Who knew that a college project undertaken by three teenage girls studying journalism would turn into a dream book that everyone loves? Yes, that’s the story of Digantika Mitra, Priya Sheth and Mithila Mehta who came up with Cutting Chai and Maska Pav – The Way It Is Said In Mumbai Only as a tribute to the city and its crazy, quirky lingo. Added bonus: this one was launched by our very own MissMalini :)
What I adore is how the book takes me on a magical journey through the city’s bylanes, dabbawalas, BEST buses and the delicious language we speak which is a cultural cocktail.
The book is a tiny little insider’s dictionary brought to life by Mumbaiyya-hindi words like ‘khau galli’, ‘nimbu mirchi’, ‘Italian barbers’ and ‘size zero’. There are also words like ‘bhai’, ‘bakra’ and ‘pandu which give u a slice of Mumbai’s tongue-in-cheek humour. So, basically it’s a super fun compilation of all the words, places and things that Mumbaikars absolutely love.
I bet that every Mumbaikar who reads it will relate to words like ‘dimaag ka dahi’ (for when we’re totally messed up in the head) or ‘vaat’ (for being in trouble). But, the best part of the book really is the photographs, a lot of which were taken by the girls themselves. Each picture enlivens the book and shows us how truly passionate they are about loving this Maximum city.
I think that every word and illustration is a perfect reflection of life here but I hate that the pages about Amul Pav Bhajis, Ayubs rolls and vada pavs made me crave for them so bad.
I was very excited about the launch but more excited about MissMalini unveiling the book. The girls had a blast in their little Q& A with her as they revealed their own favorite words and what went into making the book as cute and perfect as it is. And, MissMalini picked her own favorite Mumbaiyya word, ‘enthu-cutlet’* (which I think would be a great addition to the next book) and I loved her little explanation of why she is one.
The book launch at Crossword saw a room full of enthu-cutlets waiting to grab a copy of the ‘jhakkas’* book. The book just brought back so many memories of college days and endless late nights with gal pals in South Bombay. And, I’m so sure that this one will make the perfect read/gift for anyone who wants to really get to know or rediscover the city of dreams. Check out more pictures here.
*Lost in Translation – Jhakkas= Awesome
*enthu-cutlet- an earnest eager beaver who is able to muster up crazy amounts of energy, inspiration and enthusiasm for basically everything (aka MissMalini :)