The A vowel or the article seems to capture essential innuendos of Bong Culture and roots.
Let’s dive in!
Adda: This is a universally practiced behaviour , but out-and-out copyrighted by the Bengalis world over. ‘Adda’ is all you do when you chat over a hot cuppa. What makes it so Bangali is surely the varied issues or non-issues that can be discussed for hours together. And if you really need a hang of this mantra then just take some time out and visit any of those ‘chai taparis’ in the bustling ‘galis’ of Kolkata.
Apatti: This is no French… it’s officially Bengali! No ‘bangali’ is close to being one, if he misses out on agreeing to this. ‘Apatti’ is nothing internationally fancy, but ‘objection’ in Bengali. Each and every Bengali, has ‘apatti’ on at least one of the topics discussed around him… every hour! So, you really want to take chances of getting into a verbal volleyball with them? Try it!
Ashchorjyo: Again, don’t get ‘Surprised’; and by the way that’s our next very surprisingly common ‘A’ in Bengali… Ashchorjyo means surprising. And is heavily used in every Bengali household if the morning ‘bazaar’ is delayed, if the fish curry is bland, if the electricity bill has increased beyond expectations, if a child doesn’t win a sit & draw competition, and if it’s politics then the recurrence of this particular word is more than it’s average usage.
Everything is quite ‘adbhut’ if it’s not in sync with the Bengali mindset. You will hear a Bengali mumble ‘adbhut’ when he sees a public transport packed to the P; when Dada hits a winning six; when he relishes the most amazing preparation of hilsa; when he happens to savour one of the latest flick of Bumba Da (Prasenjit Chatterjee); even when the roads are clogged after a heavy shower and the list goes on. So, basically good, bad or ugly every situation has a common expression… ‘Adbhut’!
Simply put it means surprised in Bengali and its probably the most favored expression of all the A’s written about in this post. Now this too would be considered surprising to many of us or shall we say ‘aitaa pode aami abaak hoi gechi”
And are we right about these Bengali-isms? The quiz master’s expression says it all …
By Chitranka Chowdhury
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