Thursday, May 28, 2009

Lingo leela

Few days back I went to this pooja/prayer ceremony and I witnessed a major update of lingo. The same happened when we were discussing how Non resident Indians behave when they make Skype calls. Giggle.
This lady who was conducting the pooja, all clad in saffron pro mantra knowing queen avatar started blowing smoke in fire, other good smelling stuff inside and then explained, "You should regularly do Pranayam 'cos it helps relieve you of depression! This was a bouncer! Till date, you'd have them speak of cleansing the body, mind, system etc and purging your sins of some other birth. But, this was new! This is exactly what I had been trying to prove in my paper on authenticity by using English, where English words which were a little obscure or jargon complicated to understand, were used to generate trust and confidence in the product or service's scientificity. Now the same thing with this pooja lingo, where the lady was reinventing and updating the beneficial service to keep pace with its customers. She explained that "depression" is a common phenomenon in daily life because of the increasing amounts of "stress". It was like introducing this whole new paper on "Psycho-rituals". Interesting.
The next is a very commonplace parlance thing. When I get a nice call from my NJ relatives telling me "wassup" with them. This is how it goes:

Relative: Badhu orrite (alright) chhe. (Everything is alright)
Amey hamna "house buy" karyu chhe and "car" bye kari chhe._____ bhai ney "freeways" par chalaavta aavdey chhe. "Gas" bahu j "frikkin" expensive chhe. Ahiya "Spring" chhe. "winters" (roll your r's! quick!) ma bahu "snow" padey chhe!Maara "work" (rrr) no time thai gayo. JSK

Translation: We just bought a house and a car. Mister____ can drive on highways too and petrol here is really expensive. It is spring time here but in winters it snows a lot.It is time to go to work. Jai sri krishna. :)

All this wouldn't sound so queer in English but apart from the highlighted words the rest is usually( say you-Ju-ali)in broken Gujarati. I never quite got why they say all this over and over and Indians here seem to think "house" in America country sounds different than house in India.