Image: Chakkuli - Nur-Nuri, Kur-Kuri or kaT-kaTi?
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Slowly my friend opened the topic of interest: “Come on, listen to me” he did gusgus (whisper) into my ears – “marriage date fixed, it is on 4th Sunday, and you are my doDDo” (one who sits besides bridegroom in the mantap until bride joins - a sort of a best man). Haahaa he laughed and served me a sweet: sheera. It was pichipichi (soft), and I felt the guLiguLi (globules) in my mouth, but it was very tasty.
Just as I emptied the plate, the bride walked in. The KuTkuTi (hefty orwell built) bridegroom, my friend Gulgule had selected a saTsaTi (brisk) walking bride. Ms. SaTsaTi hoom galgalthaa (was sweating profusely). Her mother proudly said “She drinks 8 cups of water, and walks aaTaaT (8) kilometers daily. She is dieting, eats thode thode (little quantity at a time). This is all to get into a great shape, before the marriage.” I thought “All this will be short lived. She will be back to her normal gulguli (plumpy) shape within a month after marriage.” But then, it is called a sign of progress, happiness, and prosperity.
On the day of marriage, we got up phalphalleri (before sunrise). The skywas cloudy, typical weather in west coast of India during monsoon. We experienced piripiri pavsu (drizzle) at the beginning. In minutes the sky wasovercast, exhibiting nature's wonderful light and sound show jhagjhagu(lightening), and guDuguDu (thounders) followed by dharandhar (continuous downpour). We prayed, deva deva (O God), please spare this day for the marriage.
It seems Rain God listened to our prayers as there was no rain after 7am. However we had to use the muddy pichpichi (slushy) walkway. The mud that splashed and created a permanent artwork on everyone's ceremonial attire while also leaving the lower portion vallevalle (wet). It was very windy and cold. A few had kaDkaDo (shivers). By that afternoon we went to temple in the raNraN vath (scorching sunshine), did pradakshina on bare foot, and resulted in saNsaN (burns) on the soles of our feet.
The bride, SaTsaTi, walked in with kilikili (sound of gingle bells) attached to the anklets.Bridal decoration was super. Head was fully covered with jasmine that wascontinuously emitting ghamgham (fragrance). Garland was made of rangarang(colored) flowers. Jewels and zari borders were zagzagi (shining). Next five minutesall ladies had gusgus (whispers) only about the bridal jewelry. Bride had tough time in maneuvering vilivili (slippery) silk saree and walking into the mantap. I am sure she and the groom were much exited and their hearts were beating DhadaDhada.
Ceremony was quite traditional as usual we enjoyed the marriage galgalo. The loud cherencheren and paranparan talking by the guests was competing with the welcome band’s dhamdham (drumbeats). I could hear a lot of ‘vhai-vhai’ ‘nhai-nhai’ and ‘na-na’ in the conversations. The music was fantastic, but for the defective sound system that added karkar kirkir (noise) giving me mathek kankan (throbbing headache). The Priest was in great mood pouring ghee profusely into the havan getting the flame into bhagbhag (glow) while ringing the bell TanTan. Photographer focused on all events very well and was busy doing chikupuku with his flash.
I love to watch mass cooking. In the kitchen, helpers were busy barbari (liberally) cutting vegetables into desired pieces. At the final stage, the phaTphaT sound of mustard seasoning and the rising aroma welcomed everyone to the dining hall. Dinner was fabulous with chaar-chaar (four) varieties of sweets, savories, dishes, papads, etc. While chewing bijbiji (soft) paan we got the feedback on the feast. Dab-dabi (thick) valval got the first prize. Khatkhatho won the second prize. Bibbe thendle upkari lost the prize all because it was half cooked and tasted kachkachi (raw). Among kurkuri eatables crispy bhindi fries were outstanding; they were not at all buLbuLi (slimy). The youngsters were eager to serve food on plantain leaves for those seated on the floor in the traditional way. The elders were instructing the boys “Don’t serve Bhasa-bhasa (too much), serve yede-yede (small quantities) only, serve more only if asked for”. The boys agreed saying “jaaith-jaaith”.
In the afternoon, mirimiri (tingling) spice tea and chowchow (mixture) was served before it is time to say bye-bye which was followed by a concluding session drenched with baLbaLi (flowing) tears. But the bride appeared quite cheerful, had a doublewide smile while walking away comfortably with her husband and in-laws.
One year passed. Gulgulo was busy with baabbaak nunnu, kokko, mammam etc.(feeding milk, rice, eatables to AmmaNNu the baby), cleaning up the jijji (mess). This was followed by a jojo (song) to induce thaathi (sleep) to the baby. Soon the baby learnt to speak words such as amma, ajjo, mamama etc. Probably Konkani is the only language with a voluminous vocabulary specially constructed for toddler’s use only. Child loves to wear bamba (jewels), place a colored thitho (dot) on the forehead, apply theththi (oil) onto hair, comb and decorate with puppaa (flowers), put on colorful chocho (dress), and go to the temple to do pampa (namaskaar). Now AmmaNNu’s taste buds are active, she says mimi (chilli) is hot, bobbo (dosa) is tasty, kekke (banana) is sweet etc. She likes to go peppe (outing), loves to watch memme (fish) in the pond, gaayi (cow) feeding nunnu (milk) to buchchi (calf), kaakkamam (crow) picking the food spilled on the deck and then go burraa (flying away), kokoko (chicken) following its mom, bowbow (dog) wagging its baala (tail), meowmeow (cat) drinking milk and then sounding purrpurr. Children catch jigjigi (twinkling) fireflies in the night, and scared to see the eyes of gugumu (owl). Generally babies are afraid of gongo (strangers) with gugum (long gowns). Children are fascinated to see large animals like elephants, whale, or a jugjug train. They love to play kuku-achchi (a hide and seek game) that starts with a kukkuli (whistle).
As AmmaNNu turns one, she eats fast gabgabi khaathaa, then tries to ibbi ibbi raab (stand up), and doing chant chant (taking baby steps). She tries to dhavnu dhavnu vaggi vaggi (run fast) but falls down bumma and gets bubu (hurt). Watching her we, poNu poNu. haasta i.e ROFLOL, Rolling On Floor Laughing Out Loud.
What is the origin of word Konkani? I guess, it is koNikoNi, easy to speaklanguage by koNi (any one) to koNi (any one) with great flexibility and high level ofblend-ability of any number of local or foreign words. I have a bunch of friends who speak Konkani, start with a few words in Konkani: haava sangthaa,then fill entire sentence with gaDbaD (hurry burry) English. We are proud to have Konkani jibbe ruchi taste, culture and traditions.
Probably names such as Kaikai in Ramayana, Dumdum airport in Kolkatta, Murmura Sea in Turkey, Tsetse insect of Africa, Alfalfa grass, must have Konkani influence. Let me stop this karkari write up or baDbaDi talk at this stage lest readers might get maththek kaNkaN.
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© Dr. Manjeshwar Ganesha Kamath
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