A popular Quora thread on how to impress a Malayali girl has an interesting bit about Kerala men’s traditional piece of clothing: learn to wear mundu, avoid unintentional flashing and bear oneself in a demeanor that befits the garment.
While the anonymous user of the Q&A website might have written it for fun’s sake, the answer was upvoted by several Malayalis who felt the reply had beautifully summarized the link between mundu and dignified bearing.
Although a demode outfit, nothing looks more graceful than a man and woman in kasavu mundu. Perhaps for the same reason, non-Malayalis too have discerned the aesthetics of this exotic piece of clothing and often do a mundu-number to impress the Malayali crowd. And sure enough, when the mundu is tied around a celebrity waist, it attracts a lot of media attention.
The prominent ones among non-Malayali celebrities who are often seen in Mundu are none other than the Bachchans. The Bachchans are known for their penchant to explore the traditions of different regions.
On several occasions, Amitabh Bachchan has thrilled his fans in Kerala by wearing mundu. The manner in which he adorns the garment displays his respect for a culture, which is so alien to him. A traditional Kerala saree has found its place his wife Jaya Bachchan’s wardrobe too. Like her husband, the yesteryear actress sports the kasavu saree look every now and then.
As for Aishwarya Rai, the celebrated daughter-in-law of the Bachchan family, Kerala saree is just another habitual clothing as she is from the south Indian state of Karnataka.
Late Rajiv Gandhi and his wife and Congress president Sonia Gandhi had made an impression when they appeared in Kerala's traditional dress during their visit to Kerala in 1988.
Similarly, master blaster Sachin Tendulkar had awed us all alike when he appeared in mundu during the launch of his ISL football team, the Kerala Blasters, last year.
Bollywood Badshah Shah Rukh Khan too had made use of the opportunity to relate with the Kerala tradition when he wound mundu around him for a stage show.
King Khan was associated with mundu mostly after the release of the film Chennai Express. Interestingly, after ‘Lungi Dance’ from Chennai Express became popular. SRK had to frequently tuck the mundu on stage.
Mundu has been a fascination to foreigners too. Trever Morgan of England, former head coach of Kerala Blasters, in his bid to sport a Malayali-Chettan look was visibly pleased with his first tryst with kasavu mundu during one of his sojourn in Kerala.