Parvathy Omanakuttan: Mallu Mol Just Misses Miss World

Parvathy is pretty.JPG Kerala’s, I mean India’s Parvathy Omanakuttan was almost Miss World 2008; in the end, however, it was Russia’s glamazon who won the crown. Just another instance of a brown girl being passed over in favor of some blue-eyed blonde…KIDDING. Sort of. ;) Here is her biodata, I mean, bio (thanks, nik and mithua):

Parvathy, hailing from Kottayam, grew up in Mumbai. Having graduated in Arts, she has studied Sociology, Psychology & English Literature.
Parvathy’s ambition is to further her studies in Psychology to learn more about human behaviour in depth…The lanky beauty is an ardent sports fan with a special interest in basketball, badminton and swimming.
She has a special talent for whistling. She likes listening to music, singing, reading, glass painting, acting, modelling, dancing (varying from local dances to ballroom and Latin dances) and learning new languages.[zee]

I have to ask, why is whistling important? Apart from being extra-able to hail a cab, re-enact the “Whistle while you work” scene from Snow White or tell some hottie that he or she is foine–in a rather inappropriate way–what is it good for? Never mind , I answered my own question with that list.

Parvathy is also very fond of a beautiful quote by former President APJ Abdul Kalam ‘Dreams are not what you see in your sleep, but dreams are that, which do not allow you to sleep’, hence her motto in life is ‘Dream with your eyes open’. [zee]

She might be fond of that dreamy quote, but I’m fond of the fact that she’s athletic. We at SM love us some sporty brown girls.

Speaking of those of us at SM, feast your eyes on this inter-bunker haterade Ennis sent to me, via G-chat:

4:30 PM Ennis: everybody knows mallu chicks are too short to win a pageant ;)

For your information, HATER, she is either 5’8 or 5’9; I’ve seen both heights listed in the 20+ articles I trudged through for this post (which were all filled with the same lame quotes). Either way, she’s tall enough. Oh, when will the North-South hate end? When, I ask? When? ;)

Reading the following made me smile with recognition:

Prior to witnessing the event on TV, close family members visited a few temples to offer prayers for Parvathy’s success.
Those present couldn’t contain their joy when Parvathy’s name was announced in the five semi finalists.
Then followed tense moments as they waited for the winner to be announced, and when the news came that she was the first runner up, not everyone was happy.

“Anyway, we are happy that she came second. If she had not won anything then it would have been bad. We are happy with what she has won,” Shantakumari said. [Hindu]

Shantakumari is Parvathy’s grandmother, and she wasn’t the only one who had great expectations for her grandchild:

“I’ll try my best to make every Indian all over the world proud,” Parvathy Omanakkuttan had said two days prior to the Miss World 2008 beauty pageant at Johannesburg. [express]

We’re very proud of you, penne. No need for the gnashing of teeth and bitter agonizing over what could have been:

“I have performed better than others in the personality and question-answer round. This is not just. All those who watched it yesterday felt like that. I feel the jury’s decision was unfair”, Parvathy told India Vision channel on Sunday.
“I had confidence. I could do well. The question-round did not come as a challenge to me considering my background in literature,” Parvathy, who hails from Kottayam in Kerala, said. [NDTV]

She reminds me of one of my cousins in Kerala, a pedantess who once apologized to my Aunt and Uncle for getting a 98 on a test, while simultaneously insisting that the grade was unfair. My father proudly related this anecdote about perfectionism to me, to inspire me to emulate such fastidiousness. I responded, “I ain’t the one“. I then received a lecture on how “ain’t” was a word, but that’s a tangent to be abused on a future post.

Miss World is the original and most popular beauty pageant in the world, which was launched in 1951. Each year young women from every country compete to go through rounds such as the Most Beautiful Smile, the Swimsuit round, Miss Talented and the Question & Answer round, etc, and judges select the contestant who has the winning combination of beauty, glamour, poise and intelligence. [Zee]

Well, I learned something new. I didn’t know that the Miss World pageant is more popular than Miss Universe. I also didn’t know that first runner-up was such a bad thing. I’m lying. I’m Desi. I totally know that.

137 thoughts on “Parvathy Omanakuttan: Mallu Mol Just Misses Miss World

  1. “thats because shes a hit in Tamil and Telugu. and now she’s made it to bollywood (the BEST) :]”

    Asin’s first movie was in malayalam and malayalees did not even know her name.

  2. 101 · Dash said

    Asin’s first movie was in malayalam and malayalees did not even know her name.

    well, dash, sweetie, it was after all her first movie. and the only hotties i saw in cochin were the backpackers in the old town. maybe i should start scoping out college areas, but it’s not good form to encroach on local territory, no? :) i think travel should be like shabbat: as far as possible cede control over the environment; don’t change anything except that which is changing through processes already in motion.

    (i hope the analogy isn’t too broken!)

  3. portmanteau – the delicious, said:

    just lots of nice ladies on the highway serving us refreshing juice in night-wear.

    Dancing in the rain were they? And what did Kerala smell like?

    And lookey! “ack” is back! ak, said:

    salmon, you should start a school/centre for this, because although there is more to life than being really really ridiculously good-looking, people might have the desire to read and do other things good as well ;)

    Girl, tell us all about the really really ridiculously good-looking life and where the hell it’s been.

  4. 96, Portmateau, how dare you dismiss our state costume as night-wear? We may call it ‘nightie’, but it is very much meant to be worn during the day and in public. Would you have preferred its immediate predecessor, mundu (lungi) sans the neriyathu (duppatta), and the one before that, mundu sans the blouse? At least with those, Melbourne Desi would not have had any trouble judging whether somebody is like the NH47 or the KK Road during the rains with its mounds and peaks, or whatever :-)

  5. 105, Wellsaid, I am a Mallu Christian myself, but haven’t laughed as hard as that at anything else in the recent past. I, though, hope that you were joking comparing Melbourne Desi to that nutcase, or he will throw a ‘thrishool’ at you from down under for insulting him like that :-)

    Just to clarify… portmanteau,if you read it, I was only joking in # 104 …..

  6. I have met Padma lakhmi, and my first question to her was if she was malayalee. She said she was born in Kerala but was a Tamil Brahmin.

  7. bess, you over-estimate me – the really really good-looking life has evaded me in this lifetime.

    melbourne – i hope you find the one on the right path, with the right topography ;)

  8. 107 · dudetter said

    I have met Padma lakhmi, and my first question to her was if she was malayalee. She said she was born in Kerala but was a Tamil Brahmin.

    that was your first question?

  9. 103 · bess said

    <

    blockquote>portmanteau – the delicious, said:

    just lots of nice ladies on the highway serving us refreshing juice in night-wear.
    Dancing in the rain were they? And what did Kerala smell like?

    like, uh, wet, uh, earth! kerala and its gobi menjurian and its benana chips are delicious, probably many orders of magnitude more delicious than parvathy and even asin (sorry pretty kuttys!). also: hi ak :)

    keralite: if i could, i’d be hanging out in a teeny-brightly-printed cotton nightie all day!

  10. At least with those, Melbourne Desi would not have had any trouble judging whether somebody is like the NH47 or the KK Road during the rains with its mounds and peaks, or whatever :-)

    one has seen nighties and its contents for so long that even with those garments on one is able to identify a NH-47 although identifying other roads is a wee bit difficult.

    am afraid “melbourne desi” is a catholic fanatic who belongs to this religion http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEtnxaDB8Kw

    hilarious – was transported to a religious festival. as for fanatic the only thing i am a fanatic about these days is the Doggies ;)

  11. 96 · portmanteau said

    <

    blockquote>95 · Dash said

    Asin is an average malayalee girl
    just average? i guess the malyalees are god’s own people too. but seriously, i’ve traveled some over kerala, and i didn’t see any asins peeking at me from the between the banana fronds. just lots of nice ladies on the highway serving us refreshing juice in night-wear.

    Well, naturally. I wasn’t there when you were visiting :P

  12. Keralite 106, I don’t know, my friend. Perhaps “melbourne desi” is one among the listeners in that video. Personally, I would vote for that mallu xtian priest for a reputable seat in Vatican

  13. Melbourne>>”hilarious – was transported to a religious festival. as for fanatic the only thing i am a fanatic about these days is the Doggies ;)

    good then! the natives of this great nation might start appreciating you

  14. 29 · Maybe on December 14, 2008 11:16 PM · Direct link · “Quote”(?) no chance. No catholic would ever name a daughter Parvathy. Although, I know a Mallu Christian named Lakshmi

    ya right. Lakshmi Mary Abdullah?

  15. That was a strange video, comment 105. I normally don’t have any issues with understanding Malayalam, but I could barely grok what that guy was…shouting. It says it was a comedy? Is it fake/a clip from a TV show?

    I did, however, understand this comment left under the video, which is probably why my Mother lights candles for me weekly ;)

    who is this tomato avante ammede oru defanition marappatty kazuverdamon.

    Ah, dropping the K-bomb, just like my dad used to, when he was livid. Good times. :D

  16. 22 · melbourne desi said

    <

    blockquote>

    hmm.. is she catholic by any chance
    no chance. No catholic would ever name a daughter Parvathy.

    what if it is parvathy Pothan? then it becomes a christian name..aahh..doesn’t it? 90% of the kerala xtian names I know are fancied ignorantly from the prehistoric vocabulary of Sanskrit/Hebrew. I believe parvathy is a great name indeed. I disdain the comment above from “Melbourne” Nonetheless, I suggest clear and direct names like Maria Pathrose or Maria Andrew to be free from identity crisis. No abjection to anyone though

  17. 117 · wellsaid said

    90% of the kerala xtian names I know are fancied ignorantly from the prehistoric vocabulary of Sanskrit/Hebrew.

    Wrong. So, so very wrong. Just like this.

  18. 116 · A N N A said

    That was a strange video, comment 105. I normally don’t have any issues with understanding Malayalam, but I could barely grok what that guy was…shouting. It says it was a comedy? Is it fake/a clip from a TV show? I did, however, understand this comment left under the video, which is probably why my Mother lights candles for me weekly ;)
    who is this tomato avante ammede oru defanition marappatty kazuverdamon.
    Ah, dropping the K-bomb, just like my dad used to, when he was livid. Good times. :D

    why are people on the youtube board so offended? what’s going on?

  19. 116 · A N N A said

    It says it was a comedy? Is it fake/a clip from a TV show?

    I don’t think so. Apparently, it seems like the white n white man was marketing catholicism in a church or somewhere by bellyaching about native Indian traditions. Strange man; but I can’t say if it is normal or not since I haven’t been to any religious buildings or speeches.

  20. 118 · A N N A said

    <

    blockquote>117 ·

    Wrong. So, so very wrong. Just like this.

    Oh yeah? google “lakshmi mathew”. You should rather believe in reality than a list created by some person in Mars. Are you the moderator of that site?

  21. 121 · wellsaid said

    You should rather believe in reality than a list created by some person in Mars. Are you the moderator of that site?

    Yes, I am the “moderator” of my blog. Thank you for being so civil about that AND for not detecting humor with my “wrong” pun.

    I DO know far more people with names like the ones I collected* than an appellation like Lakshmi Mathew. I DO NOT know that this conversation is worth continuing.

    I copied those names (on a whim) from a group of Malayalees on Friendster in 2003–that’s when I wrote that post for my original blog. I still get emails about that list, and not one resembles your comment; most share a similar sort of amusement or express humor about the naming choices of Malayalee parents. Revisit that list if you dare, and *then tell me again that I’m from Mars. I didn’t name my kid Q-mol or Mimble.

  22. Yes, I am the “moderator” of my blog. Thank you for being so civil about that AND for not detecting humor with my “wrong” pun. I DO know far more people with names like the ones I collected* than an appellation like Lakshmi Mathew. I DO NOT know that this conversation is worth continuing

    well, you got too serious and almost killed me, dudette. A moderator of the site doesn’t necessarily mean they manage the content as well. Honestly, I didn’t even have the slightest clue that you manage that site. Its a good attempt towards my dream as well. I wish all the kerala xtian parents referred/refer your site. enjoy!

  23. Let me just clarify some about the video in #105.

    It doesn’t look fake. The man is a Pentecostal preacher and not a catholic priest as ‘wellsaid’ seems to think. He is picking apart the Indian tricolor to prove his point about the superiority of Christianity. According to him, saffron depicts violence (Hindu), green is new money (also Muslim) and the middle one, the pure white is Christian. Ashoka chakram which symbolizes courage and the state of a (no) shoka (sorrow)is in the white. So to be free from sorrow, ‘vellayodu cheranam’ (join the white).

    Ignorant, crazy man. You can see that even the women sitting there are kind of laughing at him, when he started spewing that vitriol. I, like most Keralite Christians, strongly condemn (not condone :-) that kind of hatemongering. He is not representative of Mallu Christians at all.

    Reg. Mallu Christian names. Lighten up, ‘wellsaid’, and watch this movie clip about Cherian Nair, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrrJyCtRf1g, if you understand Malayalam. My first name is Sanskrit, I don’t think my parents named me that out of ‘fancied ignorance’ as you seem to think. If I remember correctly, Anna’s nick name is Latha, which is also Sanskrit, and I don’t think her parents would have named her in ‘fancied ignorance’, either.

  24. 90% of malayalee Christian aunts have names like Mariamma,Achamma,Chinnamma,Thankamma,Susamma,Ponnamma ,Kunjamma and hindu aunts have names like Pankajakshi,Padmakshi,Bhargavi,Narayani,Kamalamma,Chellamma,Dashayani,Kalyani

    Christan Ungles have names like Kunjachen,Thankachen,Ittichen,Vakkachan,Thomachen etc and Hindu ungles have names like Chellappan,Thankappan,Ponnappan,Kunjappan ,Ayyappan etc

  25. Lighten up, ‘wellsaid’

    Well explained, keralite! but then you are contradicting with what ANNA explained to me. I hold your point that majority of kerala xtians have names that she missed in her list. However, this is what her point is “I DO know far more people with names like the ones I collected* than an appellation like Lakshmi Mathew”. I totally disagree eventhough that is what i would like to see. Its not just with xtian names; I am also not a fan of names like Paulose Menon or Abdul Namboothiri …blah blah. I hope you get my point. You should be knowing from your own real life experience which community follows this the most. Why confuse people when you have a wonderful ocean of proper names out there?

  26. Regarding comment 118 from Anna. At least one of those names you’ve listed in that linked post of yours is of Sanskrit origin and has a meaning, and is also a name of the Goddess Parvathy as recited in the lalitha sahasranamam. And the reason I know this is because it’s my name and I have parents who wouldn’t dream of a name without some significant meaning. I don’t know enough about the other names on your list to tell whether they have meaning or are just made up. But overall, I find that list to be judgemental and a trifle uninformed.

  27. 125 · Dash said

    90% of malayalee Christian aunts have names like Mariamma,Achamma,Chinnamma,Thankamma,Susamma,Ponnamma ,Kunjamma and hindu aunts have names like Pankajakshi,Padmakshi,Bhargavi,Narayani,Kamalamma,Chellamma,Dashayani,Kalyani Christan Ungles have names like Kunjachen,Thankachen,Ittichen,Vakkachan,Thomachen etc and Hindu ungles have names like Chellappan,Thankappan,Ponnappan,Kunjappan ,Ayyappan etc

    what about the kids of these uncles and aunts? same kind of names?

  28. SM on December 17, 2008 10:08 PM · Direct link · “Quote”(?) Regarding comment 118 from Anna. At least one of those names you’ve listed in that linked post of yours is of Sanskrit origin

    I have to agree after clearly looking at that list. Anna did a very good job but I don’t think she did a research to dig the origin or meaning of those names. Perhaps there is non sanskrit meanings to all but I am pretty vacuous. Some kerala christian people might be able to help for telling us the meanings

  29. “what about the kids of these uncles and aunts? same kind of names?”

    Their kids have pet names like Ammu,Chakky,Appu,Kuttan,Unni,Paaru,Kittu,Monu,Molu

  30. 109 · portmanteau said

    107 · dudetter said
    I have met Padma lakhmi, and my first question to her was if she was malayalee. She said she was born in Kerala but was a Tamil Brahmin.
    *that* was your first question?

    Sorry, straight female here.

  31. 130 · Dash on December 17, 2008 10:33 PM · Direct link · “Quote”(?) “what about the kids of these uncles and aunts? same kind of names?”

    Their kids have pet names like Ammu,Chakky,Appu,Kuttan,Unni,Paaru,Kittu,Monu,Molu

    Ahhhh, I see. Indeed all of them are great names. Thank you,Dash for the effort

  32. 131 · dudetter said

    109 · portmanteau said
    107 · dudetter said
    I have met Padma lakhmi, and my first question to her was if she was malayalee. She said she was born in Kerala but was a Tamil Brahmin.
    *that* was your first question? Sorry, straight female here.

    so am i, but come on! i prob. would have asked her whether she really was high on all those episodes of top chef (and that when i told my mother about this possibility, she somehow forgave her weird dialogue delivery and didn’t even comment on the morality of this habit ;) ). also, i would have quizzed her on where buys her jewelry…

  33. Yes, there seems to be generational shifts in Malayalees’ naming practices, both among Hindus and Christians (Muslims are less subject to these fads, I think). The Kalyani, Dakhsayani, Annamma, Mariamma’s kids born from the 60′s to the 80′s mostly seem to have two letter (in Malayalam) names – some Sanskrit based and with meaning like Latha, Geetha, Smitha etc., and others without meaning like Aji (if it is a short form of Ajith, is Sanskrit based and has meaning), Biji, Ciji, Diji, Eji, Fiji etc. While the former set is pretty much equally common among both Mallu Hindus and Christians, the latter set is more prevalent among Christians, though not that rare among Hindus. The trend again seems to have changed by the late 80′s with multisyllabic and religion based names coming up more often.

  34. Wowza! She’s from Kottayam? Thats my mom’s hometown. Has she been on the cover of Vanitha yet? :P

  35. While the former set is pretty much equally common among both Mallu Hindus and Christians, the latter set is more prevalent among Christians, though not that rare among Hindus. The trend again seems to have changed by the late 80′s with multisyllabic and religion based names coming up more often

    That was terrific. Please explain to Anna about her comment 122. She thinks I insulted her website but that was not my intention. Enjoy your day!

  36. I think it’s time to close this thread, since we’re well past the point of the post, which was Parvathy Omanakuttan almost becoming Miss World.