– a 55 word story
“You can read in your room”
“I want to sit here and read. It’s cooler here…”
“Some boys are loitering outside.”
“They are staring at you…”
She didn’t see the slap coming.
“Go inside, now!”
She went in quietly.
She learnt: When boys ogled her, it was somehow her fault.
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The above is a 55-word expression of one aspect of a commonly heard phrase,
“Chee keri podi akathu!”
These words are used by fathers, brothers and especially mothers to the girls of the household. It means ‘go inside’ said in the most obnoxious manner. The first word Chee itself is said with such force that it can, all by itself, start a cyclone. If you have some free time and were to collect data from Mallu movies you will find that THE phrase used by almost all writers with such regularity to be said to the character who plays the sister (mostly sister, sometimes it can be the wife or daughter) of the hero, whether she is a dumb and silent one or a sensible one who dares open her mouth to voice her opinion, is this:
“Chee, keri podi akathu!”
One can almost guess the exact moment some character is going to mouth it to the hapless girl/woman. I am sure other regions have their own versions of what to say to put the girl child/woman in her place pronto.
I guess what is shown in the movies is but a reflection of what is happening for ‘real’ in the society, for you do hear the phrase being used frequently and in the same obnoxious tones in daily life too, differences in class or education not with standing. Just goes to show where most still think, the place of a girl-child/woman barring a lucky few is: ‘akathu’ (inside)!!
A related post:
Udated to add: