Chambikko, mone Dinesha!

Chambikko!” yells six-year-old Krishna as he relishes a cone ice-cream and poses for a selfie with his father at Lulu Mall in Kochi.

Published: 18th May 2022 08:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th May 2022 08:17 AM   |  A+A-

Express Illustrations

Express Illustrations

Express News Service

KOCHI: Chambikko!” yells six-year-old Krishna as he relishes a cone ice-cream and poses for a selfie with his father at Lulu Mall in Kochi. There would be few Malayalis who haven’t come across this trend triggered by Mammootty’s dialogue in his film Bheeshma Parvam. 

Ace footballer I M Vijayan was the latest to join the viral trend as he recently posed with the Kerala football team, which lifted the Santosh Trophy. From newlywed couples and students to politicians and policemen, there has been a ‘chambikko’ overkill across the state.  

This is not the first one. Numerous punchlines, catchphrases and words from films have become part of our daily lexicon. For instance, old-timers recall using Prem Nazir’s “mandi penne (silly girl)” during chit-chats with girls on campuses of yore. 

Another classic was “ithu satyam, satyam, satyam (this is a promise, promise, promise”, which campus politicians used to pep up their rhetorical speeches. Then, of course, hunks used legendary action hero Jayan’s dialogues, such as the fiery “We are not beggars...” in Angadi, to beef up macho humour. 

TNIE lines up some notable dialogues that Malayalis use in their daily conversations, be it at workplace or at a wedding. This list can go on and on, but for brevity’s sake we are limiting it to the top 31 (in chronological order).          

Get out house!
Jagathy Sreekumar grabs total command in Mazhapeyyunnu Madhalam Kottunu (1986)
Context: Comic way to ask someone to exit a place or discussion 

 Pavanayi shavamayi
Who can forget the morose Thilakan in Nadodikkattu (1987)? 
Context: To come a cropper after heavy build-up and boasting

Oro narangavellam kachiyalo?
Mohanlal’s ‘code’ for hitting the bar in Thoovanathumbikal (1987) still remains a tippler’s favourite
Context: When one calls a friend for a sundowner 

Ippo sheriyakki tharam
Kuthiravattom Pappu rocks it on a roadroller in Vellanakalude Naadu (1988)
Context: Humorous way of conveying one would have to wait a little longer for a task to get completed

Kambili puthappu, kambili puthappu 
Mukesh at his fraudulent best while avoiding a telephonic request in Ramji Rao Speaking (1989)
Context: Playfully pretend to not hear or ignore suggestions or requests. For instance, when friends demand a party  

Chanduviney tholpikkan aavilla makkaley
Hard-hitting line from Mammootty in Oru Vadakkan Veeragadha (1989)
Context: Celebrating victory or taking up/overcoming a challenge. For instance, trouncing a challenger in a chess/arm-wrestling contest at a local club 

Thomaskutty, vittooda
Mukesh’s cult classic dialogue from In Harihar Nagar (1990) was a favourite among 90’s kids
Context: When one smells trouble, and it’s time scoot!

Over akki chalam akkalle
Mukesh yet again with a golden lesson in In Harihar Nagar 
Context: When one wants to say, “Buddy, don’t overdo and mess it up” or “Keep it simple, stupid” 

Kittiyal Ooty, illel chatti 
Jagathy’s philosophical gem from Kilukkam, 1991  
Context: When one wants to convey, “Let’s aim for the sky, mate. There is nothing to lose”

Ivide onnum kitteela, arum onnum thannilla 
Nedumudi Venu’s comic breaks in the otherwise intense film Aham (1992) would live on for generations to come
Context: Humorous petulance, whining or grumbling while one feels left out in a group or misses some action 

Thenga udaykku saami 
Jagathy Sreekumar’s flustered, impatient plea in Midhunam (1993) remains a classic jibe at those who beat around the bush
Context: While asking someone to break the suspense or to make an awaited announcement

Lelu allu lelu allu 
Mohanlal’s hapless plea in Thenmavin Kombathu (1994) can still be heard on campuses as well as at corporate offices
Context: When one apologises, without making it mushy  

Mohanlal goes on a machismo overdose in Ravanaprabhu (2001) 
Context: Used to convey bravado or being gung-ho to take up something exciting 

Ormayundo ee mukham? 
This one sizzled along with “Just remember that” as Suresh Gopi redefined police portrayal in Commissioner (1994)
Context: Remember me?

Njan entha kuppinnu vanna bhootha? 
Harishree Ashokan’s hapless, helpless Ramanan in Punjabi House (1998) emerged as a comic icon of the toiling class.
Context: When one gets overloaded with work

Po mone, Dinesha! 
Mohanlal breathing fire with a smirk in Narasimham (2000)
Context: Pure bluster. When you dismiss an argument or warning from a friend or rival.   

Pattumo Zakir Bhayikku? 
Shammi Thilakan goes on a bragging spree in Praja (2001)
Context: To challenge someone to push the limits or emulate someone, often in a sarcastic way  

Nanni mathrame ullu alle? 
Salim Kumar’s whining over no reward in Meeshamadhavan (2002) got him many rewards
from fans
Context: When hard efforts are reciprocated with just a “thanks”!

Yevan puliyanu ketta 
Mammootty aces the Thiruvananthapuram slang in Rajamanikyam (2005)
Context: While praising a friend or a new kid on the block 

Ithoke enthu? 
Salim Kumar gives ‘thug-life’ a twist in Mayavi (2007)
Context: Boasting one’s capabilities in friends’ circle

Ennodo Bala? 
Mammootty’s melodramatic line Kathaparayumbol (2007) ended up as a meme hit
Context: When you want to say, “Ah, tell me about it!” or “Been through that. You telling me?” 

Kochi pazhaya Kochi alla 
Mammootty gave Kochiites a new slogan in Big B (2007)
Context: When Kochiites brag about the city!

Dark scene 
Commonly used in Kochi slang, popularised in Honey Bee (2013)
Context: An unpleasant scenario

Scene contra 
Premam (2015) made the Kochi catchphrase across Kerala and other south Indian states 
Context: Totally screwed up or in soup 

Marana mass 
Oru Vadakkan Selfie’s (2015) contribution to synonyms for uber-cool
Context: Something or someone impressive, excellent   

Nee theernada theernu 
Baiju’s sucker-punch in Left, Right, Left (2013)
Context: When warning a friend over an impending mess  

Enthu prahasanam aanu Saji? 
Shane Nigam’s stoic jibe in Kumbalangi Nights (2019) 
Context: When one wants to ask someone to cut the melodrama or show-off

Ho daridraym! 
Vishnu Unnikrishnan and Dharmajan stirred up a new buddy lingo in Kattappanayile Rithwik Roshan (2016) 
Context: Used to convey “Phew, how pathetic!”, mostly in lighter vein

Pani varunnundu, Avaracha 
Fahadh Faasil’s warning in Trance (2020) became a line of threat and caution across the state
Context: Trouble ahead, mate!

Mammootty’s command to click a pic in Bheeshma Parvam (2022) went viral. Not even the chief minister was spared!   
Context: The word means ‘wallop’. Used while asking someone to click a pic. Also used to spur people into something exciting


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