Glossary

When I started writing this blog, I had no idea how I would categorize my posts. The usual movies, music, rant, travel taxonomy just did not appeal to me for one reason – it made sense. There was way too much cold logic in that for my taste. I prefer logic served with hot chocolate fudge and sprinkled with dried cannabis leaves for good effect. So I decided to use Madras Tamil terms.

Then something even stranger happened. Readers. People who were actually willing to spend time reading my blog and actually leaving comments on my posts. I look at some of the comments, and I realize that there is far more humour and wisdom in them than in my posts. Here is a very small sampler of some of the creative brilliance I get in the comments section.

So my silly experiment in absurd post categorization continued and the terms started to multiply at a rate slightly faster than a standard Madras auto meter.

Thus, this glossary

amit_123

amit_123 was a term coined by Harish as a South Indian generalization for all North Indians who migrate to Madras to join IT companies. It is intended as a limited-scope counterpoint to the term “Madraasi”. The bogus theory that justifies this term is of course:

All North Indian men are named Amit

So the standard cliches are:

  • amit_123 is rude to waiters
  • amit_123 hates Chennai’s weather
  • amit_123 can’t tolerate the fact that nobody understands Hindi in Chennai
  • amit_123 just cannot locate edible chappathi in Chennai
  • amit_123 misses ogling at the figures in his hometown
  • amit_123’s first criteria for a good actor is a six pack
  • And more. No wait. amit_123 prefers lassi

Some subspecies include cool_amit (bon-vivant raconteur types) and amit_just4u (Orkut stalker types)

Sample conversations demonstrating the use of amit_123:

“Dei. He is a sariyaana amit_123” (Hey, he is a clearly defined amit_123)

“Vantaangada amit_123s. Avanga rousu thaangamudiyaadhu. Pona vaaram Murugan Idli kadai waiteroda orey sandai” ( Here they come, the amit_123s. Their specific type of rousu is utterly intolerable. Last week, they were fighting with the waiter at Murugan Idli store)

Update: Based on this and this I propose a new species name for amit_123s. Something suitable zoological. It’s Amitus Abeyaarus

Jalsa

It all started with this word. A noun that suggests all manner of naughty, risque things and general illicit gratification with a tinge of geekiness involved

Example of non-jalsa activity – playing the guitar.

Example of Jalsa activity – wearing banian/lungi and playing Iron Maiden’s Fear of the Dark riff.

Posts categorized as jalsa will tend to refer to such activities

Jilpa

Showing Jilpa refers to talking a lot about stuff one has no clue about. For example, 10 years ago, a particularly orthodox relative of mine (unfortunately elderly to boot) visited us and I did the customary namaskaram (near feet fallings, blessings gettings) exercise so that he would pass on the essence of his good experiences to me. The theory is irrational, but it’s also good exercise. I usually use it as an excuse to do a pushup.

As I was about to finish and get back to playing Grand Theft Auto, he held me back and asked me to recite the Abhivaadaye. To the uninitiated, that is a formal introduction composed in Sanskrit taught to a boy when they put a thread on him. It generally goes – “I salute thee, I, from Sage Bhargava’s school, learning the Yajur Veda, chapter 4, named Ashok sharma….”.

In short, I had to introduce myself as a Veda learning, gurukul imprisoned, model citizen circa 1300 BC when really speaking, I was a heavy metal loving, engineering college bunking, average student circa 1997. Why, I asked? Tradition, he said. I told him that I do not want to introduce myself as somebody I was not. I promised to do some research, and create my own Abhivaadaye based on reality and get back to him.

I came up with “Abhivaadaye, Delhi Vishwavidhyaye, Anutantra Abhiyanthrike, Krishnan evam Rajeswari puthre, Bhaara Loha Sangeetha rasike, Aham, Ashok, asmi Bhoho”

Panini did not just turn in his grave. He woke up as a zombie and sent a Terminator-2000 into the future to eliminate me. It was wrong grammar in an unholy union with poor vocabulary to produce a sentence that could cause an entire language’s downfall.

That, on the other hand, was a good example of “showing jilpa”. Posts categorized as jilpa will tend to involve convoluted stories about simple things.

Matter

Nothing expresses “What is the problem dude? Is anything wrong? Can I help?” in fewer words than the Madras Tamil “Enna Matter?”

Posts categorized as matter will tend to vaguely and approximately refer to real life or serious stuff. No guarantees though.

ps: In certain parts of Madras, like Burma Bazaar, “matter” can also refer to devotional DVDs

deathbypowerpoint

Anything related to work, boredom and other soul sapping activities will be categorized as deathbypowerpoint.

Ooru Sutthal

Translation – Places Roamings. In short – Travelogues

Sappaadu

Translation – Food. Although in TN, Sappaadu refers to any kind of food as long as it involves rice. Everything else is “Tiffen”.

Totoro

Being a hot blooded, Aries alpha (ok. gamma perhaps) male, I cannot use the word “cute” without suffering from an aneurysm. So I use “Totoro” instead. Those who know Miyazaki will understand me. Those who don’t, see this

Totoro

That is a Totoro. Posts requiring me to use the 4-letter “c” word will use this category instead.

Pattinam

Pattinam is an archaic word for Chennai. It comes from a contraction of Chennappanaickapattinam, which apparently once caused East company officials to suffer from mouth paralysis trying to say it. All posts related to my home town will be categorized as Pattinam

Gilma

Strange stuff. Irrational stuff. Like Himesh, Shiv Sena and Soap serials.

66 replies

  1. finally a page i can direct the next person who asks me why my vocabulary has become extra colorful…

  2. Lol.

    Wonderful ! Am in splits.

    You have the knack to make others laugh. A great plus.

    Voracious Blog Reader

  3. Ranjit and Voracious Blog reader,
    Thank you

    • Hi, I first found your blog on one of Yahoo!’s articles you authored. Thanks for keeping it there.
      I enjoy reading your posts on South Indian families in Madras, a city that has given to the world Tamil (and old Telugu) movies, AR Rahman, and a lot of fun-loving people with a curious sense of world around them.
      PS: A cool profile pic, I must say. Radiating with jilpa! :P

  4. Very good explanation about jalsa and jilpa ..it made me to give a biggg smile in my face :)

  5. Death by powerpoint – couldn’t have had a better category!! Rock on.

  6. Well, now I know what jalsa, jilpa and gilma mean or stand for.
    vaathiyaare, nanri.

  7. Your Abhivaadaye is too good. I hope I too can come up with something like this.
    lol

  8. Excuse to do a push up… Oh man… You give a new meaning to loose pillai… :D

  9. Me also an Aries Male…..find it awkward to use “Cute” …but I have learnt from many “Groundnut sessions” that the four letter word starting with ‘c’ is the main keyword to be used….I have some somehow managed to live with the awkwardness…unlike u ..u seem to have coined a new word to suit ur cosmic sign :)

  10. //It was wrong grammar in an unholy union with poor vocabulary to produce a sentence that could cause an entire language’s downfall.//

    Thats like the same dialogue in Anniyan – “This is an unnecessary question irrelevant to the current situation” (what Ambi says to the SI who man handles the rogue) Chanceless man! Eager to meet you!

  11. Hey This is awesome!
    I am a tambram but born and brought up in Bombay, so my tamil is very different from the Madras tamil. (Sad but true is that my Marathi is better than my Tamil.. though i did learn to read and write tamil for 4 years). So now i can learn the Madras Tamil.. thanks to your blog.
    Nanri!!!!

  12. konjam comments apparam thank you solrada niruthitezh nu theriyudu :P

  13. why don’t you put funda on tina_123?

  14. Hi Ashok. I have been a silent reader of all your posts. Not only posts but also all those restaurant reviews. Really enjoy your writing, all the madras bashai and slang and everything. Keep posting….sirikka vekkareenga sila time sindikavum vekkareenga…..most of the times, the posts synch with what i would have thought casually….so feels good when I read. Kudos.

  15. Apparently, somewhere in the north, they refer to southies as ‘makaalu’ people. And that, it is said in a derogatory way, a laughing northie told me. I am very much from south, and would like if you’d start the process of coming up with a “powerful” word for collective-northies, which cannot be but derogatory :D

  16. “Chennappanaickapattinam, which apparently once caused East company officials to suffer from mouth paralysis trying to say it”

    ashok anna… really good :D

  17. brilliant stuff! love your writing.

  18. S00per Glossary… I liked that Jilpa part especially… enga dictionary la jalsa, jilpa, gilma la vera pa..

  19. naa indha site-a vuttu nagararadhaa illai … raa pisaasunu paeru vaanginaalum paravaa illai … jalsa jilpa gilma vaazhga :))))))

  20. Awesome blog you got here. Naasam :) (meaning awesome)

    ur thought on “machi”, “Escape”, “vedu joot” !

  21. Good stuff.. Just got to know bout this blog courtesy the lonely planet post. But think i ll visit often from now on.. Btw, Isn’t Pattinam just a generic tamil word for all Towns and not just Chennai?

  22. This is hilarious!

    Amitus Abeyaarus had me in absolute splits :)

  23. Hey Machi,

    I’m sidharth from Bengaluru .. Just stumbled upon ur blog sometime back .. Can’t get off your lingo man … I’m having Gajabuja fun reading ur Jalso and Jilpa …

    Kalakare Maga ..

    U Chumma Loha … :)

  24. Well, this is the height of somberi pasanga, velai saiyama Huge maoney vandhavangalukku, indha site romba pidikkum. Lifela ellamey jolly illai. Indha mediathai innum nalla seyalukku use pannina, padicha padippukkum, moolaila Yerinathukkum konjamavadhu payan undu. Indha jilpa jilma samacharamellam, kalyanam Aanadhum parandhu poidum

    • But I am happily married and there seems to be immense amounts of jalsa, jilpa (not jilma though) spread around, practically a veritable buffet :) Also, you are correct, life is not all fun, but you know what, it mostly is :)

    • Maapu. Office matter’la Thalai periya aalu. At any point of time, min 20 project managers or BRM’s will be hunting him. Social responsibility’lum annan king. So avasarapattu mudivikku vandhutathey. Office vera, podhu sevai vera, Jalsa vera, jilpa vera.. ellathaiyum ella edathulayum edhir paarkadhey. Vechuratuma.

  25. but what happened to kadla? The most descriptive word I have every heard!

  26. What a brilliant blog… most of my knowledge of chennai comes from the summer hols i used to spend in mylapore in my grandparents’ house (i am from bangalore).

    But whatever you say makes sense to me and i can’t help but laugh. Too good man!!

    -Krishna
    http://www.krishrao.com

  27. Raavi alias Raavi aavi Said..

    ## Well, this is the height of somberi pasanga, velai saiyama Huge maoney vandhavangalukku, indha site romba pidikkum. Lifela ellamey jolly illai. Indha mediathai innum nalla seyalukku use pannina, padicha padippukkum, moolaila Yerinathukkum konjamavadhu payan undu. Indha jilpa jilma samacharamellam, kalyanam Aanadhum parandhu poidum ##

    Life ungalukku jolly illa ..mathavangalukku mattum eppdi eppdi athu nu neenga yosikarathu puriuthu…aana…life is like a mirror…neenga eppdi dress pottu ungala paakareengalo athu than reflect aagum !! Life is full of fun and entho depends upon the way we take it !!!

    ### Maapu. Office matter’la Thalai periya aalu. At any point of time, min 20 project managers or BRM’s will be hunting him. Social responsibility’lum annan king. So avasarapattu mudivikku vandhutathey. Office vera, podhu sevai vera, Jalsa vera, jilpa vera.. ellathaiyum ella edathulayum edhir paarkadhey. Vechuratuma. ###

    Hmm…ungalukku yen ga pathikitu eriuthu…verum jilpa laye ivlo panrangale, neenga oru blog serious aa arambichu senchu kaatungalen paarpom !!

  28. Just a suggestion – Considering that Totoro is the biggest and creepiest of Miyazaki’s creations that usually freaks the viewer out with his absurdly bass voice, I think you should come up with a better category name for the c-word-that-must-not-be-named.

  29. one more characteristic of amit_123 & subclasses – they hate the misspelling of t as th, in every possible word :p For eg. It’s Chappati & not Chappathi

  30. Ah, makes me think @the_amit is also from your neck of the woods.

    Hilarious stuff, always a pleasure to read.

  31. lolz. Considering the number of blog posts that lead here, this sir must the Indian blogging equivalent of being Rick Roll’d. lolz.
    Us Trichnopolians have for long encouraged the usage of senthil_kumar as amit_123’s counterpart. Sadly we never found a popular blogger that subscribed to our view. Applicants are invited for the same, please mail your resumes ASAP. Dropout/12th Pass/Degree Holder, male/female, young/old/senile all welcome.

  32. Excellent blog! Makes for a very good read..

  33. great blog – enjoyed it thoroughly – i am sharing it will all my family members ….

    of course my blog is about “matter”

  34. so wonderful work.
    i like it very much and keen interest about it.

  35. Saar, please update this page with terms like Mahipal and other such stuff. Kthxbai!

  36. Yours is the second Abhivadhaye(sondha sarakku) after Cho’s in muhammad bin tuglak(appadinnu njabagam–it had been years though I remember that verbatim).

  37. amit_123’s first criteria for a good actor must be fair skin, then six pack abs.

  38. “ps: In certain parts of Madras, like Burma Bazaar, “matter” can also refer to devotional DVDs”

    ROFL :D

  39. funny explanations for the “Jalsa”, “Jilpa” and “Gilma”….LOL…Superlike

  40. Je ne connaissais pas du tout ce projet. j’ajoute votre blog à mes favoris. Amicalement,

  41. Hi this is kinda of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML.
    I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding skills so I
    wanted to get advice from someone with experience.

    Any help would be enormously appreciated!

Trackbacks

  1. Glossary « Doing Jalsa and Showing Jilpa
  2. The Jilpa Guide to organizing a World Food Festival « Doing Jalsa and Showing Jilpa
  3. Temple Matters « Doing Jalsa and Showing Jilpa
  4. Thoughts from India - Part 1 « News you can’t use !
  5. Muqablech : Part Deux » NITTians.com
  6. Muqablech : Part Deux « Man ish a social animal
  7. The Amit’s Obsession with T « Confessions of a Magnificent Mind
  8. Kausthub « Sparkling Whines
  9. Prejudiced and Proud. « mindless pablum
  10. Male 4 Letter Names | AllGraphicsOnline.com
  11. Armed Like Fadia And Other Criteria | De Libertas Quirkas
  12. How We Think About Cities « Wokay!
  13. Chennai Hating for Dummies | The Order of the Crutch
  14. Valentines Day, the T. Rajendar Way! | The Order of the Crutch

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 880 other followers