The Remix of Orchid

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Last But Not The Least

The page-setting is nearing completion. The cover page has almost been completed. But then I realised that I've used certain typical Indian words which my overseas readers would find difficult to understand. So why not add a few pages of glossary. Sometimes, appending such glossary makes a fiction look weird, say like a badly designed text book. But it does not matter. I'll place them at the end, without interfering with the main contents of the book. I've space enough in the book to accomodate that.

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Finally I created a glossary of around three pages. It's long-winded, yet there is no harm if I cut and paste them here. At least this will remind me later what I understood by those words while I used them.

So here you are, the much laboured Glossary to append to "The Remix of Orchid".


ammabaru :mother goddess in various names, worshipped in the villages of north-east Andhra.

antakshari :a party game where opposite parties have to sing as per the last letter or syllable of the song just finished by the opponent.

bakhar :a herbal ingredient applied in handi for fermenting it.

ban mohua :mimusops littoralis, a type of tall tree found in the rainforest of the Andamans

bhai :a term used to address an elder brother or an unfamiliar person out of respect and informality

bhojpuri :a dialect of Hindi spoken in the state of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, known for its lyrical quality.

bhumihar :a land-owning upper caste in the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

boudi :used to address the wife of an elder brother, essentially a Bengali way of addressing..

chechi :elder sister in Malayalam.

chhath :a festival to worship the sun god, observed in the state of Jharkhand and Bihar.

chullah :a stove for firewood.

clouddom: :a non-standard word coined to mean the celestial domain from where clouds appear.

dargah :a shrine of a Muslim saint where people of all religions visit.

dhoti :a long piece of white cloth worn by men that is tied around the waist.

divinedom :a non-standard word coined to refer to the heavenly domain where divine entities are believed to live.

emundi :‘please hear me’ in Telugu that a traditional wife uses to address her husband because she is not supposed to utter his name.

gola :store-cum-sales outlet.

garjan :dipterocarpus, a type of tall tree found in the rainforest of the Andamans

handi :also known as handia, it is a beverage prepared by fermenting rice.

hath ki safai :jugglery by hand.

hudi :a small dinghy, with or without a mechanical propeller.

kalapani :means “the black waters”, it refers to the penal settlement of the Andamans at the time of the British India.

karama :a tribal festival in the states of Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhatisgarh wherein sal trees are worshipped amidst song and dance.

karma :a philosophy that believes that one’s calling is determined from one’s birth and one can reach god or get a better lot in one’s next birth only by sticking to his or her fixed calling and in not interfering with that of the others.

karanvar :in Malayalam it means “the head of the family” in matrilocal tradition.

khaini :tobacco.

kurta :a loose fitting shirt worn by both men and women.

lac :a dark red sticky substance produced by insects and it is used for sealing and manufacturing the bangles.

marwari :a class of traders and industrialists who are originally from Rajasthan but at present available through out India, mostly in towns and cities.

muhurat :the beginning ceremony of a film project, a moment fixed astrologically, when its first shot is taken.

naidu :a village head man.

namaste :a word uttered in welcome while one brings one’s palms together to one’s head as a token of respect.

nanna :father in Telgu.

ossuary festival :also known as kana ha-un, this is a festival of pig-fighting, dedicated to the departed head of the family.

padauk :pterocarpus dalbergioides, a special tree available at the Andamans, strong and valuable.

pahan :village head of the tribals who worships the tribal god on behalf of the village folk.

palash :flame of forest, a tree of medium height that flowers red in spring and where worms of lac live.

punditji :a priest.

ranchiwalla :people who have come to the Andamans from Ranchi, the capital city of the state of Jharkhand or the area surrounding it.

safaiwalla :a cleaning personnel.

samralu :fairs and festivals that takes place around the village goddess in north-east Andhra Pradesh.

signiterate :a word the author has coined to describe a person who is literate enough to put his signature only.

tawanj :a mainlander, in the words of the Nicobaris.

tharavad :a primeval family identity in a matriarchal system.

tola :a unit of measurement roughly comes to 11 grams.

triveni :the confluence of the river Ganges and the Yamuna with another subterranean flow of mythological river the Saraswati. It is situated near the city of Allahabad in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

yavan :a non-Hindu, essentially from abroad (originally the Ionian Islands).


A. N. Nanda





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