'Tis the season when the chances of you bumping into a Bengali go through the roof. Durga Pujo is just ’round the corner or ‘mor’, as Babai would say. And if you’re going around town, you will inevitably catch snippets of animated Bengali conversation. Here’s a short list of words that may help you butt into a Bong conversation:
Someone who makes claims taller than a million giraffes on The Great Khali’s shoulders.
“Tunku said he bowls at over 140km/h, but during the match he was slower than an off spinner in slo mo! Classic dhopbaaj, I tell you!”
Jhaari maara: The art of checking someone out, but with great subtlety.
“At the CR Park pujo last year, Khokon was in full jhaari maara mode, busy checking out all the boudis present.”
Aantel: The intellectual who has a lot of gravitas about him/her. Loves everything anti-establishment and obscure Romanian films.
“A film festival inevitably means a gathering of aantels who will smoke Chaarminar cigarettes and rant about Godard movies.”
Also read: Come taste the flavour of Durga Puja
Or proti ektu byatha aache: Literally translates to “X has some pain for Y”. What it actually means is that “X has romantic feelings for Y”.
“Remember that literature professor from college? Akhono or proti ektu byatha aache [I still have the hots for her, man!]”
Case kheye gechi boss!: Faced with a difficult situation/problem.
“The deadline for the presentation is tomorrow and there’s a booze party on tonight. Case kheye gechi, boss!”
Chaap nio na: Don’t stress out.
“She’s not the last woman on the planet, re. Chaap nio na... you’ll fall in love so many more times in your life!”
Ghyam laagche: Used to comment on someone who is looking oh-my-god so hot.
“Check out Riya. Lal paad saari teh ghyam laagche! (She looks so sexy in that saree with the red border)
From HT Brunch, September 28
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