Stuff, Nonsense, and a Giveaway

15 Jan

One of my enduring childhood memories–and, in retrospect, a favorite one–is of my mum haggling with our regular fish vendor. (A piece about that interaction and my relationship with all things piscine will be part of an anthology in the mid-future, but never mind that right now.) We knew that after all the dramatic declarations of unfed mouths and daylight thugee had faded away, our prize would be fresh, delicious fish–fried, curried, or put in a good old patio.

Among the previously mentioned declarations was this unique phrase my mother would exclaim: Dhoor ne dhumasso!

“Dhoor ne dhumasso”, stuff and nonsense

Pronounced: dhoo-r neh dhum-aaso

Direct translation: dust and sawdust (?) I’m not certain what dhummaso means–will update if I find out!

Time to practice:

You’re telling me the prices have gone up since last week?? Dhoor ne dhumasso!


Dhoor ne dhumasso they’re moneyed! Their type shows Colaba, buys Dadar.

Still more:

The maid came back today, claiming she’d had malaria for the 4th time in 3 months. Dhoor ne dhumasso, she’d be dead at that rate!

For an authentic exclamation, add a snort and a miffed shake of the head. Foot-stomping optional. My very efficient mother did all three seamlessly.


Because it’s a spanking new year, because I have recently returned from a trip to the mother ship, and because I’m delighted with the stash I’ve carried for you, here’s 2014’s first giveaway on WWNP!!


parsi bol

I am thrilled that I don’t have to be your sole source of Parsipanu anymore! From the scriptwriter/director of the award-winning Salaam Bombay, Mississippi Masala, and Little Zizou, and the author of Laughter in the House: 20th Century Parsi theatre comes this delightful collection of Parsi-isms that had me guffawing late into the night.

Between its covers are gems like “Budhvar na vandha” (so dim, can’t recite days beyond Wednesday), “Tamboo ma saheb” (pregnant), and “Kamakli”, (of lesser intelligence), which you may recall from this post.

And you, lucky people, get to raise your hand for one of three author-signed copies I’m giving away! All you need to do is tell me your favorite Parsi thing. It could be a dish, a person, a book or movie, a phrase, or a quirk you can’t quite wrap your head around.

Exhibit A:

You: Do Parsis really sip an albino bull’s urine at their Navjote?

Me: Yes! And because once isn’t enough, at their wedding too–so anything that comes after seems infinitely better! Here’s your free copy of Parsi Bol!


Exhibit B:

You: Do Parsi dead people really get fed to vultures?

Me: For breakfast, lunch and dinner! In fact, I’d last them a whole week. Here’s your free copy of Parsi Bol!


Exhibit C:

You: My favorite Parsi is Freddie Mercury.

Me: Oops, wrong answer! It should’ve been me. Next!


So go on, jump in and wrangle! Winners will be randomly chosen. Giveaway open until January 31st and to U.S. residents only. Everyone’s welcome to chime in, though! Please leave a valid email address in the required field (and not in the comment box) so you can be contacted.

Happy New Year, my friends! So glad to infuse some chuckles into 2014. :mrgreen:



Updated to add:


*Trumpet blast*


*Lion roaring ala MGM*

The 3 lucky winners of the Parsi Bol giveaway are……. *drumroll*

*nail-biting anticipation*

*torturous silence*

*clears throat*


# 1: Subu


#2: A. Rashid


#3: allMom


Congratulations! I hope you have a truly enjoyable time reading the book. 🙂 Please email with your last name and mailing address and I’ll pop your prize in the mail right away!


This giveaway has now concluded. Thanks every one of you for participating and chiming in with your lovely responses! 🙂 You guys are the best.


17 Responses to “Stuff, Nonsense, and a Giveaway”

  1. lawyerette January 15, 2014 at 3:01 pm #

    After a night of studying (I am on IST ) and fighting with boyfriend, your blog post was just what the doctor ordered. Thanks

  2. alice January 15, 2014 at 9:14 pm #

    Remove the exhibit c.. That was gonna be my answer. My fav parsi thing is youuuuuu. And a verrry close 2nd is aunty g(she is parsi,no?)
    But well, there was a parsi lady at our workplace. A super colourful character. Revelled in nonveg jokes. Men half her age would blush around her. She retired years ago but old timers still occasionally talk about her ‘remember mani…?’

  3. ??! January 15, 2014 at 9:49 pm #

    Dhumasso is smoke/ haze. So, dust and haze, I guess? As in, “tricks and confusion”?

  4. hAAthi January 15, 2014 at 11:37 pm #

    “When it doubt, break an eedu over it” is my favourite Parsi way of cooking!

  5. Revathi January 15, 2014 at 11:46 pm #

    I live in Bombay, so you will continue to be my sole source of parsipanu. 🙂

  6. Aunty G January 16, 2014 at 8:12 pm #

    ‘Kutra no buk’ was what
    In childhood i wasn’t taught
    “Lick your plate clean
    Not a grain should be seen!”
    ‘Cos that’s what poverty had wrought!
    And yes, Alice, you’ve got it right
    Parsi i am — ’tis my birthright
    But Parsipanu’s not fully known
    Because in Teluguland i’ve grown
    And for Parents (and their’s) Urdu was a delight!
    To wind up, let me add
    My thanks — i am so glad
    To be coupled with OJ
    Being second is wayyy OK
    ‘Cos she’s like a daughter i never had!
    A small Post Script to OJ
    I know you’re not okay with OK
    But this time, do excuse
    With apologies i suffuse
    Couldn’t resist teasing you so early in the day!

  7. subu January 19, 2014 at 12:59 am #

    Favorite Parsi :easy peasy:) JRD Tata. My hubby’s family is from the township set up by him in Mithapur and most of my husbands family at some point or the other and everyone has nothing but nice things to say about the company.

    All the phrases I know and enjoyed, I’ve read on your blog. And the weirdest rumour I’ve heard about Parsi’s is that they sleep with their slippers on.

  8. Nidhi January 20, 2014 at 6:51 pm #

    Shoot! Where did my comment go? My fav Parsi is Rohinton Mistry – for the endless entertainment and insight to Parsi-ness that he gave a South Indian book-aholic like me 🙂

  9. A. Rashid January 23, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

    My latest Parsi Pursuit – Poring through the recipes in a scanned copy of Vividh Vani using my stilted Gujarati after all attempts to find the Time and Talents Club recipe book failed.
    The Parsi Bol book looks like a real hoot! I can’t wait to read it.

  10. allMom January 30, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

    Ratan Tata. He takes understatement to a new level.
    Freddie Mercury. Who rocked generations. My dad & my 10 year old along with the generations in between love him.

  11. kayfitnessmantra January 31, 2014 at 9:45 am #

    Favorite parsi is you because I enjoy your blog.
    I believe all parsi’s are honest and that is what I like about them.

    I also what to know what the fish shaped sweet is that I saw in some parsi wedding pictures.

  12. Orange Jammies February 2, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

    lawyerette: Glad to be of service. 🙂 Hope things are better in boyfriendland.

    alice: Awww, you flatterer you. Mani is hardly unique. Colorful language is quite a community trademark, much to my Boy’s alarm. We didn’t grow up hearing it much, because my parents think “stupid” is a cuss word, but yeah, Parsi colonies are a minefield of the choicest gaalis. 😉

    ??!: Thank you for clearing that up–ironically! I think it means “rubbish” more than “trickery”, though.

    hAAthi: Oh absolutely! No other way to live. There’s kheema-par-eedu on the menu tomorrow.

    Revathi: Umm, darling, you do realize the irony of that statement, don’t you? 🙂

    Aunty G: Oh my, just look!
    My GGF did “kutra no buk”
    His first morsel would be
    For his beloved dogs three
    Only after which he partook

    subu: Lol! 😆 Close, subu. We wear them everywhere in the home except in the shower and in bed. 😉 Walking barefoot is a crime right up there with armed robbery.

    Nidhi: I love his writing too. It’s like a neighbor’s home. Not quite my life, but I know exactly what he means.

    A. Rashid: You have the Time and Talents Club recipe book? 😀

    allMom: We have favorites in common. 🙂 Although my parents and brother do tend to take precedence. 😉

    kayfitnessmantra: Thank you, thank you. The fish-shaped mithai is called ‘mawa ni boi’, literally a ‘boi’ (name of a) fish made of mawa, and coated with silver foil. It’s so yum, now I’m craving it!

  13. Aunty G February 2, 2014 at 10:51 pm #

    Congratulations to the winners
    Of the Parsi Bol spinners
    May the books won
    Provide endless fun
    Making all of you permanent grinners!

  14. AR February 10, 2014 at 11:36 pm #

    OJ! I spent the whole weekend delighting in pithy Parsee phrases. This is such a fun and clever book and a brilliant idea. I can’t wait to start confounding my family with all the new vocabulary. Thanks so much for this book and this blog!

  15. Orange Jammies February 12, 2014 at 11:26 pm #

    Aunty G: What makes us grinners, my Aunty G
    Is your limericky winners, without fail or fee
    It’s almost like you’ve got
    A rhyme-monster robot
    Churning lines most eloquently!

    AR: Hooray! 😀 You must share their reactions with us!

  16. Aunty G February 14, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

    Ta again, Darling Girl!


  1. Mother Mine | Wisdom Wears Neon Pyjamas - January 28, 2014

    […] you entered the Parsi Bol giveaway yet?? Go it do it now! Time’s running […]

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