''Nalekki varata?''. ''Shall I come tomorrow?''. And the reply: ''Saraam illai''. ''It's OK''.
''Avaathu Kalayanathukku, vara mudiyathu''. ''I can't come to the wedding in their home (family).'' And the reponse: ''Virodham Illai''. ''It's OK''.
''Karudaam varathurken. Chaptupatheyla?''. ''I made some crackers (In India a.k.a Fryums). Did you taste them?''. And the reply: ''Ooah! Chapteney. Tharakedu illai ketteya?'' ''Yes, of course, I did. The quality ain't too bad''. This last example is a typical daughter-in-law:mother-in-law banter. It has huge contextual relevance.
'Madhuram Koottiyal Kambli Thinnalam' is Palagattan for a 'sugar-coated pill'. While it has a philosophical import, meaning the toughest utterances or events/decisions can be made easy or palatable by dealing tactfully with them. 'Madhuram' means sugar, 'kootiyal' means 'to add', 'kambli' means blanket and 'thinnalam' means to eat. But Palagattans often use this to advise young mothers on how to feed their infants medicines. In fact, there is a special Palagattan device for such occasions called a 'goghurnam' which is a small steel or silver or brass cup with a sharp triangular pout. The mother would add honey to a powdered dose of a medicine, hold the nostrils of the hapless child closed and then force the medicine down the child's throat. By a simple law of survival, the child would swallow the medicine along with a gulp of fresh air. This phrase, 'madhuram koottiyal kambli thinnnalam', is used by the mother-in-law, to force the young mother__who may be trying to avoid feed the child in such a gruesome manner.
Recent advances in medical science have, of course, spared such beleagured mothers (under pressure from their mothers-in-law) and their tortured children. So much so, when mean 'naathanaars' (sisters-in-law) of the young mothers go complaining or passing snide remarks on children not being looked after well when they are sick, the mothers-in-law are often heard saying 'saaram illai' or 'virodham illai'.