While my parents did not pull the usual parental trolls like asking me to believe in God/gods and advocating the merits of arranged marriage, they still managed to drive many misconceptions into my very impressionable head before I decided to model myself on Casca the Cynic (the not-so-ray-of-sunshine from the Roman stab-men crew) in high school.
I always thought steamed Intari Appam was just a figure of speech for imaginary meals because whenever any of us asked for food at odd timings, Amma used to retort, ‘Intari Appam puzhungi vachittund. Poyi thinno.’ (Reduced and murdered translation: There is steamed Intari Appam yo! Go eat.) The first time this happened I ran to the kitchen. That was my first tryst with sarcasm.
This led me to believe that Intari Appam is some sort of mythical food like Vayu Gulika (Air Tablet?) which according to what I understood from my parents’ conversations is the last gulp of air you take before you die. Well, it turned out that Vayu Gulika is also a real thing and not just a figure of speech. It’s some sort of digestive pellet (Gas Tablet!). Returning to Intari Appam, once my parents subliminally communicated to me that congealed Kanji Vellam (water drained from boiled rice, as translated by some Wiki contributor) is the nearest thing you can find to Intari Appam in the real word. So imagine my surprise when I found out few days back that the closest thing you can find to Intari Appam in the real world is Intari Appam itself.
One could argue that these were not intentional mind games by my parents. I could have just misunderstood them. Here is my counter-argument.
Revealing the ultimate troll of the previous century:
I was 2 or 3 years old when for the first time in my life I saw a coconut being split open and the water gushing out. Amazed and struck with curiosity, I asked my father how come there was water in the coconut. My father very nonchalantly told me that cows climb coconut trees at night and pee in coconuts. To this date, I still refuse to drink tender coconut water. Other Malayalis give me the stink eye when I say no to it. If only they knew.