Tag Archives: definitions

No Meat Feat

9 Sep

Hands up those who’re related to well-meaning but bumbling folks who amuse us with their follies. Yup, totally expected that forest of waving arms. I’m no exception, and my community even has a special phrase to celebrate mix-ups, boo-boos, or whatever you want to call ’em.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, presenting:

Ghotala-ma-goas“, n. a big bungle

Pronounced: gho-taa-laa maa go-s

Direct translation: Meat in the mess-up

 

If you know anything about the Parsis, you will be aware that we’re a bunch of obligate carnivores. Mutton is our Mecca, our Holy Grail is the holy grill and many, many childhoods revolved around the thrill that was the arrival of the Chick Van.

Just like we break an egg on near everything, meat–good old goas–is dunked and simmered in dals, vegetables, rice, and ice cream. Okay fine, maybe not ice cream. So we have paapri-ma-goas, masoor-ma-goas, papeta-ma-goas, tamota-ma-goas, cauliflower-ma-goas, bheeda-ma-goas, and sakarkand-ma-goas, in addition to meat-specific dishes like kid goas (served at our wedding dinner), salli boti, chops, and cutlets.

Now that you have this introduction, you won’t be so surprised to learn that a bungle, in Parsi Gujarati, is called ghotala-ma-goas. Why leave the poor errors out in the cold while we feast on tender, juicy, fall-off-the-bone meat?

Let’s practice with an example:

They landed up at Eros instead of Sterling for the movie! Tsk, tsk. Such ghotala-ma-goas.

You try it:

These people OJ knows fed the same dog twice and starved the other one for 2 days straight. Now that’s a ghotala-ma-goas if there ever was one.

Your turn now: What legendary ghotala-ma-goases have you been a part of? C’mon people, get sharing! Let that be your Parsipanu pound of flesh. πŸ˜‰

New Year, New Section

8 Jan

While driving to Southern California this past Christmas, we were stalled behind a particularly snail-like vehicle that would neither speed up nor let us pass. The Boy was at the wheel, and while he is typically patience personified, I could sense the situation was pushing some buttons. “Dheero dhurpuch!” he grumbled aloud, and my brows shot up in amusement. In five years of knowing me, our man is spewing Parsi-isms like he owns them.

It formally began with the installation of a little whiteboard in our home. Primarily put up to bear reminders, lists and the odd story idea, I found myself inscribing definitions of typically Parsi words and phrases, just for fun. Like so:

dholio, n.: bed

dheero dhurpuch, adj.: slowpoke (masculine)

I regard my mother tongue with equal parts of humor and fondness. Borrowing heavily from Gujarati and retaining its script, Parsi Gujarati is a bastardized/hysterically funny adaption of the original language, depending on the way you look at it. With only a 100,000 of us left in the world, and fewer still speaking the language, only a handful of you will encounter it– unless you live in South Bombay, around a Parsi colony / the community inΒ  Toronto (second only to Bombay), or in a Gujarat town/city still populated by my people.

But guess what: I wouldn’t let you miss out! Starting this year, you’re going to find the odd phrase, the quirky word, and the unfathomable saying, all right here on WWNP. Here’s your chance to access a little-known language and either impress that one cuckoo Parsi in your life or seek one out if you suffer the misfortune of knowing none. πŸ˜‰

Ready? Practice this phrase and I’ll be back with more. Chop-chop now! Can’t do to be a dheero/dheeri dhurpuch!