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The other day, I heard the neighborhood cat meowing with great urgency:
Maavu! Maavu! Maavu! (That’s how it sounded to me!)
Being the helpful and neighborly person that I am, I politely enquired:
Dosa maavu or appam maavu, which one do you need? I have both.

If you haven’t got the joke, which you couldn’t have unless you know Malayalam, maavu means cooking batter in the language.

Some of my friends on Facebook found it hilarious, giving rise to some more ‘maavu’ jokes. A friend of a friend was of the opinion that cats from communist Kerala (We have an ‘elected’ communist government here now) don’t go Maavu! but ‘Mao! Mao!’ I found that funny. Here’s a future scenario involving said cat.

Cat: Mao! Mao!
Me: Zedong? He’s long gone, Cat. Plus, you are not in China.

A friend said maavu was mango in Kannada. My response:

Cat: Maavu! Maavu!
Me: Ripe or raw?

That reminds me, maavu also means mango tree in Malayalam. So the next time the cat comes around doing the maavu routine, I have something new up my sleeve.

Cat: Maavu! Maavu!
Me: (not to be outdone) Plaavu! Plaavu!

If maavu is mango tree, then plaavu is a jack-fruit tree. Gotcha there, cat! Looking forward to more fun interactions with the maavu-ing feline.

Does ‘maavu‘ or if you like, ‘myaavu‘ (though adding the y would spoil the Malayalam responses) mean anything in your language? Do you have a silly joke to add?

©Shail Mohan 2018

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