The ‘zh’ factor


“Cosy – code” (Kozhikode) reported another Covid 19 case” said the newsreader with a flourish! and take it from me; all of the Malayalam speaking population rolled their eyes heavenwards!

They often carry out my zh test to check my proselitysation. The zh , it so happened is a substitute for the r sound which differs totally from the r sound English gives you! Forget Hindi and Sanskrit! Its altogether a new consonant in Malayalam.For my kind of naturalized citizen of Gods Own Country, it came off with recurrent practice.So how to manage this feat? With your mouth full of water, try saying out loud the English “R” sound, what comes out is a sophisticated r’, wrapped in a water muffler, rolling from behind the tongue, hitting the roof of the mouth and sliding out …( simply put – it is Korikode, Alapura and so on… with the rolling ‘rrr‘ refusing to stop) The little Missy at the  call center up north has been tying herself in knots  reading my new address to me … Va- vaz- vazhu- tha- caud ( Vazhuthacaud)… n mind you-‘ caud’ becomes kyad!

But, the beauty of it all!😁  my native north indian tongue got to learn the roll! So it’s
mazha  for rain
pazhamm for a banana
kozhi for chicken
n kuzhi for a pothole!!🤷 So yours truly passed the test!

6 thoughts on “The ‘zh’ factor

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