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 – nimbu 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.