Friday, September 17, 2010

The Bihari Way

(Shared Note of an Anonymous blogger)

LE BALAIYA, ee ka hua?
Kahe albalaye huye hain? Etna narbhasane se kuchchho nahin hoga.
O-mi-gosh, what's this? Why are you so flustered? Such nervousness won't help matters.

The inveterate linguist may scream at such an apparent contamination of Hindi language but the average Bihari simply loves to throw all narrow parameters of grammar to the winds. For them, the funnier they are, the better their adaptability is into their inimitable lingua franca. Over the years, Biharis have invented a language, which has an unmistakable stamp of their own.

In recent times, its popularity has traveled far and wide beyond the borders of the State many screen heroes, including Amitabh Bachchan, have mouthed Bihari clichés with characteristic élan - a far cry from the days when it was thought to be an infra dig of sorts for anybody other than country bumpkins and unscrupulous politicians to perpetrate such "verbal atrocities".

All that, however, is passé now. Bihari Boli is sweeter than honey now not only in Bollywood but also on the campuses of prestigious universities and IITs across the country. Words like harbaraye, garbaraye, bargalaye, thartharaye and dhanmanaye which would have sounded Greek to outsiders earlier are being used with gay abandon by the hep youngsters there.

Sobriquets laced with double entendres like "garda", “bawaal” and “dhuan” denoting the varying degree of a girl's beauty can be heard not only in Patna University colleges but also faraway Fergusson College in Pune. Moreover, a-go, dugo, teengo and chaartho type of numerology that was a matter of disdain not long ago is being accepted even by the stiff upper-lips without any qualms. So, notes sarka do (pass on the notes),"batti buta do (put out the lights)", Principal ko harka do (bamboozle the principal), burbak kahin ka (you stupid fellow!), hum to biga gaye (I was thrown out) and Hum to huan thebe kiye the (I was very much there) are some of the expressions which have conveniently made their way into the otherwise prim-and-propah St Stephens, New Delhi. Similarly, coinages like dhakiyaye (shoved), mukiyaye (punched), and latiyaye (kicked)are the current rage. Hiyan (here),huan (there), kahe (why), enne (this way) and onne (that way) are some of other typical words, which are spoken rather nonchalantly by so-called educated lot.

One, therefore, does not get surprised if one hears tanikke for little, nimman for good, anhar for darkness and ejot for lights. For them, colloquial language need not be tied to any narrow rules. E topicwa par maatha khapane se kuchchho nahi hoga (nothing is to come out of this topic), as one wit commented. Among many characteristics of this language are its terms of endearment. Seldom does one hear people on the streets calling each other by their real names. Raju automatically becomes Rajua, Pappu turns into Pappua, Rajesh into Rajeshwa and Shatrughna at best Satrohna.

This potpourri of all Bihari dialects has also coined new terms for human anatomy which would baffle an FRCP if he were to land here straight from Edinburgh. Here gor means legs, moori is substitute to head, ongree is equivalent to finger, thor denotes lips and kapar is synonymous with forehead. This language also has more onomatopoeic words than probably any other.

Words like tapak se, gapak se, and japak se can be understood by listening to their phonetical sounds. No longer is Bihari language associated with a few howlers like eskool (school), teeshan (station)and singal (signal) only. There are certain words which carry the precise meaning but which cannot be properly substituted by any word in other languages. Machchar bhamhor liya is probably is one such example. Bhamhorna is a super word, which means the collective assault of mosquitoes to "bhamhor" you. But then, one might argue, where else do you find so many mosquitoes to bhamhor you. Similarly, routine sariyana (to arrange one books and notebooks in the schoolbag according to the class schedule), Dupatta lasiyana (when a girl's dupatta sweeps the floor as she walks unknowingly)give the exact word for which other languages will take a sentence to convey the meaning. Right from Laloo Prasad Yadav, who emerges as the best speaker of his ghar ki boli to the inimitable Shekhar Suman, everybody loves to flaunt his native command of the language. Earlier, Biharis were notorious for atrocious gender sense and shoddy pronunciation.

Now, the same traits have become the tour-de-force of their conversation. The time has certainly come to raise ekadhgo (one or two) toast to the longevity of the Bihari language.

"Teengo" cheers to that!

1 comment:

pD said...

a-go, dugo, teengo...go go go :P

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