cinema: malayalam


Do you ever just look into someone’s eyes…

ചോർ - chor is the Malayalam word for rice. However, in Hindi, it means thief. And thanks to this same-sounding-different- meaning word, we were gifted this hilarious scene in Punjabi House. Here, we can see the talented Harisree Ashokan get mistaken for a thief when he attempts to ask a girl who does not speak Malayalam for some ചോർ - chor.

In the scene, he says, ‘I’m not കഞ്ഞി - kanji.’ He is trying to say he doesn’t want കഞ്ഞി - kanji in his limited English. കഞ്ഞി - kanji is like rice gruel/porridge (it’s difficult to translate) or as certain grandmothers like to call it rice soup (to trick their ultramodern or NRK [Non Resident Keralite] grandchildren).* This scene is hilarious to a Malayali because കഞ്ഞി - kanji has another meaning. It is used to describe someone who is weak, useless or cheap.

Other usage:
അയ്യോ കഞ്ഞി ആയി പോയി- ayo kanji ayi poi

You might have heard your mom say this in the kitchen. This is when something you are cooking is boiled too much or becomes like mushy.

അവൻ ഒരു കഞ്ഞിയാ - avan oru kanjiya

This again depends on the situation. It can mean he has no skills, he is a cheapskate, he is a weak person.

*You can find the same dish in several Asian countries too. There it is called congee.


Shekhar & Radhika
SOLO (2017)

കഴുത - Kazhutha is donkey in Malayalam and the meaning we figure is self explanatory. It’s probably the same in every language.

In the clip from the trailer of the highly anticipated Qarib Qarib Singlle, we see Parvathy’s character tell Irrfan Khan’s character to: ‘irangu irangu irangu Kazhutha-ഇറങ്ങു ഇറങ്ങു ഇറങ്ങു കഴുത which means get off, get off, get off, donkey!’ Here, we get a glimpse into Parvathy’s character and we’re delighted that she’s playing a Malayali. We just hope it isn’t stereotypical, but knowing Parvathy’s track record for choosing roles, it should be memorable.

പ്രതീക്ഷ - pratheeksha is hope or expectation.

In the west, kids are given a hope that they can be or do anything they want when they grow older. Meanwhile, at the other end of the world, parents have specific hopes/expectations of what their children will be. This has traveled with them overseas as well. According to Aju from Anjali Menon’s Bangalore Days, this hope/expectation is the leading cause of suicide in God’s own country. And he brilliantly illustrates his point in the scene by mimicking the constant queries asked by family and society. He says people are living inside this pressure cooker of hope/expectations.

Thankfully, it is changing albeit at a snail’s pace. What are some of the most annoying questions you have heard?


1 year of bangalore days 

ബഹുമാനം - bahumanam is respect.

In the clip, the actor is speaking about the relationship and mutual respect between the cinemagoer and the actor. According to her, the relationship is with the character and that’s it. The relationship ends when the movie does. What do you guys think?

The clip is from Talk Time with Mathukutty. In it, he’s speaking with Parvathy, your not-so-typical actor. Her roles have been few, but memorable from Pooja and RJ Sarah to Tessa and Kachanamaala. It is hard to think that this is the same person because of the way she transforms into each character. The amount of research and dedication though! Not to mention her bold offscreen personality! As you can see, we here at Malayalam101 have huge crushes on her. Really, the entire interview is worth watching, so here’s a link to it:

Ps. One of us noted that in the manglish you can see the word ‘human’. And of course, we were mind blown .