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
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
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
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
Salim Kumar gives ‘thug-life’ a twist in Mayavi (2007)
Context: Boasting one’s capabilities in friends’ circle
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!
Commonly used in Kochi slang, popularised in Honey Bee (2013)
Context: An unpleasant scenario
Premam (2015) made the Kochi catchphrase across Kerala and other south Indian states
Context: Totally screwed up or in soup
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
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