Once ‘Bihari’ meant ‘a fool’ in Delhi and that was the time when I came to delhi. Although, Bihar is a full fledged state with a historical past and bright culture, it had a very different connotation in Delhi. Probably it was because of the labourers who came to Delhi out of pauperism were unable to retaliate to the mockery. Instead of digging deep into the culture and history of a far away land an average delhiite prefers stereotyping. I always had to clarify that Jharkhand is not Bihar. The focus of Delhi has now shifted from Bihari, or Madrasi, to Chinki, and the North-Easterners are now facing the brunt. Nido Taniyam lost his life because of his unconventional hair style, a girl was molested at DU metro station I don’t know why, an ex-army man and his wife were beaten in their apartment in Munrika. All this happened, not because there is anything wrong in the north easterners, its because of lack of ability to accept something different.
Delhi has its own composite culture but I think it should be a little more accomodative and less sterotyping. Every outsider has to acclimatise to Delhi’s mannerisms. Shouldn’t then Delhi be a bit more flexible? In the next paragraph I would like to point out some of the Delhisms-i.e. things that you are going to find commonly in delhi but they may be a rarity elsewhere.
1. Mutter paneer chowmein- I bet even Xi Jinping didn’t know about it, until he visited Delhi. People love cheeze here,so they put it in everything from dosas to chole-bhature.
2. Socks with sandals- Its not a faux pas in Delhi,its rather a fashion statement. Some prefer white socks under black sandals. Isn’t that some style statement. The fashion police here beats to death a boy with an uneven haircut.
3. Seedha-Ulta haath: Right hand is straight hand and left one is inverted hand( or wrong hand according to some) in Delhi. If thats not enough, we have many other misleading directions here
4. Takkar pe=at the point of strike or at the site of hit…but in Delhi it means an intersection.
5. saath me= with, but here it means by the side of something
6. Laal batti= red light, in delhi it means all the three colors of traffic signal, imagine telling a bus driver” take a right turn, when you see a red light”
7. Then there is a special diction here, bulb is balab, park is parak, red is rad, bed is bad… definitely the accent is as dead as “Dad” here.
Now lets suppose an outsider asks a Delhiite for directions to the nearest eatery, he would get direction somewhat like this:
Walk “with” the trees, soon you will reach a “hitting spot”, take a turn to the side of your “wrong/inverted hand” after walking for a few “saconds” you will find a “rad light”, you can eat “mutter paneer chowmein” there.
Just think what would happen to someone who doesn’t know hindi well- a North Easterner or a South-Indian, they become a reverse laughing stock here.
Please Delhi please! Before making fun of someone, always remember ” Big brother is watching you”.