Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Alphabetical Bengali !!!

A is for Awpheesh (as in Office). This is where the average Kolkakattan goes and spends a day hard at work. And if he works for the 'West Bengal Gawrment' he will arrive at 10, wipe his forehead till 11, have a tea break at 12, throw around a few files at 12.30, break for lunch at 1, smoke an unfiltered cigarette at 2, break for tea at 3, sleep sitting down at 4 and go home at 4:30. It's a hard life!
B is for Bhision. For some reason many Bengalis don't have good bhision. In fact in Kolkata most people are wearing spectacles all the time like IC, self, Bubai, Dibhai. Bhejeetable comes a close second to Bhision. Bhison is another word used to express extremes. E.g. Orre baba ki Bhison gorom, or ki Bhison thanda.
C is for Chappell. This used to be the Bengali word for the Devil, for the worst form of evil. In the night mothers put their kids to sleep saying, 'Na ghumaley Chappell team theke ber kore debe.' Now with IPL coming to Eden Gardens C is for 'Choppol diye maar', bhalo na khelley. Also in the league is ‘Chepe de’, Chomchom (a delicious sweet meat), Chembaar ( another word for country pistol…..something that always shoots at the wrong place!!)
D is for Debashish or any other name starting with Deb. By an ancient law every fourth Bengali Child has to be named Debashish. So you have a Debashish everywhere and trying to get creative they are also called Deb, Debu, Deba with variations like Debanik, Deboprotim, Debojyoti, etc. thrown in at times. There are also the female version as Debi, Debolina, Debaroti, Debanjona etc. D also denotes Darun, an expression for the finest findings, starting from lip smacking tasties to books, to music, to art….anything under the sun that is exceptional.
E is for Eeeeeeeesh. This is a very common Bengali exclamation made famous by Aishwarya Rai in the movie Devdas. It is estimated that on an average a Bengali, especially Bengali women, use eeesh 10,089 times every year. 'Ei Morechhey' or ‘Ei Sherechey’is a close second to Eeesh.
F is for Feeeeeeesh. These are creatures that swim in rivers and seas and are a favourite food of the Bengalis. Despite the fact that a fish market has such strong smells, with one sniff a Bengali knows if a fish is all right. If not he will say 'eeesh what feeesh is theesh!'
G is for Jongol.......hear a Bengali saying, eki re baba...eta toh Jongol.....Bagh eshe jabe.  also G is for Good name. Every Bengali boy will have a good name like Debashish or Deboprotim and a pet name like Motka, Bhombol, Thobla, Bumba, etc. While every Bengali girls will have pet names like Tia, Tuktuki, Mishti, Khuku, etc. G also reminds us of Gorom Cha, an all time fabharit, I mean favourite for all seasons. This is normally accompanied with moori- chanachoor or shingara, again an all seasons delight to the taste buds of Bengalis.
H is for Harmoniaam. This the Bengali equivalent of a rock guitar. Take four Bengalis and a Harmonium and you have the successors to The Bheatles!
I is for lleesh. This is a feeesh with 10,000 bones which would kill any ordinary person, but which the Bengalis eat with releeesh! Also the various variants of cooking this feeesh is just amaizing.
J is for Jhola. No self respecting Bengali is complete without his Jhola. It is a shapeless cloth bag where he keeps all his belongings and he fits an amazing number of things in. Even as you read this there are at least 2 million jholas bobbling around Kolkata- and they all look exactly the same! Note that 'Jhol' as in Maachher Jhol is a close second. Jhaantaa is another favourite with the average Bengali women, both for cleaning homes & cleaning up anything that is messy. ‘ Mar Jharoo mar Jharoo mere jhentiye bideye kor’, is a folklore with almost every Bengali household.
K is for Kee Kaando !. It used to be the favourite Bengali exclamation till eeesh took over because of Aishwarya Rai (now Kee Kando's agent is trying to hire Bipasha Basu). Another expression with a global usage amongst Bengalis is Ki Kemon dilam!!!.... the ego & the sentiments of the intellectual Bengali gets the best representations in this phrase.
L is for Lungi - the dress for all occasions. People in Kolkata manage to play football and cricket wearing it, not to mention the daily trip in the morning to the local bajaar. Now there is talk of a lungi expedition to Mt. Everest.
M is for Minibus, better known & pronounced as Minibaas. These are dangerous half buses whose antics would effortlessly frighten the living daylights out of all James Bond stuntmen as well as Formula 1 race car drivers. M is also for Maunkey Cap and Maaphlar!! They are every Bengali’s favourite head wear & head gear at the mere hint of winter or cold.
N is for Nangto. This is the Bengali word for Naked. It is the most interesting naked word in any language and is used with a lot of fervour!
O is for Oil. The Bengalis believe that a touch of mustard oil will cure anything from cold (oil in the nose), to earache (oil in the ear), to cough (oil on the throat) to piles (oil you know where!) Obbhyesh, as in habit is also another very popular word in the Bengali dictionary.
P is for Phootball. This is always a phavourite phassion of the Kolkattan. Every Bengali is born an expert in this game. The two biggest clubs there are Mohunbagan and East Bengal and when they play the city comes to a stop even today. On every occasion of a phootball match between these two giants, pheesh is sold at a premium, Chingri, as in prawns for Mohun Bagan fans and Elleesh, the one & only for the East Bengal fans.
Q is for Queen. This really has nothing to do with the Bengalis or Kolkata, but it's the only Q word I could think of at this moment. There's also Quilt but they never use them in Kolkata. Till not very long ago, Quinine was a household name as the all time cure for anyone having even a slight hint of temparachar, I mean temperature.
R is for Robi Thakur. Many many years ago Kabiguru Rabindranath Tagore ( SRK doesn't know how to address him properly)got the Nobel Prize. This has given the right to all Bengalis no matter where they are to frame their acceptance speeches as if they were directly related to the great poet and walk with their head held high. This is also closely associated with Robindro Shongeet, which every Bengali takes pride in. It is almost blasphemy not to know at least a dozen of Robindro Shongeet. You can hear high pitch practicing of Robindro Shongeet every early morning in the rural Bengal, even today. Note that 'Rawshogolla' comes a close second !
S is for Shourav. Now that they finally produced a genuine cricketer and a captain, Bengalis think that he should be allowed to play until he is 70 years old. Of course they will see to it that he stays in good form by doing a little bit of 'joggo' and 'maanot'. Shukto is another delicacy from the kitchens on Bengal, made out of most unimaginable mixture of herbs, shrubs, leaves & spices & mustard oil….the end result is of course one of mouth watering experience.
T is for Trams. Hundred years later there are still trams in Kolkata. Of course if you are in a hurry it's faster to walk. This heritage vehicle manages to be an integral part & parcel of Kolkata through all the urban changes. These moving structures manage to go off the tracks at almost every bends (especially in Central Kolkata), with effortless ease, leading to long traffic snarls, which is a sight by itself.
U is for Aambrela. When a Bengali baby is born he is handed one. The Jhola (mentioned above), more often than never has an aambrela, I mean umbrella tucked in amongst other important things.
V is for Bhaayolence. Bengalis are the most non-violent violent people around. When an accident happens they will fold up their sleeves, shout and scream and curse and abuse, "Chherey De Bolchhi" & keep inching backwards. The last time someone actually hit someone was in 1979.
W is for Water, pronounced normally as Oataar. For three months of the year the city is underwater and every year for the last 200 years the authorities are taken by surprise by this! U can actually see people sitting with fishing rods to make a prize catch of the very phavourit pheesh at College Square ( a very popular swimming pool in Central Kolkata)
X is for X'mas. It's very big in Kolkota, with Park Street fully lit up and all Bengalis agreeing that they must eat cake-pastry that day. The boisterous celebrations are more within the non Chistians.
Y is for Yesshtaarday. Which is always better than today for a Bengali (see R for Robi Thakur).
Z is for Jebra, Joo, Jipper and Jylophone .

10 comments:

JusThoughts said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JusThoughts said...

cool hai dada..:-)

love
manan

sharada said...

just can imagine how naughty u wd hv been. ur still very naughty. do u still get punished by
baba?

Lonely Princess said...

Hehe... Awesome post! Me and my friends often try to imitate Bengalis and how they speak English and Hindi... good humoredly of-course! Coz the friend himself is Oriya... Brilliant write-up!

Do visit my blog and let me know your comments!

-Anuja
http://anujarathi.blogspot.com/

Vaibhav said...

Let me work on another set of Words and will post it on my Blog u can follow...

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