Mi Marathi… Fakt When Convenient

POV

Mi Marathi… Fakt When Convenient

Illustration: Sushant Ahire

I

grew up in a half Gujarati, half Marathi, and entirely English-speaking household. Needless to add, after a quarter century of identity crisis, my proficiency in both Gujarati and Marathi remains average at best. And while I’m grateful that I don’t have to subject unsuspecting bhais and bens to my sub-par Gujarati on a regular basis, I can’t say the same about Marathi. Speaking the language is a necessarily evil.

This was due in part because I grew up in Vile Parle, where my building was nestled between a misal pav dukaan and a Shiv Sena shakha. Most of my building friends studied at Maharashtrian Central or Parle Tilak Vidyalaya. Parla, as fellow manooses prefer to call it, is the mecca of everything Maharashtrian. Testament to this is an ungodly number of eating establishments with set menus comprising vada-thali peeth-bhajia, and kaande pohe. For variety, you go to Shiv Sagar because apparently, that’s what Madhuri Dixit did while she was studying at the nearby Sathaye College. If at least one person does not tell you, “Tula maahiti aahey na? Madhuri ikde pav bhaji khaayela yet hoti,” you’ve landed at the Jogeshwari Shiv Sagar.  

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