The Malayali's struggle with Hindi, English, Kannada and more captured in film!

Want nariyal ka paani Hilarious linguistic comedy from Malayalam cinemaScreenshot/ Youtube
Flix Mollywood Tuesday, April 18, 2017 - 13:07

By Samira

Malayalam comedy in the 80s and 90s had a flavour of its own. Here, we list some of the most hilarious moments where language is used as a comedic tool with great effect – some of these phrases don’t exist and some have been used “creatively” to bring on the laughs.

“Mudhugau” (Thenmavin Kombathu; 1994):  Karthumbi and Manikyan are stranded in a strange land, inhabited by a tribal community speaking an unfamiliar language. Between the two, Manikyan is impatient to reach home but he can’t figure out head or tail of the language.

At first, he is wondering whether to add “L” to everything, then he realises Karthumbi seems to know the language rather well. When he asks her for help, she has a strange demand— “Nekku Mudhugau” (I want a Mudhugau). After getting thrashed, verbally abused and slapped by every other person for delicately posing this request, Manikyan finally gets the correct translation - from the unlikeliest of places. Guess what is the best part? There isn’t a word like that in any Indian language. That’s Priyadarshan’s own creation.

“Nariyal ka Pani” (Sandesham; 1991): Visiting political leader Yashwant Sahai is exhausted by the summer heat. While reclining on the old wooden chair, he asks for “Nariyal Pani.” That’s when his Malayali comrades, who were till then prostrating before him, come to a grinding halt and turn to look at each other, clueless.

What follows is a series of decoding from various directions— “Nari = woman! Nari nahin, nari nahin”, says an outraged Mamukkoya. And finally, someone calls out “coconut water” and the storm is over.

“Velakkariyayirundhalum Neeyen Mohavalli” (Meleparambil Aanveedu; 1993): When a beautiful Tamil domestic help enters, the household of sturdy bachelors comes alive. And one of the patriarch’s sons goes a step further and decides to learn Tamil to earn a clear march over his brothers.

Equipped with a Tamil-Malayalam learners’ guide, he picks the lines guaranteed to impress her. That’s when this gem springs up—Velakkariyayirundhalum Neeyen Mohavalli (even though you are a domestic help, you are my darling!) It’s a riot to watch the variations he brings to that line.

“Mujhe Maloom..umm umm.” (Kilukkam; 1991): Nischal has just stepped out from the hospital with his hand in a plaster. That’s when the bearded North Indian goonda corners him, demanding to know Joji’s whereabouts.

“Joji kahan hain?” shoots the man in his gruff voice. A visibly scared Nischal, who is yet to get his Hindi vowels right, tries his best to make him understand that he has no clue. He manages till “Mujhe Maloom…” but for the life of him, he just doesn’t get the Hindi version of “I don’t know”. So, he says—Mujhe Malooom…and then shakes his head and one hand vigorously. The goonda, of course, figures out the rest himself, as we see later.

“Ainthu cousins, nelliyaravathu…” (Summer in Bethlehem; 1998): Abhirami has just given Ravishankar a precious clue—the key to his grandfather’s wealth. But the only glitch is that it’s in chaste Kannada and he would give anything to get its translation. That’s when man Friday Monai, offers to help—he gets the first two words right but the rest gets completely lost in a hilarious translation.

“Ee Forest Muzhuvan Kadanallo” (Yodha; 1992): Appukuttan. Enough said!

“Kimothi albani” (Akkare Ninnoru Maran; 1985): Pavithran is bravely trying to translate the gibberish that the phony Arab businessman (Sreenivasan) tells Sree Thankappan Nair. “Achut amino keshu phalitha,” says Sreenivasan and for a minute, the translator looks clueless, but he quickly regains his form and quips: “Achuthan saved my life. Part of my bank balance is for him.”

But the best part comes a little later in the conversation-- “Achut mama kalamithinka?” asks the Arab. “Kimothi albani,” shrugs Pavithran instantly. Suddenly Sreenivasan hauls towards Thankappan Nair and laughs loudly. Pavithran quickly throws himself at a tree and chuckles. My tummy aches!

“I love if you.”(Mantrikacheppu; 1992): Where the characters played by Jagadish and Siddique discuss writing a love letter and come up with “If you love me also, I love if you.”

"Just for the horror" (Mazhapeyyunnu Madhalam Kottunnu; 1986): Otherwise translated as "I was just kidding." Not to forget Jagathy's fantastically ungrammatical English monologue and Mohanlal's final retort to Sreenivasan's high-handed English. Now that's really an overdose of the language.

And to end, the hilarious Indumathi (Sreekrishnapurathe Nakshathrathilakkam; 1998) who uses the English language at all the wrong places, with hilarious results.

This article was first published on The News Minute has syndicated the content. You can read the original article here.

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