Friday, December 24, 2010

Punjabiyan di shaan vakhri!

Being a Delhiite, one group of uber-cool people one Cannot ignore are Punjabis. Sometimes I think they’re Indian-Americans. How? Well for one, geographically they always have that one (or many) relative in the States and that mamu/chachu/masi etc are always amazingly close to our Indian friend and land with a hundred gifts each time they visit saddi dilli. But what makes Punjabis so American is well, their Punjabisms: My best friend’s mom often talks to me in Punjabi and expects me to understand her; interestingly I do too, more often than not. Everyone in Delhi at least is expected to know (and possibly even follow) what Karva Chauth/Mata ki Chowki/Mehendi ki rasm is.

My boyfriend, the other day, showed me some random video on youtube with boys in a hostel singing some wedding songs (Punjabi of course) a night before their exams. They had these dupattas wrapped around their head and were playing dholaks while singing enthusiastically. While watching I was amused at their dress up and the fact that they had nothing better to do (study maybe?!) while my boyfriend was in splits, laughing till his cheeks were blood-red. Suddenly he glanced at me and went “Oh!”… “Wo ladke jananiyon wale gane ga rahe hai, typical shadi types, uski taang dekho.. auraton ke tarah dholak ke upar se dali hui hai”. I smiled and nodded. If I were to show him a Bengali or Malayali (Microsoft word doesn’t even recognize Malayali!) youtube video he’d definitely laugh like he was laughing then and maybe put it on repeat too, only to discover (via me) that it’s a very serious video. : |

Punjabi or not, you’ve got to know the rules. You should know the different names of their foods/festivals/rituals/clothes and you need to, Absolutely NEED to understand their weddings. Punjabi weddings are like a carnival; they go on for weeks and involve all relatives from everywhere. So US wale Bhai-ji/Masi ki beti pinki, Canadde wale Chachu, UK wali Bua are all a big part of this Carnival. My cousin, who is this no-nonsense independent journalist, and now a writer, is not at all a wedding person. Her worst fear are those sickly “Aunts” who keep asking when she plans to tie the knot. Yeah, she hates weddings. But a few days back, she returned from this Jammu Punjabi friend’s wedding all excited and narrating stories (almost gushingly) about the fun, the dancing, and the cross-cultured lot.

See, that’s the catch. You can never hate a Punjabi (or anything about them for that matter) because they teach you how to put down your baggage and enjoy your lives. Everyone has a bit of Punjabi in them, and that’s what pushes them to embrace life. How do I know you have a Punjabi in you? Well because you got the title ;)

Cheers! O Balle Balle!


  1. HAHAHAHA!!!! to me (another non punjabi delhite) you seem to have got the essence of what punjabis mean to us. their never say die attitude and fun and masti in spite of some crisis happening in their lives is just too punjabi.. as a matter of fact. i think thats what we do call it. punjabism
    3 Cheers to them.

  2. Nicely written! Subscribed to your blog :)

  3. I am from Delhi, a bong to boot, and a whole bunch of multicultural friends. Must one has understood Punjabi's better than you... I subscribed as well... Chak De Phatte!!!

  4. Oooooooooooooooo yeah ! :P

    Nice nice :D

    i'm punjabi delhite, I got the link of this blog on some completly diffrnt blog regading punjabiz.

    I guess its just the matter of adaptation.

    & Yeah.. We've more, more then just marriges & ladies sangeet :D

    Go to amritsar, try the yummy food there. It'll be so tasty that you'l do over eatin & a lassi after that will be the bullz eye to push you into the dark sleep :D

    There is much more, in all the tradition of differnt casts or states.

    I appritiate your writtin. :)

  5. Hehe, feel similar.

  6. I have never quite understood the fascination with Punjabi's but as someone who has not known even one, they seem to be a jolly bunch of people.
    Down here in the south their a far less frequent phenomenon, the closest i have gotten to them is by eating at, "Bobby ka Dhabba" =)

  7. this post left me grinning and happy

    - a delhi punjabi not setteled in bangalore :)

  8. Totally agree with you. No one can ever accuse of Punjabis being lazy. So if you've worked hard and earned the moolah in return, why not enjoy it like there's no tomorrow.

  9. I'm quite liking the reactions I seem to be gaining out of this post :D
    Thanks a lot guys!

    And yes, I love lassi too ;)