Words 4: Mumbai, freeriding, separation, glass

Words: Glass, freeriding, Mumbai, separation

This was the curse of IT firms. They had offices in Bangalore. And many of those who worked in the glass-kissed buildings were from places like Mumbai and Delhi. The ones from Madras were alright. They had a right to be in Bangalore. But the others annoyed him. The girl on the desk ten feet away from him, constantly reminded everyone that it was Bombay and that she would never call it anything else. She would talk about Bombay, how beautiful Marine Drive was. All he wanted to say was, “Who fucking cares?”

Freeriding on the vocabulary of the locals, the North Indians had picked up words like Machhan. Or they randomly suffixed “Da” at the end of every sentence. Especially when talking about philosophy. Like when his flatemat Gurjeet said “Separation of coding and testing is so superficial da“.

Now everytime his sister called him on the phone and used the word “da”, he wanted to bang his head on the table. This corruption of the mundane. Something as lyrically insignificant as “da” had been turned into an assertion of engineering identity. A term of endearment now ruined forever because instead of reminding him of a Sunday afternoon as a child, it reminded him of an uncomfortable chair in a wannabe pub in the city. Surrounded by the overnight Machhans.

Well Gurjeet … fuck you da.

15 Comments

Filed under More Words, Poetry and Fiction

15 Responses to Words 4: Mumbai, freeriding, separation, glass

  1. Ok you have to translate.

    What on earth is machhan?? I never learnt the word in Bangalore..

    And isn’t ‘da’ a Tam usage?

  2. km

    LOL@ Gurjeet. It used to be funny watching them trying to use “machchan” or “da” for the first time in a sentence. (Reminded me of that scene in “Borat” when he tries to learn the usage of “NOT!” as a punch-line)

  3. last para’s a beauty!
    and bombay is the most beautiful…

  4. I liked the way you brought the word Separation into the story :)

  5. Praveen

    @ Shefaly: Machan in Tamil is “bro-in-law”, but it is used casually among friends to address each other.

    I beleive the tamils in IIM Lucknow are called ‘machan’ :P

    Go to Chennai and you hear more of “maaplai” (son-in-law), maams and lot more crap.

  6. McChax

    Which is what the crowd used to be called in my place : )

    Brilliant. Totally.

    @ Shefaly : Tis a quintessentially Indian usage, so you can seamlessly interchange all nuances of Macchaan with saala : )

  7. I remember having to contend with loads of Telugu speaking folks at work. And they had the ‘Emandi’ ‘Cheppandi’ …

    And then it used to go to ‘No undi..what i am saying is…’ ! ‘Yes undi..thats what i am saying..’

    The rest of us who knew their backgrounds didnt bat an eyelid. But when an Australian Sr.Exec asked in a puzzled tone..’whats with the undies’…well, we buried our faces into the keyboard.

    Da !

  8. @ Praveen: Thanks for clarifying. Is this ‘n’ pronounced? I recall some of my friends call each other ‘Maachaa’.. :-/

    @ McChax: I see. Thanks for the cross-cultural footnote :-)

  9. Very neat. However, about Gurjeet, there are definite perks to having a punju ‘machchan’. :)

  10. nilu

    Praveen, moodu da.

  11. Full respect. its kinda how the North Indians make fun of South Indian junta who speak Hindi, despite knowing fully well that the latter speak Hindi a gazillion times better than the former could ever dream of speaking a south Indian language.

  12. lol. Yep, while at college, we had a group of guys who came in from Allahabad, and vicinity and hearing them talk to the local patients was just amusing. Reminded me of those times.

    You on a roll girl! Nice work. :)

  13. Praveen

    yeh ‘n’ is pronounced.

  14. heh heh. My words are crepuscular, catatonic and chakkani raja (the last to be taken as one word/phrase)