The Mumbai Blog

Are you my Bhaiya?

One thing you learn quickly in Mumbai is to call every male–irrespective of age–as “Bhaiya.” Be it the laundry guy, the canteen walah, the shop keeper, or the janitor, everyone is your bhaiya aka. brother. Most statements you make will contain the word. For example, “Arre bhaiya, khane ke liye kya hai?” (“Oh brother, what’s there to eat?”).

I wonder how it would be if used in Kannada. There’s actually no general word for brother. You either say “Anna” for elder brother or “Tamma” for younger brother. “Tamma,” however, has another entirely different meaning and which I dare not explain!

On a side note, my last sentence for the day nowadays is, “Arre bhaiya, ek bournvita dena,” usually on the stroke of midnight.

5 thoughts on “Are you my Bhaiya?

  1. Hi Vinaya,

    the thing is that bhaiyya is reffered to everybody in that part of the world, it is a kind of a mark of respect that you give to the person who in return is offering something to you.
    It’ll take some time for you to get used to it, but then if you fly out of bangalore, to any hindi speaking part of India, you’ll realize it’s a kind of tradition that people follow. Particularly, it’s got only to do with wordly respect, nothing much in it really.

    Nitin Jagga

Leave a Reply