Skip to main content

Alphabet soup


Names : funny names , weird names, down right ridiculous names. All sorts keep coming to a doctor’s opd.
 So there I was with a file in my hand and the name ‘QUIXOR’ written on it. I dared not pronounce the name so I asked the patient ‘nau kay?’ (what’s your name in konkani) .He answered back ‘Kishor’. Huh??!!
It turns out that that is how the people of portugese descent spell their name. with an exotic twist and a dash of mystique, to make even the most hackneyed of names seem like a character from the Arabian Nights.
Recently another case paper had the name ‘YAZHINI’, I started calling out the name ‘Yaazzz…. Hmmm’ , then held myself in check and asked ‘per enn?’ (what’s your name in tamil?). she answered back “yalini”. The letter zh is actually supposedly a tamil L which sounds very much like the Marathi ‘figure of eight L’ ; the tongue rolling L which ‘aamchi Marathi‘ people hold so dear to their hearts it seems has a country cousin in Tamil which has it’s very own English translation too.
Yaazhini, the parents of the girl explained is a stringed musical instrument in Tamil.
Goa, is notorious for such exotic spellings of seemingly benign phonetics. There is a street called ‘Xambhaji road’ or ‘Xamrao road’ , which translates to the colloquial shambhaji and shamrao. I still remember the day I first visited my friend at her home in ‘Quepem’ (pronounced kepe ) to a dinner of authentic Goan chicken ‘Xacuti’. Gosh I felt like the anchors in travel guide shows as I road pillion on her scooty down the narrow lanes of ‘quepem’. In a land which starts with Q to eat a dish which starts with X ! the ‘Xacuti’ it turned out was a delicious but nevertheless simplistic dish of coconut based gravy, which was pronounced ‘shakuti’.
It reminds me of the time we used to play ‘name place animal thing’ where we had to write words beginning with a particular letter. I remember my brother and I making up names of places and people and quite militantly proclaiming ‘ yes it is a name/ place in Russia/Slovakia’ all sorts of tongue twisters and hotchpotch jumble of alphabets were promptly converted to members of the erstwhile Soviet Union. Now I can write ‘Quixor’ and inform all doubting spectators that it infact was the name of a man of portugese descent who lives in a place called Quepem (no not pronounced like Quebec).
I do believe that as a look at the gaping faces of my audience I will end with ‘BAZINGA !’

*Alphabet soup : is infact a soup made of alphabet shaped pasta.
*Bazinga : is a word popularized by the character Sheldon in the Big bang theory.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Good show Kuheli!
Bkunal said…
It could be also named as ' alphabet khichri'.
Bkunal said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kannan said…
'In a land which starts with Q to eat a dish which starts with X !' - what a delightful way of putting it. Your sense of humour and way of expression are fantastic!! Looking forward to read more of your blogs!!!
thank you Mr Kannan. I do hope you have enjoyed reading my blogs so far.

Popular posts from this blog

where have all the toppers gone?

Its result time once more , and the news papers are full of proud toppers and their even more proud parents. Pictures of beaming kids surrounded by their proud parents, aunties uncles and muhalla walas. Each picture comes with its own tale of tireless strife and grim determination. ‘I studied long hours’ ‘I missed out on all the movies’ ‘I didn’t see any IPL matches’ ‘I left home at 4 in the morning for coaching classes’. I went to OPD this morning and while waiting for the first patient, I glanced at the head line ‘Science topper wants to be doctor.’ I smiled. The sisters and working staff inquired why I was smiling, but I just said “nothing.” A few doctor friends asked why I was smiling, and I said ,” the topper wants to be a doctor.” We all smiled, some smirked, some grunted and some out right guffawed. It’s an inside joke. Its been exactly 10 years since I passed my twelvth standard exam, and I wonder what the ‘topper’ will feel after te

5 Korean phrases every K drama fan should know

5 Korean phrases every K drama fan should know ./  5 k drama phrases which add drama in a Korean drama. Korean dramas or K-dramas are filled with sweet predictable clichés , scenes that are repeated in almost every other drama, because they never seize to bring on the drama feels. Are you a k drama fan? Have you noticed how some scenes and some phrases get repeated in so many dramas? Here are a few of my favourite Hangul phrases which help heighten the drama in a Kdrama. Orae-man-iyo / Orae- mani- dae This phrase means ; it’s been a long time. The first version Orae mani iyo is the more formal way of saying it.it is one of my favourite phrases, a fabulous drama building phrase, it could be used when two arch enemies meet after a long time , one grew up to be a sleazy lawyer, the other an upstanding prosecutor. Or two high school sweethearts with a heartbreaking breakup meet in their adult life. It is a phrase filled with emotions; be it a veiled threat , a sense of l

Sharing my gifts , my life : Birthday retrospect 2021

  Happy 37 Birthday to me ! And for my readers of my annual birthday retrospect, this will be my 13 th year of writing a birthday blog. Wow, what a commitment. So, what was the one amazing thing I did this year ? I decided, just one fine day – to share . I started by sharing my food. It was the first time that we were not going home for Durga Pujo, we were in 2020 and the world was in Lockdown, I missed Pujo bhog, and I missedthe general excitement and enthusiasm around Durga pujo. I wanted to call a few friends over and serve them a typical Bengali meal, but we could not call people home- we were deep in N95 masks , and social distancing was in place. I decided to pack little meal boxes for my friends, and then decided I wanted to share the food with the everyone, and so decided to do a Bengali Pujo POP-UP . I ordered Gobindobhog rice, and kasundi and we made an elaborate menu with Rosogulla , deemer devil, and a non veg menu and a typical pujo bhog menu with khichuri, labda ,