Kochi Metro’s much-loved mascot – the blue flying baby elephant is now: Milu. Kochi Water Metro’s mascot, the blue and gold ornamental fish, also got a name – Jengu. The names, which were unanimously chosen at the KMRL Board Meeting, were announced last month.
How Milu Became Kerala’s Most Loved Baby Elephant
Back in 2016, when it came to choosing a mascot for Kochi Metro, there were no two opinions about what the animal should be. The reason was simple: Kerala loves Elephants. From being the official animal of the State to being an inevitable part of every festival, Elephants hold a special place in the heart of Keralites and is seen as a symbol of joy, grandeur, power, wisdom and good luck. In fact, many elephants in Kerala are celebrities with fan pages on social media platforms! The official emblem of the Government of Kerala too features Elephants, taken from the Royal Arms of Cochin and Travancore.
Kerala’s ‘aanapremam’ (elephant love) has influenced its art and literature in a big way. Some of Kerala’s greatest writers have expressed their elephant-sized love for elephants through poems and novels, of which “SahyanteMakan” or the “Sons of the Sahya”; ‘Sahya’ meaning the mountains of Sahyadri) by legendary poet Vyloppalli Sreedhara Menon remains the most celebrated.
Thus was born the KMRL mascot: an adorable blue baby elephant with flappy ears and angel-like wings, wearing a tiny golden caparison (nettipattom).
The mascot was used extensively by KMRL right from the beginning – even the face of the train engine is designed like an elephant, with LED lights shaped like tusks. People warmed up to the cute, witty, magic-wand wielding ‘metroaanakutty’ (metro baby elephant) in no time, thanks to the animated safety videos and displays in stations and on trains. The mascot also became an instant hit on social media.
Simple, playful and sweet, the name ‘Milu’ fit the baby elephant perfectly. Derived from ancient Slavic elements, ‘Milu’ means ‘dear’ and ‘gracious’. Staying true to its name, Milu continues to endear people with its wit, smartness, charm and not to forget – safety-consciousness. With KMRL’s big expansion plans ready to roll, Milu is all set to fly higher!
Kochi Metro’s Very Own Jengu
Kochi Water Metro’s mascot, which is modelled on the rare blue-gold ‘Miss Kerala’ ornamental fish, has been named ‘Jengu’. As per the beliefs of Sawa ethnic groups in Cameroon, Jengu is a beautiful, mermaid-like water spirit that protects, heals and brings good fortune.
The reason for choosing International Union for Conservation listed endangered Red Line Torpedo Barb ‘Miss Kerala’ as the mascot for Kochi Metro is sending out an important message to the world: protect and preserve mother nature before life on earth gets endangered.
The first of its kind project in India, Kochi Water Metro will be a huge step towards green mobility as it will not only revive the major canals of Kochi and make them commute-ready, but also reinstate the aquatic ecosystems in these canals.
Mascots of Kochi Metro, Mascots of Nature
We are all aware of the rapid climatic change that’s occurring across the world. In fact, we are experiencing the brunt of it already, with altered rain/weather pattern, rise in temperature and decreasing water resources. One of the main reasons for this is indiscriminate use of fossil fuel. Kochi Metro is committed to the cause of protecting and preserving mother nature and natural resources by promoting green travel. The mascots of Kochi Metro embody this message. Milu, as always, will promote safe, energy-preserving, eco-friendly travel, while Jengu will make the waterways of Kochi fun and safe to travel in.