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.