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Hindi & a bit of Hinglish

Corinne, a French friend, asked for some explanations of Hindi words I have used, so here goes ( and Hindi speakers, please feel free to correct me)

*shutterbug – excited Indian journalistic speak for a photographer.  Also known as a lensman, though I have never seen lenswoman

*wordsmith – nice Indian term for a writer.  Definitely posher than “journo”

chowkidar –  a watchman, caretaker

dargarh – a Muslim shrine

-wala – THE quintessential indian suffix.  “he who does something or other.”  As in cream-puff-wala, the man who sells cream puffs. Also means “-like” as in “uper-wala” the thing/person upstairs or “pila-wala” the yellow one

toing –  I have NO idea and am waiting for my dedicated readers to enlighten me

gai-wala – cow herder (please note use of -wala!)

brinjal – aubergine

crore – 10 million

diya – small oil lamp

pathaka – cracker

tamasha – a show, event, as in the sort of thing that happens here regularly

samosa – delicious snack, pyramidy shaped

tonga – horse-drawn carriage

shaadi – wedding

masala – spice

aam admi – the ordinary people.  Not VIPs. Not VVIPs.  Just people like you and me

mala – necklace

nimbu pani – nimbue is a lemon, pani is water.  Put the two together and you have a refreshing drink in the hot weather

sarkar  – government.  Hence “sarkari” (adj) = to do with government, governmental.  Beats me, but it seems to have a negative connotation.

crorepati is a person who resides in a household whose net worth or wealth exceeds ten million rupees, or units of another currency. The term crorepati is derived from the unit crore — equivalent to 100 lakhs or 10 million.

(with thanks to answers.com)

neta – ah.  How to explain this ubiquitous word, which is never used with any degree of respect when refering to politicians or bureaucrats.  Basically a “neta” means a leader.