Thursday, November 15, 2007

Desi Jargon

Political slogans, movie dialogues, taglines, society speak, and even campus jargon that entered the cacophony that is Indian society, and stayed on. A write-up triggered by a cursory glance at a folder named Moments of Nostalgia. The folder turned out to be treasure trove of long forgotten jingles and songs, notably Ek Chidiya, Anek Chidiya and Hamara Bajaj. As someone might have said long ago, let the good times roll.

Hamara Bajaj The 1990’s Bajaj campaign cashed in on the immense popularity of the brand. The phrase stands for all that is Swadeshi.

Dhoondhte reh jaoge A Surf Ultra ad line that became part of everyday terminology. The tagline has come to encompass the very essence of invisibility.

Jhakaas Meaning very cool, was first used by Anil Kapoor in Joshilay (1989). The connotations might have changed perceptibly. But the soul remains intact.

Kitne aadmi the Probably the most famous line in Bollywood history. It was mouthed by Amjad Khan aka Gabbar in Sholay. The implications ae more
than evident, if anything.

Bindaas A word that means blasé, popularized by Startdust, and commonly used in conjunction with babe. Need I say more?

Dho Daala Clinic All Clear’s tagline claiming to eliminate all kinds of dandruff also refers to wiping out an opponent, as in Dhoni ne dho daala.

JLT Just Like That. Univesity parlance that moved outside campuses. Nonchalance personified.

Funde mat jhaad An excessive and irritating display of knowledge. Warning sign for all the desi Private Quelches.

Mera Bharat Mahan Rajiv Gandhi’s national integration campaign. Now referred to only in history books. A less than patriotic suffix usually lags behind its more famous counterpart. It goes something like Sau mein ninyanve beimaan.

Item Number Not just the movie staple, it is now stretched to connote the highlight of any even or show, be it a guest lecture or a cricket match.

Yeh Dil Maange More The TV coverage
of Captain Vikram Batra’a use of this phrase during the 1999 Kargil War catapulted the Pepsi tagline into common parlance. Excess is no longer a taboo. It’s fashion.

Tryst With Destiny PM JL Nehru’s landmark address to the Constituent Assembly on the midnight of India’s Independence in 1947. We continue to be inspired by it in more ways than one.

BTM Behenji Turned Mod Campus abbreviation, popularized during the 1980’s. Has led to several mutants, notably Aunty Turned Mod.

Vaat lagegi mamu The tapori phrase used across regions to indicate trouble. Made immortal by Munnabhai.

Bad Luck hi kharaab hai Endearing self-deprecatory statement with a unique twist of Indian English. Credits to Aamir Khan in Rangeela (1995).

Lambi Race ka ghoda First used by Dabur Seth for Amitabh Bachchan in the 1975 classic, Deewar. The metaphor has stood the test of times, quite literally.

Made for Each Other ITC 1963 slogan for its WILLS brand of cigarettes. Lives on in these tobacco intolerant times. The connotations change drastically. The tagline lingers on.

Dobara mat poochna A phrase coined to convey an attitude in the Chlor-Mint advertisement. Now used to express a certain kind of emotion, from irritability to unquestionability.

Yaara da Tashan The Thanda Matlab Coke line that finds favour even on the bumper of trucks.

Reference: Some nondescript issue of India Today


  1. yeh kya likha hai??...thats the problem with you..whenever you are happy, you come up with posts like these...its better when you're sombre

    vaise frankly padhne mein kharab nahi tha...he he

  2. Something is always better than nothing!!!

  3. I enjoyed this one a lot! brought back lots of memories. A favourite game I played as a child was dumb charades...with ads. The Nirma one was the best: posing like the girl dancing with her frock swirling around her knees. Other taglines I won't forgot: "My best frand, Frandly wash", "Fena hi lena", Maggi hot n sour-its different", "kuch khaas hai zindagi mein, kuch baat hai hum sabhi mein, kya swaad haiiiii".

    Haaapppppyyyyyy post tha yaarrrr
    :D :) :P :P :) :D you know what I mean of course

  4. hmmm... nice one budhau... made for an interesting read... nd reminds me of a post dat i have been wanting to write for a lng time now.... da daiict lingo... maybe dis december!

  5. @piper

    Abey tareef karne mein kya jaata hai.
    It's such a crazy idea. If nothing else, then appreciate the idea na.


    Please learn to write a little more elaborate comments. You need to tell whether you liked or disliked anything.


    Appreciation is coming from unexpected quarters. Is what I see the truth itself?

    And yeah, sadly enough, I do know what you are talking about. But the sequence is jumbled.

    It is :P :P :D :D
    Keep learning.


    Write. Write. At least the idea is better than the crappy ones you come up with. Maybe you will do justice to it.