Childhood Fears That Freaked Us Out and How!

As children, we’ve all had our ‘ayyo amme!’ moments. Though the fears might seem silly to us now, we know that we have all had these pee-in-the-pant moments. Let us take a sneak-peek at some of these fears. Some of us would have overcome all of these fears by now. But I bet there are some of us who still freak out at the thought of it, giving us that shot of panic once in a while. Get ready for some nostu kicks folks! Here are a few childhood fears that we all must have gone through.

Swallowed watermelon seeds? Theernnu ni!

Indian boy eating watermelon Stock Photos - Page 1 : Masterfile

The classic one. We have all undoubtedly had this moment in our life where we accidentally swallowed watermelon or grape seeds only to have a panic attack, thanks to the well-curated stories we’ve heard from our parents and cousins. The rest of the day goes by, with us picturing vivid images of watermelon climbers growing out of our nostrils and ears. We all know what we prayed for that evening!


Kokkaachi verum. Mind it!

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The unpaid babysitter without a face. This fictional character was said to turn up if you didn’t eat your meals or if you made a face when you were force-fed a glass of milk. It would apparently show its presence when you steal your sibling’s chocolate or ‘donate’ your food to the dog kennel (of course, the dog was hungry, amme!). And if someday you find your favorite chocolate missing in the fridge, the obvious answer to your inquiry would be, “Ath kokkaachi kondpoyi!” This response would make you shut up because you didn’t have the guts to confront this character or question his actions.

‘Pretham’ behind the bathroom door

That ‘dark’ moment when the power goes off and your bladder chooses to tell you that you need to go pee asap. It’s crazy how our imagination runs wild in such circumstances. All the ghosts you had seen in movies or read about in books played a wild dance in your head. You even ended up checking behind the door of the bathroom because, for some reason, that was the only place a ghost would be! If the candle flickered or the mug fell, you end up screeching “ayyo pretham!” all your way to the hall. And if you are the youngest among your cousins or siblings, the pranks they would have played on you with the ‘pretham’ concept would have been exemplary! Childhood fears, we tell you!

Chooral treatment

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This slick stick was the nightmare of our childhood. We all remember that moment where we shuddered at the sight of our mom walking towards us with her hands behind her. Amidst the ‘padapadapada’ of our heart, we would have already seen the tip of the ‘chooral’ sneering at us. We contemplate and introspect all the sins we have ever committed since the day we were born. Sometimes, mom would also throw us a question, “Ith enthina enn mansilaayo?” It would have been easier if she gave us the answer herself because most of the time we were clueless about which act of ours had gotten us into trouble!

The missing case of the gecko

Common house gecko - Wikipedia

Guess some of us are still not over this fear! Of course, some of us say, “ayye ithinaano kednn koovunne!” or “palli is a paavam jeevi man!” But then some still scream the roof down when we see an uninvited gecko lurking in the corner, enjoying our ‘kuli scene’. It’s all well until the moment you realize that the lizard is not where it was five minutes ago! The thought of it rubbing itself on your towel or sneaking inside your PJ pocket is enough to get your heart in the mouth. And don’t even get me started on the part of its tail that got left behind. Uggh!

The day after school vacations

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Aka ‘test paper kittunna divasam.’ All the sorrow of missing out on questions in some papers or the guilt of not having studied properly would have been washed over by the waves of fun and frolic you had during the vacations. Now came the moment you loathed. The teacher walking in with the pile of answer sheets with that look on his/her face triggered a ‘pani paali nna thonnane!’ moment in us. You desperately wished that you didn’t have such a blast vacationing away because for some reason ‘the more you laughed, the more you will cry’ was the proven formula put into our heads!


“Achan varatte. Kaanich therind.”

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The only dialogue that would make us freeze in fear! Dealing with mom wasn’t that hard. We would have a thousand points to contradict her statements. But when she turns the table around in just one dialogue and we end up sprawled on the floor, begging at her feet to let it go for the hundredth “inni nyan cheyulla, last time.” But of course, we didn’t always escape that talk from our dad which made us question our very existence!

It’s funny when we look back and realize that these childhood fears were extremely naive. If not all, at least some of them. These days, we are gripped by the fears of missing deadlines and getting roasted by our bosses or professors. We don’t realize that some of the things we deal with so deftly now, took a lot of courage on the part of the little people we once were. So let us pat ourselves on the back for all that we’ve had to come through to become what we are today. Shall we? 

What were some of your childhood fears that we missed? Tell us.

Aashna Praveen
Mostly seen pondering about things around me. Every person I meet, every object I see is a study specimen that I save in my mind log for later. I might end up making you famous, so think twice before you appear before me. *Insert tongue sticking out emoji*


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