, now don’t tell me there are hundreds of such communities on the Orkut and why do you want to tell us about this one in particular. There are too many of them mallus around anyway, legend says even Neil Armstrong was greeted by a mallu making tea on the moon, we have them literally infesting software land as well as any possible profession (yeah even on Techgoss)
FM is a community that has earned grudging respect from other communities for its 8000+ strong and growing membership and perfect disciplined and clean entertainment which is essentially Keralite. It is also one of the most active of Orkut communities. And look at their logo; it is the ubiquitous goggles on the classic Kathakali mask! What could be a better blend, and a better symbol?
Philip and Aju, two FMs, had some fun creating this community on an April day in 2004, and the vehicle has never slowed down. In fact its popularity irritated many a Pure Mallu and the Orkut was asked several times to close down the community. But they have never given Orkut a reason for this drastic step and continue to pull in more members.
Yes, Mallus make the greatest trade unions, but they are the biggest HR people too, yethu? (This only means ‘eh, what?’). Nowadays they have gone beyond the call of virtual friendships and holds city meetings of members. There have even been love stories but with good endings, as a result of these meetings. And there is only one moderator for these 8000 odd members, the one and only Philip.
Post Script: A mallu and staying in one group for long? Never, they always split and make more unions. I found this alternative Fraud Mallu community on Orkut and a number of communities with similar names and just double digit memberships… but the first-born FM continues to rule the roost with 8105 members and growing by the minute.
Techgoss spoke to Nishanth Radhakrishnan, who is one of the most active persons on the Fraud Mallu community on Orkut. Nishanth is an alumnus of IIT-Madras and an aerospace scientist.
Techgoss (TG): How did an IIT guy get involved in FM, what were the initial experiences?
Nishanth Radhakrishnan (NR): The internet & personal computers were slowly making their presence felt at the hostels at IIT Madras. A friend (on FM) told me about Orkut. I joined in order to keep track of my school mates from Dubai. I came across Fraud Mallu in his related communities list & joined. The community was started by Aju on April 20th, 2004. I joined early 2005. This year, we complete 5 years, with strength of 8000 members. Fraud Mallu was an identity I could connect to instantly – I can only speak Malayalam, I visit Kerala rarely & the likes. Initially the community members were involved in discussions enabling the members to connect to this identity. The community was more or less a fan place to hang out on cyber space.
TG: What percentage of the members do you think are from the IT, KPO, BPO and telecom industries?
NR: Off the active members (i.e. 150 odd), nearly 20 % or so. The community has a good number of biologists.
TG: How much time do you spend for FM daily? What is the sort of interaction you share?
NR: I spend close to an hour or 2 daily on Fraud Mallu. It is now, very much part & parcel of my life. And it is the same for a good number of the active members. Our community has a big proportion of active members turn into real friends. I am part of, what is a big extended family now. I have also met most of the active members in Chennai & Bangalore, in person. We share great camaraderie. Members have been known to reach cities apart from where they normally reside to attend the meets; there have been meets held at residences of FMers, at cinema halls, restaurants and other public places.
TG: Any bitter experiences?
NR: Yes, one & only one. My ego got in the way & I bad mouthed a fellow member Feeba. Aju the owner had no choice, but to ban me. Joined back into FM with another profile of mine. Later Feeba & I got to know each other better outside of Orkut & we remain good friends till date.
TG: Can you quote any occasion where someone had a really beneficial experience of association with FM?
NR: Yes, Feeba & Alex found each other thanks to FM. Alex & Feeba met each other through FM a couple of years back, got to know each other in Australia (live there) & got married in Kerala last year. There are other couples too, but don’t have details as such.
Yes, we have happy stories too.
TG: What is the spread of membership? Can you mention any unique/unusual locations?
NR: People from India, US, UK, Australia, Singapore and the Middle East post in the community. We have had meets in India (Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad), US, Dubai & Sydney. No, cannot think of any unique/unusual location of a member. For humor’s sake, a friend & member has given her location as Isle Of Men.
TG: Anything else you want to tell us about FM?
NR: “Fraud Mallu” is not a South Indian Orkut community; for starters: its premise is meeting ground of Keralites who cannot speak Malayalam well by virtue of them being brought up outside Kerala, which does not stop folks with varying degrees of comfort-levels with Malayalam and idea of Kerala coming about the place.
While one would think that such a place is usually like any-other community based on geographic ties would lead to similar roots-finding and pet-grouses of being an Other in a community, Fraud Mallu actually celebrates the fact that there are people who can be called Mallus ;albeit with some stretch of imagination. The threads don’t necessarily (and usually) deal with the Mallu way of life: rather they can be really off-beat from the way of life anywhere on earth.
The secret to the community’s activity lies in no game threads & the freedom members have to comment on intelligent, engaging topics. Any and every topic under the sun is scrutinized, thus catering to various tastes of members in the community. We have threads that have a very Fraud Mallu essence to it, like Zimblyyy Anything, Toddy Shop, Path to Moksha – Guru Vijusayana, How Fraud Are You, Frustration Thread, Listening To, The Movie You Have Last Seen, Discussion on Current Affairs, Miss/ Mr. FM & the Meet Threads.
Techgoss note: In case you are an FM, visit and see for yourself what happens there. www.orkut.co.in/Main?uid=4591578458833351020#Community.aspx?cmm=43871