We Malayalis are perhaps born with a talent. We’re great consolers aka aashwasipikalls. Knowing the person or the problem comes a distant second. Our first instinct is always to pacify the person and assure them that everything is going to be fine. The how and when we might figure out later because we do not know what the cause is! Sounds sweet and sour at the same time, right?
Sweet because it’s nice when you get reassurance that things will be okay one day when you find it difficult to believe in it yourself. Sour because it’s normal to get irritated when you get a ‘saarilla potte’ for no reason because you know deep down that it’s not just a ‘potte’ matter!
There are different types of consolers amongst us, let’s look at a few of these who deserve consolation prizes:
The ‘LDF Verum Ellaam Sheriyaakum’ Consoler Type
I don’t intend to butcher anybody’s political affiliation here or glorify anything. This is just a symbolic trait of a certain type of consoler who states that if ‘X‘ happens, then ‘Y’ will surely follow and you will be okay! It is relatively a positive assurance that ‘this will also pass and things will be in your favour again. Although you don’t get any clarification on what to do now, it is definitely a wholesome feeling to know and wait for a ray of hope that they promise will come.
‘Ente Appaappan Also Same Same’ Consoler Type
It is hard to make out if the intention of such people is to freak you out or make you feel better. While you stand worried about what will happen next, these people often come forth with ‘inspiring TED talks’ where some relatives of theirs shared the same agony once and are now in a much much better place (pun intended). Some people are kind enough to make your problem seem a tad bit bearable but the people who say that their ammumma also passed away with the same illness, to hell with your aashwasippikkal dude! Then there is a sub-type who scoff at everything you say because your problems are not as relevant as Somaliayile malnutrition or the prospects of a World War III.
People Who Think Your Problems Are Not Enough
As if your problems are not bad or dramatic enough, this type who gives you an add-on, free of cost! These consolers give you a sense of calm by introducing other possibilities that could have happened, ones that didn’t occur to you even in your nightmares. Thanks to them, you will be left breaking into a thousand pieces thinking of the unfortunate events that ‘may or may not’ happen from this point on.
To all those people who do this: if you can’t say something nice just be like the next class of people out there.
People Who Are As lost As That ‘China Vitta Rocket’
These are the type of people who stand with a straight face while you vent out to them. Not because they are emotionless or non-empathetic, but because they do not know what to say!
They fail to come up with anything that might be of use to you at that instance. But neither do they come up with anything out of the blue that leaves you more broken than you already are. They perhaps do not want to say anything because they care for you and do not want to hurt you further. And sometimes these are the best people to have in life when all you need is a person to listen to you. Cherish these people. They are not useless, they are just being nice.
All problems, One Solution Type
Some consolers are like Naaptol advertisements. These are the type of people who believe that ‘kalyanam’ is an ‘ottamooli’ to all of life’s problems. How many of you noticed the scene in Joji where Joji fakes sadness at the dining table over Jomon’s death and a random ammumma says, “Mone ni oru kalyanam kaikk” as casually as “inna mone ee laddu kaikk”? It is interesting to note that such people exist in real life. If you are over 25 and you have problems – be it financial, emotional, physical, or spiritual – just go get married! And if you’re already married, then their solution changes to bringing a child into this world.
While it is funny and warm to see the presence of such people in our lives, we can’t always agree to their way of consolation, can we? Next time you try and console people make sure that you add some value to their lives instead of a blunt “saarilla potte”. And understand that it is totally okay, and highly underrated, to say “enikk entha parayande ariyilla” and give them a hug.
And if you know of other types of consolers who should be on this list, kindly expose them in the comments below.