The term of endearment that Keralite women use, to call their husbands, is incestuous in nature. Chetta (brother) is at once seductive and respectful and is the most accepted honorific for the male spouse.
Interestingly this term has now crossed the threshold of the public domain. And increasingly in the office space, the very mallu “Chetta” has replaced the colonial term for boss: “Sir”.
Now strapped within the confines of a full time job, I am expected to address my boss as Chetta. The connotations are ludicrous and I cannot bring myself to go beyond the name or the sir business. Call it the colonial hangover if you must.
Ah! but someday in the near future, I visualize myself, picking up enough guts to put that very mallu honorific in place, and address my boss as chetta.