Namaskara, Chennagideera?

Most tourist literature would tell you about the specialties of Bangalore like the Vidhan Soudha, Cubbon Park and Lalbagh and MTR, food items like Bisibelebath, Chow Chow bath, obbatu, kadubu and chakili and that very special Sampige flower.
If you are someone who is here for the first time for an extended stay, here are some specialties in the vocabulary of Bangalore you might be interested to know:

Don’t be surprised if you are accosted on your morning walk by a friendly neighbor with “Coffee ayitha?” No, it is not a subtle invitation to go for coffee together but an accepted greeting. It is an equivalent of British opening gambit with the topic of the weather “nice warm day huh?” In fact from sunrise to mid morning and post noon to sunset, this is an accepted opening line for a conversation.
Speaking of coffee, do not be surprised when you order coffee in a hotel, if the server asks you if it is “by-two”. No that is not a variety of coffee; it is just a way coffee is served in most hotels, where one cup of strong decoction coffee is nicely divided into two tiny tumblers. A nice way to share a conversation and coffee without spoiling your system with too much caffeine.

Bangaloreans are extremely warm and helpful but if they do not know something they’d rather admit it frankly than mislead you. Hence you may hear that charming word “Gothilla” (do not know) quite often. While there may be a few nonchalant “gothilla”s, they are usually honest and many times even apologetic for not being able to help.

Ree – this is the equivalent of the Hindi “ji”. Sometimes you may be just designated “ree” by someone who is trying to draw your attention. And kannadigas are usually very polite to strangers and elders, and the conversation is garnished with generous “ree”s. For instance if you want to be nice to a helpful auto rickshaw driver you could say “thanks ree” and put a smile on his face.

If you want to have your clothes pressed and want to ask your maid to do it, you could tell her to “iron” them – but you would be clear if you pronounced the “iron” rhyming it with “siren”

Don’t be surprised about the nature of business of a medical man if an old man tells you he retuned from the doctor “shop”. It only refers to the doctor’s clinic.

And a “darshini” restaurant is one where there are no chairs to sit down but counters to place your plates while you eat standing. Truly fast food. Limited items but delicious , hygienic and what’s more absolute value for money.

The people are warm, friendly and gentle like the weather. And you can always be assured of sympathy “Paapa ree” ( poor thing!) Even a bus which is full and hence does not stop at a stop is forgiven with an ” avarthaane ein maduthare paapa” ( what can he do poor thing!).There may be inconveniences here and there but if you can “swalpa adjust maadi” ( please adjust a little) you will find the experience absolutely delightful.

8 Comments so far

  1. Shruthi (unregistered) on April 3rd, 2006 @ 3:40 pm

    Sakkat article :)
    You know, I had not realized that we say doctor “shop”! It is so much a part of our vocabulary that I had taken it for granted :)

  2. BangaloreGuy (unregistered) on April 3rd, 2006 @ 8:59 pm

    Its actually “shaapu”. We dont pronounce it as “shop”! :-)

  3. Ambar (unregistered) on April 3rd, 2006 @ 10:06 pm

    modify the “shaapu” a bit, and it sounds close to “daaktar sahab” :D

    Anyways, sooper article.

  4. Prashanth (unregistered) on April 4th, 2006 @ 11:46 am

    Nice article :)
    And you missed – ‘enjoy maadi’

  5. Preethi (unregistered) on April 4th, 2006 @ 2:57 pm

    Its a beautiful post, Usha..:)
    And whenever I read such things or hear something about ‘Namma Bengalooru’, my heart just swells with pride that I am also a Kannadiga.. though partly…:)

  6. Ram (unregistered) on April 4th, 2006 @ 4:53 pm

    Nice article usha. though i am not a kannadiga or live in bengalooru, I stayed there close to 2 years and used to “swamy, by2 maadi” and , bera yenu bekku?…..

    An article presented excellently.thumba chennagithe.

  7. swalkangel (unregistered) on April 6th, 2006 @ 4:39 pm

    hi, nice post. i lived in bangalore myself for nearly 5 years..and it was a beautiful experience..i went home with a heart full of happiness and a toungue so fast to utter kannada words..and yes, i have throughly learnt how to speak kannada and it is a beautiful language..

    by the way..what’s ‘thank you’ in kannada? tks,

  8. shub (unregistered) on April 13th, 2006 @ 3:08 pm

    delightful little post Usha-avare :-) Captures the essence of all that is bangalore!

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