Ala is the Malayalam word for ‘wave’ or ‘ripple’. When an event, natural or man-made, creates a surge, sparks a thought, an idea, a reaction. Waves aren’t bound by time or space; they travel through the oceans, the air, the land, our minds. Ala is also the root word of അലയുക, meaning ‘to wander’.

The two meanings together define the purpose of our blog—to provide a space for the free and fluid expression of thought while simultaneously exploring the vast and diverse contours of Kerala society. We are constrained only by geography, in the sense that we publish about Kerala. We have more questions than answers and prioritize good-faith, open-ended dialogue over sermonising.

Ala emerged from the Kerala Scholars eGroup. We hope that academics, artists, photographers, journalists, activists, bloggers and anyone with an informed and well-researched opinion will take advantage of this forum. We expressly encourage the submission of unsolicited pieces that engage with contemporary or historical aspects of Kerala society. Submissions can be in English or Malayalam.

Why Ala?

There is no dearth of online portals today where one can publish their work. What makes Ala different?

Ala seeks to bridge worlds. Our editorial review process aims not only to ensure quality, but also to bring together contributors from different quarters. We seek to make accessible to a broader audience issues that are usually confined to specialist disciplines and circles. Our hybrid format is meant to encourage creative expression; to encourage scholars to write accessibly and non-professional enthusiasts of Kerala studies to adhere to academic rigour and research. Therefore, for contributors and readers, we offer a living archive of the debates, images, cultures, languages, festivals, politics, and tastes of Kerala.


[Ala is a forum for discussion and any opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s), not the editors. Publication of a post does not constitute endorsement by any or all of the editors. Comments and/or complaints about the content can be conveyed to the Editors at ala@keralascholars.org]