1. Chala Chala Pude Chala!
Irrespective of whether you know Marathi or not, if you stay in Mumbai, you automatically start moving in the front direction. For those of you who don’t understand the phrase, it means “come on, move forward”, and you’ll hear it typically among people travelling in public transport like buses and the local trains. Mumbaikars lead a very fast life where there’s no room for lethargic people. You gotta move “pude”, bro!
No no no, this word doesn’t mean someone senior at work, or the employer, or anyone superior at work at all. It’s used for addressing people like Chaiwaala, Dudhwaala, Autowaala, Cable waala, or any other person who does your work. Yeah, we’re weird people.
Normal way of addressing a chaiwaala for two cups of tea – Bhaisahab, do cup chai please!
Mumbaikar way of addressing chaiwaala – Boss, do cutting!
This is not in reference to pandas, or anything you can imagine. It’s a slang word used for policemen, yep you heard that right! Policeman is a pretty long word, so Pandu. Dealing witha Pandu is not everyone’s cup of tea. They can go from 0 to 100 real quick. Living in Mumbai, you better know two phrases to deal with Pandus. 1. Kay zaala saheb (what happened, sir?), and 2. Zaau dya naa saheb (please let us go, sir).
4. Bhaiya hai woh!
For everyone living away from Mumbai, Bhaiya means Big Brother, like your elder brother. But nope, not in Mumbai. The minute you hear the word bhaiya, it means the other person is from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar or Madhya Pradesh. Even the word Madrasi is used for anyone from South India. Not Tamil Nadu specifically, anywhere in south. There’s nothing wrong with our geography, it just saves a lot of time naming all the places, since we don’t have time to waste at all.
5. Chotu, ek cutting!
Starbucks, Cafe Coffee Day, Barista, all these are nothing when compared to Tapri Ki Cutting Chai. For those of you who don’t know, Tapri is a small tea stall alongside the road and cutting chai is a glass of tea that tastes like magic. And a Vada Pav to go with it, that’s the kind of stuff that the city’s famous for. There’s not a problem or stress in the world that cutting cannot solve.
Pretty eccentric we Mumbaikars are, but that’s what makes us special. Once you’ve lived in this city and made it your home, no place is good enough.