Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Mulgi Shikli Pragati Zhali – I

When I shifted to Mumbai, little did I know I would be showered by such pleasant surprises on a day-to-day basis.

Right from its rains to local trains,

Missing zebra crossings to manners of road crossing,

Never ending road repairs to state of affairs

Life so vibrant, people so resilient

Ganpati Visarjan to Navratri Dandiyas,

The Hindi jargon to to to (Oh, forget it)... Oh, everything was so very different.

Wow ! It was going to be fun filled Mumbai for someone as remotely connected to it as me. I was enthralled by its powerfully diverse eloquence. Today I will talk about only one of those - the language… the Mumbaiya bhasha that has fascinated me immensely.

There are many instances, which made me look bamboozled. Here, I have jotted down some of them.

Well, to start with, even before coming to Mumbai, I was aware that some of the kitchen stuff / vegetables are called differently in Mumbai like Potato/onion are batata/kanda, salt is meeth. Egg would become baida and pyaaz ke pakode would be nicely replaced by kanda bajjiya’s …so far so good, I could deal with them easily on daily basis.

But hold on.... there was a lot more in store for me.

Once our maid forgot to bring her umbrella. “Subah subah ghaai mein bhool gayi”. Ghaai??? Or was it ghia? But then ghia also didn’t make any sense here. Ghia happens to be a vegetable in north India. How could she forget her umbrella in a vegetable? Maybe a slip of tongue. I gave some work to my ever-alert brains. Oh I see, all she wanted to say that she left it in a vegetable shop while buying ghia. I pat myself for having such a presence of mind.

One morning my colleague came panting to the office. “Train mein kitna Gardi tha aaj”. Gardi???

Darn!! Here comes another alien word for me. But I don’t give up so easily. Being an introvert, instead of asking him what is he talking about, I coaxed my smart brains to start working again.

Hmmm hmm hmm “Garmi” & “Sardi” are two weather conditions I know and maybe this “Gardi” was somewhere between them. I rolled my eyes with utmost joy. Yessss, I had guessed it right. So, they call it “Gardi”. How sweet of Mumbai people to think of such a lovely intermediate name.

Gardi = (Garmi + Sardi) + a touch of Humidi(ty).

My seventh sense reconfirmed my logic. Oh, if only I had applied my logical brains while programming, I would have got double promotions all the time (My eyes are now set for PM’s post).

Ok ok, come to the point now. So, that’s why this poor guy is panting so heavily. I smiled back to him “Yeah, aajkal bahot gardi hai, especially in this monsoon season”. He gave me a strange look, without uttering a word.

Nevertheless, I was amazingly surprised at my intelligence level and grasping power. I congratulated myself at the rate I was picking up the local vocab. My confidence level had reached a new height.

Recently, when employing the new maid, I did my two-bit to ask her a few questions. Confidently I asked “Kya-kya karogi?” Among other things, she made gesture of folding clothes and said “Kapde ka Ghadi lagake rakhegi”.

Ghadi??? Oh ok, she’d fold the clothes on time. Eh? What’s the big deal? She has to do it anyways on time or else why on earth are we paying her so much? Being a Sunday I was home and my mother thanked me for my presence at that moment; she couldn’t have handled this kind of interpretation alone. Brainy me. :))

To be continued…

Current song- Chookar Mere Man ko, Kiya Tune Kya Ishara – Kishore

30 comments:

SiD said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
SiD said...

heheehehe.... is gardi the same which you thought????

I also must say that it was pretty easy for you...
talking to a maid in karnataka(kannad) was an experience in itself..
so the mind, so prone to googling - searched and found popular kannad sentences... so whenever we had to talk to maid - the printout was in one hand..one word was caught in the sentence - searched thru the list .. so on and so forth.. the method worked.. now i know Batta in kannad means Clothes!!! :):)

Mayank said...

It happens many times with us when we don't understand the local language.
You have a witty sense of humour. Nicely put. Your posts are getting better day by day. I can't stop laughing. Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Mamu, BMW ho gayi... Bambaiyya hindi is a very specific mixture of marathi+hindi in case of middleclass people, or hinglish in case of upperclass. To understand that, you need to have a very good understanding of marathi (which I thought you had).

BTW, good examples, lage raho... sequel kab aa raha hai?

Anonymous said...

And commenting at 1 am? What happened?

And I am still wondering...

Ajay said...

cool post :)
mumbai is great:)

Priyam said...

Wonderful post. :) What I like most about your writing is your usage of simple words, simple language.. the way we speak daily not the bookish complicated words which we find in novels or in our English text-books (and then refer to dictionary).

Again, the way you have narrated it, is great.
Keep it up.

Cuckoo said...

SiD,
Of course now I know what gardi is !!
Well, more than easy it had become hilarious for me as knowing Hindi well, self-expectations were quite high.
Your experience must have been interesting. Imagining myself in your position.. haha. Perhaps I would have spoken in my own language since it doesn't matter what I speak.
That reminds me of an incident. One of my friends, in Geneva, was strolling & suddenly there was a dog near her. She got frightened, angry & started firing the owner in English but when thr was no response (he didn’t know any other language than french), she switched over to her mother tongue. Her logic---> if he isn’t going to understand anything, let me be at least satisfied by speaking my mother tongue.

Mayank,
Thanks once again. I wonder if you blog?

Fleiger,
Now YOU don’t start with me pls. Well, you thought it right. :) It was my initial days here when I had difficulty from all dimensions. Now I understand it quite well. You must have seen me listening to marathi songs. Looking for a Marathi teacher now to make me expert. And mind you, I have not seen any of those Sanjay Dutt/Govinda movies which are full of local hindi (both Munnabhai’s are again in my list, *A big sigh*).

Thanks very much if you liked post. :)) Keep doing that. LOL..
Sequel ?? aayega, aayega.. not getting time to do anything :(( *sob sob*

I wonder what you wondering at ? :D **a big smile*

Ajay,
Thanks for dropping by and liking the post. Keep visiting... :)

Priyam,
Thanks for your encouraging words. Well, this is my blog to let out my thoughts and I think in plain simple words! ;)

Cuckoo said...

A big Thanks to those who are visiting my blog but are shy of commenting. Specially ppl from Infosys.
In the last two days there have been atleast 7 visits by Infosys guys who come here via SiD's blog, spend a good amount of time but are wary of commenting.

SiD, pls convey my thanks to all of them. :)

Anonymous said...

Dil pe mat le yaar...

And if you are planning to learn marathi, get a punekar who can teach you proper marathi. What you learn in mumbai is not "marathi".

And Munnabhais are on your list? Girl, you are seriously behind the times. At least watch the first one (the second one is recent, so pardonable).

Aur apun ka hisab abhi baki hai...

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I agree with you, Sid's blog is second highest referral source for my blog... Thanks sid..

Cuckoo said...

Fleiger,
Who's taking Dil pe?? :P

And if you are planning to learn marathi, get a punekar who can teach you proper marathi. Ha Ha.. I can understand very well what you are trying to convey ;)

Sid's blog is second highest referral source for my blog... Second highest? Who's at the top, s.v.p?

SiD said...

well I wud gladly say thank you to those ppl - if I know who they are!!!
and how do u know they are from Infosys.. and fleiger also says he has the second highest traffic from my blog...yeh kya tracker mechanism hai yaar.. enlighten me also...

And I used to think that No one visits my blog except 2 -3 friends ;)

Cuckoo said...

SiD,
yeh kya tracker mechanism hai yaar.. It's a big secret not to be told. :P

Anonymous said...

First and foremost thing I was trying to imply was, mumbaikars simply butcher marathi... Other things, well you can think whatever you want ;)

The first referral source is Google (what else?). What is s.v.p.?

Sid, I use Google Analytics.

Cuckoo said...

Fleiger,
Well, I don't really know the difference between punekar, mumbaikar, nashikar etc etc. For me they are all marathi speaking ppl so can't really say anything on their command over marathi. Btw, don't be so skeptical about mumbai(kars)..I have started falling in love with Mumbai. :)

Ohh Google, maybe I should also start using that.
s.v.p = Sil Vous Plaît (french) = If you please (English)

Anonymous said...

You should really start reading PuLa... you will know the difference between Mumbaikar, Punekar and Nagpurkar (though why people bother about Nagpur is a question to me ;))

And I am not skeptical about Mumbai, I too have some good friends from and in mumbai. I am only commenting about their marathi.

My french is a bit rusty, haven't used it for long (about 24 years) ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi, I think there were 1/2 comments after this, or was I just dreaming about it? It was late in the night I think...

Cuckoo said...

Yeah, you are right. There was an offensive comment by one anonymous which I had to delete and I guess blogger also played havoc at the same time. Some more comments just vanished. Sorry about that.

Anyways, we both know what the comments were about.

Anonymous said...

Ok, the comments were there, and I just didn't imagine that. As I said, it was late in night, and I was quite sleepy.

You can imagine what a relief that is to me ;)

Anonymous said...

haha.. good post! bambaiyya hindi is really funny. you must be finding the accent amusing too.

Cuckoo said...

Fleiger,
Hmm Busy somewhere else? ;)

Sameer,
Thanks for dropping by. Keep visiting. Yeah, it's quite different from proper Hindi. Enjoying it! ;)

Anonymous said...

Lol- this was funny...after reading your post , i called my friend and asked meaning of " GARDI" - mind you I think your interpretation was much neat ...lol.
Bendtherulz

Cuckoo said...

Anonymous,
Thanks for your visit here and liking the post. :) Part II will come shortly.
I would appreciate if leave your name. Well, Bendtherulz?? Is it your blog's name? But then again I am stuck. No link?
Keep visiting. :)

Hazel Dream said...

lol ..
yes as an northindian its difficult to understand the hindi of mumbai ..
I am also getting used to it

Anonymous said...

Whow..part II -kewl...will check periodically. Sorry no blog at present ...however pls feel free to call me " bendtherulz" and i left my name as per ( request) for same and I can see you removing some of the post...(weirdos !!)
Regards - Bendtherulz

Cuckoo said...

Hazel Dream,
First, welcome to my blog. Hope you are liking the posts. Are you also not from Mumbai?
Keep visiting.

Bendtherulz,
Nice to have you here again. :) Yeah, part-II. Not getting time to pen down but it won't be all the words, only a few as I am still on learning stage coming across so many words daily. It won't be feasible to write about all of them.
In the meanwhile, you can go thru my other posts. ;)
Ok, Bendtherulz..so next time when you visit my blog, can you do me a favour? Click on "other" & write bendtherulz as your name. Thanks. You can see in this comment list, Mayank & Priyam are also like you.

Bendtherulz said...

sure lady :-) , doing it right now lol...!

Cuckoo said...

Thanks. :)

dj_aLEx said...

Nyc bloj. Nyc pojts. jeep up d spirits.
hv u stopped blogging dese days coz all d posts dat i hv seen r pretty ole'
wl scrible thru other tags later smtym. ryt nw gotta sleep. mrng office tantrums...u know:-)
btw m anshalex, workplace based in pune, n n n a libran 2. i feel so happy wen i find librans arnd:-) lyk minded ppl. tk cr.