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!