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Return of the native

As the 'Gulf dream' loses its lustre, many in Kerala are left picking up the pieces

In the Gulf Market (now called Foreign Market) in Kottakkal
In the Gulf Market (now called Foreign Market) in Kottakkal

Every night, after the smoke from kitchen chimneys in Kozhikode has long dissipated into the thick tree cover, Roopendu S has an assured visitor. Her elderly neighbour heads over to her place and they watch the news together. "Every time she hears something about the Gulf, she starts talking about how we shouldn't get any of our relatives married to Gulf Malayalees," says Roopendu. "Elders are increasingly feeling that the Gulf just doesn't provide the financial security it once did." Till a few years ago, a match would get cemented early on with an ...