‘Ayalvaashi’ (2023) Ending, Explained: Who Was Responsible For The Scratch On Benny’s Bike?

When it comes to Malayalam films, there is never a shortage of realistic stories entwined with humor. Humor is the basic fabric of the cinema here in this state, and many filmmakers find it hard to pull themselves away from it. Coming back to family comedy-drama, we have many examples that would fit into this genre, and Ayalvaashi is one of them. The term Ayalvaashi is a wordplay on the word “ayalvaasi,” which means next door neighbor in Malayalam, and “vaashi,” which means being obstinate. Written and directed by Irshad Purari, this film is all about two next-door neighbors who go from being friends to foes due to a small incident and a misunderstanding that followed this incident. Will the families get involved, too, and make the situation worse?

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Spoilers Ahead


Benny And Thaju’s Financial Woes

The movie begins with Anjippan retelling the story of an incident that occurred between his two friends and how that one incident snowballed into a big misunderstanding between the pair who happen to be neighbors as well. Thaju comes from a humble background and lives off of a small job in the town; meanwhile, his friend and neighbor Benny works in the Middle East, and compared to Thaju, he is a financially stable person. Thaju lives with his wife, her siblings, and her father; meanwhile, Benny’s wife and daughter have walked out of his house, citing differences with his mother. Both have their issues brewing and are trying their level best to remain calm and take it one day at a time. Anjippan is one of their friends who runs his own bakery business and lives comfortably off it. So far, the three of them have not had any issues with their financial conditions, and they do not ponder much over it, but in times of adversity, they do help each other out as much as they can. Based on their interactions, it can be safely assumed that they have been friends for a while.

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All the issues, as said by Anjippan, begin on the day of Thaju’s sister-in-law Kunji’s engagement day. That was the same day Benny also landed in Kerala for his annual vacation. The engagement function goes well, as Benny’s family also helps Thaju’s family with the arrangements and general work around the house. As in any neighborhood, neighbors are the first point of contact for any help, and if they are on good terms with each other, they will surely come forward to help in good times and bad. Benny and Thaju help each other out. With Thaju’s engagement ceremony going on, Benny and his family come together to help them. To Benny’s mother’s horror, she is disgusted to see the mess Thaju and Benny’s friends have created in their kitchen. She is not a likable kind of person, and she comes across as someone who does not like many of the people around her. Benny’s wife left the house because of her impossible antics, and the mother has issues with his friends as well. Benny is trying to walk on eggshells here because he does not want to upset his mother, nor does he want to lose his friends or his wife.

Benny tries hard to find a middle ground when it comes to handling these people, and out of the three, Thaju and Anjippan come across as people who understand his situation and provide him with constructive solutions on how to make things right. Thaju, on the other hand, is struggling financially, and with his sister-in-law’s upcoming marriage, he is not sure how he will manage. Thaju knows he is in trouble, but he is taking it one day at a time and hoping there will be some solution that comes his way. His wife, brother-in-law, and her father are also under a lot of pressure, thinking about the dent one wedding would make in their daily lives.

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Amidst all of this, Benny had sold his bike to a second-hand vehicle dealer. The bike dealer and his son returned the vehicle, demanding a refund of their advance because there was tape on the scooter, and once they removed it, one could see a scratch on it. Benny was aware of who took the bike just a day before it was sold, but he was in no mood to confront anyone. As a person, he comes across as someone who would only want to resolve conflict and bring a concrete solution to the table, but this time, with this bike being meddled with, he is not sure if he should showcase his anger or not.


A Scratch On The Bike

Thaju, on the other hand, is struggling to pay hospital fees with his daughter admitted to the hospital for the next few days due to a bad cough and cold. As he comes by Benny’s place, requesting that he lend him some money, Benny vents about the situation with the bike. Thaju confirms that it was his brother-in-law Pachu who took out the bike last for engagement-related work. Benny is mad at the fact that Pachu could have just told him about the scratch instead of trying to hide it. Thaju is also confused about how such an incident could happen. He confronts Pachu, and the boy reveals that the said secondhand dealer always does this with the seller to purchase the same vehicle at a lower price. Pachu pushes Thaju to confront this dealer and his son and thus escalates the matter. Pachu, being a youngster and understanding the kind of people he deals with, is quick to assume the dealer is trying to scam Benny. Thaju, being the gullible man that he is, falls for Pachu’s words and heads out. Pachu gets into a nasty argument with the dealer. Thaju, in this case, becomes a spectator because he is not sure what is right or wrong at this point. In retaliation, the dealer confronts Benny, who was meeting his father-in-law, to talk about their family situation. The dealer behaves rudely with Benny in a public place, which puts Benny again in a sour mood.

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Benny never asked Thaju or Pachu to confront these men on his behalf, and that is why his anger is justified this time. Thaju tries to let Benny know the dealer’s real face, but Benny is in no mood to hear any justification because, at the end of the day, it was he who was humiliated publicly. Thaju is again helpless because he was only trying to help Benny, and he never wanted to get involved in the physical brawl. Thaju is now worried about how he will manage the money to repair the bike and for the upcoming wedding. All these issues are piling up in his mind, and Thaju is struggling to find a solution. Anjippan is also trying to give a logical explanation for the entire situation, but things have already soured between Benny and Thaju for the first time.


‘Ayalvaashi’ Ending Explained: Why Did Richard Put A Scratch On Benny’s Bike?

As matters between Benny and Thaju have become worse, Thaju takes it upon himself to resolve this matter, by finding out who put a scratch on the bike. Thaju is frustrated at being blamed for no fault of his own. He was not the one who borrowed the scooter, and he was not the one who fought with the secondhand dealer. Without any mistake on his part, Thaju is being ostracized and blamed, and to end this constant blame, he wants to find out who did it. He wants to find out because he wants some peace of mind and closure. Anjippan also offers to help him because, as his and Benny’s friend, he wants Thaju and Benny to go back to how they were before.

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Anjippan and Thaju came up with a list of suspects who would have taken the bike on the day of the engagement. Their first suspect is Kunji’s friends, who borrowed the bike to make some purchases for the function. The second suspect is Anjippan himself, who may have borrowed the vehicle for the same reason the girls might have taken. But the suspicions remain suspicions, as there is no concrete evidence. Their third suspect is Thaju’s brother-in-law, Pachu, who was last seen with the bike. Ideally, he should have been the first suspect, and they should have checked up on where the boy was and why he took the bike. Anjippan and Thaju are on a roll here because they are adamant about knowing who was responsible. They come to know Pachu had borrowed some money from a friend, and he was at the police station. Pachu confesses that he took the bike and borrowed the money, but the money was not for Pachu or the vehicle; it was for bailing out a friend.

With multiple dead ends in front of them, Thaju and Anjippan are at a crossroads on who is the culprit, and their suspect list is drastically reduced. They plan to speak to the various owners who repair scratches and find out if they can recognize their work. The duo finally finds a store whose owner confirms that he was the one who put the sticker in the scratch. Anjippan and Thaju are happy to find a breakthrough in this case, and all they must do is show him the boy who did it, and that way, it will be easy to decide on the culprit. They manage to bring Pachu, but the owner confirms it was not Pachu who brought the bike that night. But the repair shop owner is finally able to point out the culprit. Pachu and Thaju are more than elated to find out who it is, but they are again not sure how to deal with this situation.

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The culprit turns out to be Benny’s sister’s son, Richard. The duo confronts the boy, and he reveals the whole incident to the two of them. It turns out Benny’s wife, Celine, is good friends with Thaju’s wife. On seeing Kunji not wearing any gold on her for the function, Celine asked her nephew to collect the gold from her home and get it back just in time. On the way back to Thaju’s home, Richard and the boy on the bike met with an accident, which caused the scratch. It can be assumed this was done long before Pachu took the bike to work. Richard is taken to Benny, and the boy reveals Celine’s involvement in this. Celine was just a friend to Thaju’s wife, and she fulfilled her friendship by offering the gold necklace for the function. Celine and Thaju’s wife did what they did; they did not reveal much about the accident that caused the scratch. It was just a white lie they told in the hope this matter would be closed. They did not realize this small matter would cause such a rift between Benny and Thaju.

Believing Celine and Thaju’s wife’s version of the incident, the men reconcile because they realize this is what it took for them to come back to being friends. They understood Celine was trying to help Thaju’s family, and a scratch like that is easily forgivable. Their wives’ helping nature towards each other brings the standoff between Benny and Thaju to an end, and they embrace each other as old friends. The helping nature of the neighbors is what comes across in this scene; the miles the women traveled for each other prove that good neighbors are a blessing in disguise. With things going back to normal, the last sequence of scenes finally reveals the actual culprit. It was Celine’s father who tried riding the bike when Richard came by their house to collect the jewels. In that gap, Celine’s father tested the bike, which led to a small accident, which is what caused the scratch. Celine’s father is trying his level best to let his son-in-law know it was his mistake, but somehow he has not gathered the strength to do so, and he lets it go. Her father probably concluded that there was no point in bringing up this topic again because it would only make things awkward between the family. That’s why Celine’s father chose to stay mum about his mistake, and they all lived happily ever after.

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Ayalvaashi is a Malayalam-language film now streaming on Netflix with subtitles.

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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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