A friend of mine who is half Mallu and half British told me this story. This happened when he was 17 years old and was doing his pre-degree in a prestigious college in Kerala ( many many moons ago). His mom was working as a missionary and one day the church Pathiri phoned the mother and asked her to come to the church office immediately. The mother thought it must be something to do with her missionary work and went there and found the Pathiri walking back and forth in front of the church, anxiously waiting for the mother..
“Come with me” Said the Pathiri as soon as the mother reached the church gate.
And together the mother and the Pathiri walked towards the college where her son is studying. They walked and walked and finally they arrived at a place behind the ladies hostel. There was a huge jackfruit tree there and the Pathiri pointed up the tree. There on the tree is my friend, with a binoculars in one hand and looking at the ladies hostel . and holding a beedi in his other hand.
The priest was smiling gleefully, because he caught the boy red handed and is now waiting eagerly for the mother to do the right thing.. Punish the boy.
Mother looked at the pathiri and told him “There is something called supply and demand, the girls must be supplying something that demands my son’s attention” And she went back home.
That evening, she told her son ” if you must smoke, then smoke cigarettes, not beedi, at least the filter might protect you from getting lung cancer in your 30’s”
Every time my children do something naughty, I always remember this story. Had I been in my friend’s place, my mother would have skinned me alive, because Achante munnil nanam keduthi, nattukaru entho parayum? Ini njan enginaya ellarudeyum mugathu nokkunney? Ahankari, ethinano kashu chilavakki ninney okkey padippikkuney? ( She would have berated me for embarrassing her). Most parents forget that they too were once teenagers and have done a lot of naughty things.