We are like this only!
Mumbai's junta prides themselves with a unique glossary that is robust, witty and reflective of the city's vibrant, multi-hued character. Now, an A-Z guide by three 22-year-olds attempts to compile some of these terms and phrases that will appeal to the city buff as well as the out-of-towner
Okay, so we pride ourselves of being blessed with an entire package deal, when it comes to being the keepers of a separate ‘Mumbaiyya’ version of the Alphabet.
Acting on this unique world of quirky words and phrases, three city-bred 22-year-olds, Mithila Mehta, Priya Sheth and Digantika Mitra have gone ahead and compiled an A-Z guide that breathes Mumbai from start to end. Engaging, amusing and colourful, it's bound to strike a chord with most Mumbaikars. While some of the terms like dabbawala, rokda, bhai, cutting chai, kolis and kabootar khana sounded regular to the ear of the average Mumbaikar, we decided to not play spoilsport and invited one of our non-Mumbai bred colleagues to choose her favourites.
Here are three such interesting ones that caught the attention of our non-Mumbaikar colleague; these came as a surprise for us, Mumbaikars though. Dig in!
Baida: This is a no-brainer for the city slicker but the rest didn’t think so. A city staple, the Baida Roti is a favourite served with chicken or meat mince. For veggies, it is filled with paneer, onions and green chillies. You’ll sport the word baida in several restaurant menus, including Kheema Baida Ghotala and Cheesy Baida Roti.
I for Italian Barber
Italian Barber: These footpath barbers work under extreme conditions — a wooden stool balanced on an uneven pavement, with an almost titled mirror. His tools are sparse, a pair of scissors and a plastic comb. Their reasonable rates and all-season presence ensures they are integral to Mumbai’s streetscape
Zunka Bhakar: This traditional Maharashtrian dish made of bhakri, rice flour and roasted and is served along with a sabzi made of onions, garlic and gram flour. Green chillies add to the spice factor in this dish. You’ll spot these stalls across the city and its suburbs that dish out this rustic snack at a very reasonable price.
Some of the other favourites include Bombay Sandwich, Dhinchak, Aila, Lover’s Rocks, Ragda Pattice and Waat.
While we would’ve wished for a more exhaustive guide, this guide should work nicely for the now, and is bound to bring a smile on the face of the diehard city lover. The design, layout and photographs lend a warm touch to every mention.
Such books not only add value to a city’s alternate sub culture, rich with a unique flavour and vibrancy. One can only hope that it will encourage more youth to work towards and appreciate what we have within this great, thriving metropolis of ours.
Cutting Chai and Maska Pao, Mithila Mehta, Priya Sheth, Digantika Mitra, HarperCollins India, Rs 250. Available at leading bookstores.