Sunday, March 14, 2010

Engaging Accents

This photo bears no connection whatsoever to anything contained or alluded to in this blog. And any relevance is hereby stoutly denied. Just love this unique design. Thankyou google

I haven’t spoken to you about life in Delhi for a long time. The language delhi-ites use is particularly noticeable… and quite endearing. Here I share my language experiences with you

I approach this Sardarji cab organiser in front of our apartment to tell him I need a cab to take my aunt and uncle to Rishikesh.

Halloo. Kitthe janai?

Eh? Does he mean kahan jana hai?

So I hazard a reply Rishikesh.

He clarifies Rrisikes? And then asks me, Kaisee gaddi chyyei?

I am confused. Which car do I want?

He explains, like he is talking to an imbecile, Risikes ke liyeh gaddi hai tho hammare paas bout saare gaddi hai tho kaisee gaddi bhechjoo yaceekinaanaycee

(yaceekinaanaycee = AC ki non AC )

Bheichjoo!! Doesn’t that mean sell?? God! Does he think I want to buy a car??

I want to run. But I am at home and on phone. Shall I disconnect? But I need that cab. Taxi I scream…. Taxi Indica. Indica hai?

Haanjee. Ek minatta. Paaji indica kitthe? He shouted across to somebody. A sardarji is called paaji. Then he continued this time addressing me

Accha kya taime?

The rest of the conversation went on in this manner. He was quite sure he was talking to a fifth-fail and I was not at all sure I was answering correctly. But the Punjabi accents are fascinating.

Then I have two lovely neighbours, typical proud-to-be-in-delhi dellhi-ites. They are warm and friendly. They are full of info and equally eager to gather info. Ye-saadi-badi-achi-hai-kahan-se-khareedi-aap south-waaley-badey-asaani-se-saadi-pehente-ho-isse-kaise-rakh-lete-ho-dinbhar?

Now this is said in one breath; A continuous flow of soft sounds. I store the sounds in short term memory. Take a moment to rewind and replay it in slow motion in my mind. Then I get it all. Aah! I open my mouth, ready with the answer.

But meanwhile my friends have moved on and covered two more topics in the same breathless manner. They could give Shankar Mahadevan a run for his money.

Have I told you about the Monday bazaar in Mayur Vihar. Maybe not. Ok. That’s reserved for another blog. But what I need tell you is about this particular vendor selling greens. He thrust a cluster of pudina at me, urging me to buy it. Bahut meetha hai. It is very sweet. He says. Mint leaves are sweet? But hey, just take a whiff of the mint flavour. There is something sweet in that aroma

The fruitseller cuts a watermelon open and holds it out invitingly. Shakkar hai shakkar!

Eh? Is that what they call watermelon in hindi? Shakkar? Then I realise, he is telling me that the watermelon is tasty. Shakkar as in sugar!

There is the iron-man who takes my crumpled washed saree and promises to deliver it ek dum kadak….that’s crisp…like a fried papad??

At a local furniture store I was delighted with the sales guy’s description of a particularly well made dressing shelf. The sales guy runs his fingers over the smooth curve of the panel and says kitna pyara design hai, meaning what a lovable design.

The choice of words is amazing.

The icing on the cake (or the tadka on the daal) is our driver. When I carry my bag of vegetables he rushes to help. And I a proud Banglorean, protest, saying, I can carry my veggies bag thank you. And he silences me with aap lete hain to accha nahi lagtha. Hamey deejiye. I don’t feel good if you have to carry the heavy bags. He says. Oooo! His chivalry floors me.

It feels as though people here really love their vocation. And express their love for it through words. I have been in Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Calcutta. I have not experienced this anywhere else.

Am I turning into a proper Dilli pankha?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Thinking thoughts on a stuck sprig

Fresh mint

It all began with this yummy plate of palak pakodas and pudina chutney (spinach-fritters and mint dip) that Jamuna from 6th floor sent me yesterday. My hubby and I munched on them happily till the last crumb had been polished off the plate. A warm cup of tea downed it all.

Are you saying…’why warm’???

Not to worry. Momma will tell you.

That’s because I answered the door, read a mail and got carried away by a soppy dialogue in a soap before I took the first sip of tea. Meanwhile the hot cuppa became a warm cuppa.

Now that was the first time I got a hint of it. An irritating sprig of mint was caught between two molars. You know how it is when that happens!

Much like the mind that keeps harping on painful experiences my tongue kept going to the irritant trying to pull it away. Of course like the mind fails my tongue too made only futile attempts to banish the irritant.

I tried a toothpick, a toothbrush and yukk my finger nails too.

But no

Then I remembered what a leading guru on TV had said. Fill your mind with positive thoughts, think of a vacation you went on (not about mountain roads that made you puke), and think of the joyous family gatherings (not the aunt who almost caused a fight between two brothers) … he said.

Aaah! That’s the trick. I decided I needed to fill into other delicious stuff. So I had two slabs of the new Cadbury silk chocolate, a handful of crisp potato chips and some juicy tomato slices.

No good. It was fine while I was enjoying the new taste and thoughts … but soon it was back to square one.

Hey, I know! Engulf your mind with a mantra. Let one thought fill your soul. That will surely cleanse your mind of all sad thoughts. The guru was abso sure.

Ok. I can do that! I worked hard with my cheeks to swish around a cup of warm water for 3 minutes.  Just one thing would fill the space. right.

That sprig I tell you. It was as bad as the memory of a bad experience. It simply refused to budge. You know how obstinate these thoughts of events gone by are; they just hang around and refuse to go. It was same to same. Like that only

By then I was exhausted. My jaws were aching. My cheeks felt tender. Moreover I was close to finding out who the murderer was in an Agatha Christie.

So I said to the sprig. Forget it. Be there if you must. And I proceeded to follow Hercule Poirot.

Can you believe it, like a sweet obedient puppy, that painful sprig made its way out…simply…just like that.

Painful memories are in the vein of embedded sprigs. Same to same. You got to give them time. They will eventually edge their way out.

and O! I got the picture from Google images. If you have an objection, just let me know.
I shall let it go.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Ganga Clean Up Gets Rs 1,394 Boost

Kempty Falls in Mussoorie

The brand ambassador of Indian Hockey, Bollywood star Suneil Shetty is reported to have said that Indian Hockey needs aggressive marketing on the likes of IPL to bring an end to its misery.

Motorcycle races, marathons, walkathons, dance shows and vintage cars have sponsors.

As we surf through channels on TV it becomes obvious that companies are desperately looking out for avenues of visibility. We have important companies doling out large sums of money to sponsor silly soaps and serials that add no value either aesthetic or intellectual. Obviously what supporters aim for is visibility and therefore the great interest in TRP.

Spot the ugly plastic bottle flowing down the graceful Kempty Falls

Now consider this:

Ganga Clean Up Gets Rs 1,394 Boost – TOI, 6th March, 2010

Union Environment and Forest Minister Sri Jairam Ramesh declares with pride that a loan of one billion dollars is being worked out with the World Bank for Ganga Cleaning Project.

Now the Ganga Cleaning Project or Projects involving cleansing of any Indian river for that matter has the following commercial aspects in their favour.

Rivers are close to the heart of every Indian and any brand associated with cleansing of rivers would win Consumer appeal immediately.

Rivers run across states. Companies associated with river cleansing would get vast exposure and coverage.

Being eco-friendly is increasingly a happening youth statement. Cars are going green, Commonwealth games go green, companies wanting ISO certification need to go green. Cleaning the river is a totally ‘green’ activity. Every company in India would benefit from association with such project.

Media would love such a venture and that would give associated companies great mileage.

Why do we need to borrow large sums of money from the World Bank and go greater into the red, while we know that sponsors would fall over one another in a race to help the country go green?

We need to market the concept. Money will just pour in.

Inevitably companies involved would like to actually see the river actually getting cleaner. Work and accountability would be demanded and examined. Hype without result would mean negative publicity! And no company would like that.

The country saves itself from loans, companies gain visibility, media gets great material to cover.

Cleansing the river would then become an annual event gaining more and more popularity and sponsorship.

Finally, the rivers would actually become clean and not many hands would get dirty!

Minister, am I talking sense?