My Roots

I am from Kozhikode, Kerala I was born in a small hamlet called Kallayi - in fact, that is the nearest station - Kallai Station. The British had built a famous steel bridge for trains and vehicular traffic and that was how we crossed the river for as long as I could remember. The river Kallai is very famous and at one point in time in its prestigious history the river was chock a block with sawmills - they were reputed to be one of the largest timber yards in Asia.

One of the most famous brand ambassadors of Kallai is the Malayalam stage and film actor Mamu Koya who took our peculiar Malayam Malabar Muslim accent to the world and made it endearing.

Kozhikode is an old city that is embellished with a rich history. It was on these shores only that the very late Explorer Mr. Vasco Da Gama landed as an emissary of the Portuguese Crown on the 20 May 1498 AD. He was received with honor by the erstwhile ruler of Kozhikode the Zamorin and it was then that the Spices of these parts especially the Black Gold Pepper of Tellicherry began to receive international attention.

Jyothi Menon

Just off Kozhikode, there is a small hamlet (it used to be small) called Beypore and that is where the Arab Dhows used to be made. These boats were made here and they would be loaded with spices and textiles and goods from India to the transported to the Middle East. That is how the primary Malayali connection with the Middle East started. long before the oil boom made the Middle East what it is today - there was a thriving trade between Kozhikode and the Middle East ports. Particularly to Dubai, to Oman, to Saudi Arabia for the Haj Pilgrimage. In fact, I am given to believe that in Mecca there are Saudi Arab families who still speak Malayalam.

Once on a trip to Dubai and Muscat, I was particularly curious about the looks and the dress of the Arab men. They looked familiar and when I dug a little deeper I found this connection - The Beypore to the Middle East and the Mappila Connections were revealed to me.


Growing up in bits and pieces in Kozhikode I have some fond memories of Mappila Friends and the simply out of the world food they have. If you are passing by Kozhikode or Kozhikode as it is now being called (actually it was always Kozhikode - but the British anglicized it like they did much of Indian cities and now that they are a distant history - we have rechristened it back to what it was always - Kozhikode) One of my family friends is Ummi Abdulla and she champions the Mappila cuisine like never before.

I am going to go into Kozhikode District - because there are oodles and oodles of lovely places that even I have not gone to.... That is all on my bucket list.

So... coming back to Kozhikode... my father was in Air India and in those days that used to be like working for Google or Microsoft and that is the only company he worked for 38 years. The job was transferable and so I went to many places across India and abroad with him. After many schools across Bengal and Bihar, I finally went to high school at St Josephs school near the Kozhikode beach and then Pre Degree at Malabar Christian College from 1985 to 87. Post-graduation in Mathematics at Zamorins Guruvayurappan College, I changed tracks and headed to Engineering in Pune at D Y Patil College of Engineering.

I go back to Kozhikode as often as I can and one day I hope to call it home.

Finishing with Engineering I got into a job and that journey had given me across some fabulous experiences. You can visit my LinkedIn page to see what I have done. God has been kind to me and there are some places where I visit to recharge my spiritual batteries - Villikaavu Temple in Tiruvannore is the closest to my home and a place which has been a great source of solace and comfort. Then, of course, there is the famous Sivan Temple there at Tiruvannore and the Tiruvannore Festival is an annual festival that brings together people from all over Youtube.

There is the Guruvayur Temple which I have been a regular visitor of ever since I could remember and then there is the Mammiyoor Sivan Temple which is out of the world in terms of Peacefulness, Tranquility and Serenity - Despite it being a bustling crowded town.

Thanks to Facebook and social media my connection with my friends is back on and suddenly home isn't a flight away or a place to go to. It is as close and near as my heart is. This is my small endeavor to connect my roots, my heart and my work (those things that matter to my soul - as in my paintings, my poems, my writings).

I do not claim to be a historian and I am not claiming this site to be an accurate milestone/history of any place. This is merely the language of my heart - places that I have seen and been to.

Please feel free to connect - put in some more color to Kozhikode / Kozhikode and one of these days maybe we could meet for a hot cup of chaaya and kadi ....

My Journey as a Writer

Jyothi's first book "The power of Human Relations" was published by Pearson in June 2004 and had the foreword written by Mr.Kiran Karnik, President Nasscom.

The book was officially launched by Mr.Subroto Mazumdar, President Pearson and Mr. Vivek Harinarain, IT Secretary for Tamilnadu. It found an avid reader in the Honorable President of India, Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam, among others.

Impressed by a statement in the book on "creating a brand of an organization", the then President of India Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam sent Jyothi a note of appreciation, providing her the inspiration for the second book.

Aptly named Brand-Wise, it was published by East/West Publications (later merged with Tata Westland and now further merged with Amazon books) and launched by the Internationally acclaimed Guru of Global Strategies from the Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth, USA Dr. Vijay Govindarajan, at a 'Global BPO Vision' function, in Chennai on 12th January 2005. The foreword has been written by Mr. Vivek Harinarain, then IT Secretary, State of Tamil Nadu.

Her third book Me! A Winner was released in March 2006. This book was launched by Mr. Dayanidhi Maran - Ex/Union Minister of Communications and IT, Government of India at a glittering function in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

The Angel of God, published by Pustak Mahal and sold by Landmark Ltd. The book was launched by Ranjini Manian, CEO, Global Adjustments.

You can reach Jyothi by Email