Malayalis have an answer to anything and everything. Ask us whatever – ranging from the price of rubber to why boys should have all the fun. Trust me, we know it all. And when it comes to our parents’ generation, you know that they can your alarm clock as well as a RAW agent. People also say that Malayalis are like cats. Not because they are adorable (ok, I hate cats) but also because they fall on ‘naalukaalukal’ no matter what. Nothing can ever undermine the capabilities of a Malayali to win over a situation. Especially parents. You can’t ever close an argument without either agreeing to what they said or just pretending to have agreed. And if you slyly manage to trap them at their own game, ha! they have their own self-curated list of savage comebacks that have been meticulously curated to leave you at a dead-end and make you look like a moron.
Vaazhthu paattukal of the long, lost era
There would have been no six consecutive months in your life when you haven’t heard about the beautiful era, not so long ago, when children were scared of their parents (especially their father) and would never have dreamt of talking back. Doesn’t matter if your point is valid or not, you were just not part of ‘pandathe kaalathe kuttykal’. This is a nice counter which will make you think about the goodness of your current generation and well…good luck. And if you were too tired to get off the couch to buy what your mother asked you to, she’ll just say, “nammade okke kaalath..” and you would run off not in fear but because you can’t bear to listen about how ‘pandathe’ children were worth their weight in gold. Anyhow, I am adding this to my ‘savage comebacks catalogue’ in case it comes in handy someday!
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The debate, special edition
Imagine you are debating something with your parents intensely, so intensely that you have very prompt and clever rebuttals to everything they throw at you, and you end up thinking that you have almost won. But hey, that’s not what happens in our homes right? They simply say “ninkkonnum prnja mansilaawilla!” and walk away and ‘Game Over’. Try reversing this neat game and you will get to hear of the extra ‘Onams’ that they have had and that you shouldn’t try to be too over the edge for your age. Mansilaayello lle?
The internet is a luxury, not an aavshyam
Our parents might leisurely go without the internet without even noticing that it is gone, unlike us. We begin to show withdrawal symptoms after the first three hours without the internet. We turn the modem ON and OFF a hundred times, sit and stand at various locations in various poses to see if something would click, switch off our phones, restart them…and oh do I have to explain the ‘paravesham’ even more? If you have an assignment to finish or do some random research when your wifi is down, you are advised to go read something called ‘books’. Because apparently, school and colleges existed long and the students who graduated back then did so without the internet. Good point though. What are we going to tell our children in such situations?!
When we realise exactly how much is too much
We have all been blood-sucking leeches that our parents couldn’t get rid of because well, ‘pattipoyle’ (hehe). We have all been there. Complaining, groaning and moaning over why we need to have idli three times a week and how we blamed our parents because they forgot where they put your random resource which you were morally responsible for in the first place. Can’t really blame them for the times they said “ninkokke koodi poyente aan!” right? Morally correct, metaphorically sensible, and ideally right. Cannot really wave off the fact that we’ve had more than they have had. So 1-0, again.
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Role reversal bheeshani
Those times when you rant on and on about how your teacher screwed you for not doing your homework or for wearing the wrong uniform. You made it seem as though your life was miserable and that you just couldn’t wait to grow up because hey cooking looked easier than ‘p-block elements’ and going to the office was way cooler than trudging to school in half socks and smelly hair. Our parents were really sweet people who tried to show us why the teacher chided us and how we should mend our ways and put in a little more effort. But we were in no mood for listening and that’s it. You would just snap their ‘kshamayude nellipadi’ and they would say, “enna naale thott njn schoolil pokaam!” and we would be like “alla, ath pinne…” You lose.
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All this seems funny and clever at the same time when we think of it now, doesn’t it? What are some of the savage comebacks that your parents threw at you? Do let us know in comments!