Tuesday, November 01, 2005

One Nimit, please.

I always thought that it was highly improbable that more than one person would say this to me. It wasn't until the launderer's assistant said it to me on the phone, that i knew i had something.

One nimit, please.

Get it yet?

Yeah :), i know!

Having linguistics as a subject (not too long ago!) got me thinking on how the English language has evolved into a fix-me-upper syntax that fits right in to our figure of speech.

Choose thy language. Fight!

Nimit if deconstructed, draws it's strains from Nimishum (which is 'moment' in Sanskrit) and the word Minute. Which when fitted together forms Nimit! So it could take a moment, or a minute. So we've got it covered. In India, you always have to have room to speculate. Nimit takes the cake! :)

But do we really? So what did we call a minute in our languages, before the British invaded? Hmmm...

My mother can't imagine what the word would be in Malayalam (we're talking to a lady who finished school in a Malayalam medium before moving on to writing answer scripts in English at College!). What is a minute in Gugurati? Hindi? Tamil? Bhojpuri, perhaps?

No? Can't think of it?

Personally, i'd love to know. If i were to give it a nimit, minute isn't exactly the only word we'd be replacing in our regular everyday speech. We have so many other words, which everyone from the store keeper to our electrician uses.

Here's a few:

- Alaarum (mallu) in place of Alarm in English.

- Radio, TV, doctor, operation, file, computer, disc, news, newspaper, car (vandi in mallu), perfume (scent!), mobile, pager,photograph, driver, bomb, cable, hotel, road, market, police, cable, colony, railway, quarters, medical college, names of the month, fan, air-conditioner, switch, squad, shopping centre, mall, watch, vote, depression, counselling, hotline, telephone, pre-paid, vouchers, cheque, circle inspector, brush, shirt, shoes, express, bus, railway, service, bag, taxi, driver, set up (mallus unite!), animation, cartoon, cinema, film, simple, technical, machine, mixie, marks, results, ticket, clock (which brings me to the time, will you look at that!) - WHEW!

If you have any else that comes to mind, do post!

So take a nimit, smell the flowers. Life is your guru (Awwwrrk!). Guru? Say, is there an English word for that?

Ciao y'all...