Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Vignettes-I

There are some things that, studying in NITT, you just can’t escape from. It becomes a way of life. Like chaat. Or bakkar. And constantly cribbing about our non- existent sex/love/night (mostly sex) lives. It is part of the culture here, and soon, it becomes a way of life. I thought I’d tell you a little about these things, partly because I think it will make you a better human being, not to mention elevate your mind and enrich your soul, but mostly because I’m a pathological chaat.

Chaat
Variously spelled, but pronounced as chaat. One of the most versatile (and common) words in the NITTian’s (usually limited) vocabulary. It can be used as an adjective, verb or a noun. Personally though, I think it serves best as a fairly adequate and usable-in-public (if you ask me, there’s an acute shortage of these) swear word that expresses perfectly boredom and frustration mingled with irritation, all at once. See examples for usage. Ah, the layers this word has….

I don’t know the etymology of the word, but I’m sure you’ll get chaated reading it anyway.

Some common examples of its usage to illustrate its meaning:
1.) Adj. “That was one major chaat lecture.”
2.) Verb. “If you’re going to chaat me, I’m gonna put that ragging-time first year photo of yours on the LAN.” Or “Chaat liya, baap.”
3.) Noun. “Congrats, you’re one of us now,” said the veteran chaat to the greenhorn chaat.
4.) As a fairly adequate and usable-in-public swear word that expresses perfectly boredom and frustration mingled with irritation, all at once: “CHAAT!!!” However, to convey the right idea (or emotion, as the case may be), it must be pronounced with correct intonation, and more importantly, with feeling that arises from the very depths of one’s very soul. Otherwise, it will become very chaat.

You get the idea, right?

Now, for the formal definition of chaat: Well, chaat was defined in the 2004 edition of The Pierian Spring (our college magazine) as:
Chaat/’t?a:t/? adj, n, v, adv 1.Person who tells you more and more about less and less until you want to know nothing about anything. 2. What a chaat (refer chaat) usually talks about. Example: What a chaat class by a chaat professor teaching a chaat subject amidst chaat students asking chaat doubts entails.
But I personally feel that it is a word that defies definition, as it can be used (like a certain four-letter word that comes immediately to mind) several levels.

Chaat is mainly of two types: intentional and unintentional. I don’t think I need to explain the second type; it’s an inherent characteristic of the person/material/movie/whatever. Intentional chaat is, of course, practiced with deadly (to the perpetrator, not the victim; though there was this isolated incident when this guy passed out after one of our more accomplished brethren went to work on him. He denies it, says it was the heat) purpose. Effective intentional chaat is a subtle art, it is a skill born of long practice. Or it is simply a gift (and boy, do the gifted flaunt it). The object of the exercise must ideally be caught unawares, especially if you happen to have a reputation. The quality of chaat should be stepped up slowly but gradually, and stopped just before the victim chooses to reverse roles. The victim is usually much less subtler in his retaliation, but the moral and intellectual victory is the chaater’s. He may retire bruised, but he’ll retire with his head held high, and with the quiet satisfaction that comes with a job well done.

We are everywhere. And we shall inherit the earth.

P.S. I know that I’ve gone completely crazy in this post, and I understand that many of you might (and probably will) be tempted to respond with the same depth of feeling that makes the use of chaat such a success.

P.P.S. There exists NO first year ragging time photo of mine. Anywhere. I accept that I’m in denial.

41 Comments:

At 10:42 AM, Blogger jive said...

nice blog bud !

 
At 12:39 PM, Blogger Dreamcatcher said...

lol
"We are everywhere. And we shall inherit the earth."
i can think of a dozen prevalent in college and those words are used in contexts other people wouldnt even dream of.
Different colleges have different lingo..its almost like a secret code.
And the great thing is tht all the linguists would approve - we are constantly reinventing the language.

 
At 10:09 PM, Blogger udit said...

ahhha
what's chaat there, might be phodu or todu sumwhere. I love this language, so friendly, so changable. new words ahoy!

 
At 10:23 PM, Blogger Camphor said...

Chaat liya yaar! :P

We use chaat too! Only, not as frequently as you make out the usage to be at NITT. 'Bunk' is probably the most used word... and a saxay word it is too.

 
At 7:09 AM, Blogger Anjali said...

It is very likely a reflection on my age that I have never come across this word before :(

Very funny post, though!

 
At 3:00 PM, Blogger Amit said...

a good blog dude...

 
At 12:56 AM, Blogger Mirage said...

ROTFL!! That was fun! :D

 
At 1:40 AM, Blogger the Monk said...

dreamcatcher:yeah, college lingo is one of the things that's reat abt college...and yup, who knows some of the words we use may end up in some dictionary.....
udit:i know...i can think of atleast 5-6 words that can be added to the language permanently...
camphor:u do,huh?not fair,u're infringing on our copyright... ;)...
anjali:age?jeez, most ppl outside NITT might'nt have come across it...i hardly think it's got anything to do with your age...

 
At 2:43 AM, Blogger Weary Hag said...

haha ... great post! I can't speak for college but can say that at many jobs I've worked, we had a 'lingo' of our own as well. Only someone working there would fully understand some of the colorful words we used. We did this to protect ourselves around the bosses. I wish I could think of some now, but it's too early and I'm soooo tired.
Glad you finally posted again!

(ps... I knew you didn't have Halloween there .. but this other holiday you described sounds quite nice!)

 
At 6:52 AM, Blogger Anisa said...

nice blog! thanks for visiting mine also! :)

 
At 10:30 AM, Blogger Dewdrop said...

The other day a blog mate mentioned this term 'curries' for all the 'desis' in Australia, now that I thought was unique until I read this college colloquial - chaat:) Oh and college lingo also reminds me of the fantastic language bloopers used by professors. I used to have this prof in college who once remarked in a full class "I am marrying my daughter..so please come" :)) You can imagine the splits the classroom was in :)

btw, thanks for visiting me. you have a nice blog going. will come again

 
At 10:49 PM, Blogger xtremely_insane said...

apart from ur gang and the activities,,lingo is the only thing that makes college bearable!!
good blog!!

 
At 5:46 AM, Blogger cherubic_chipmunk said...

wow varun-u seem to b a rockin' blogger-hey do visit my blog and leave ur comments-the url is www.peelsofonion.blogspot.com...ciao around soon bud,happy diwali and all de best for exams...

 
At 9:54 AM, Blogger Random said...

wishing you a very happy diwali

 
At 10:14 AM, Blogger Diabolical Angel! said...

I got lotso synonymas for the word!! "Chaman Dhingra" being the most commonly used one!

 
At 9:36 PM, Blogger S said...

hehehe....a very chaat post!! :) and great blog!!! :D

 
At 10:18 PM, Blogger cherubic_chipmunk said...

Nopes,for god's sake varun,i'm de 1 whoz bin tryin to reach u for 2 days...Arvind,ICE,3rd year and who used to earn ur wrath by frequently visitin' ur room in diamond last year to pester ur roomie...remember?

 
At 11:16 PM, Blogger the Monk said...

arvind:Ouch...sorry abt that,man...I thought it mite be you, but i wasn't sure..anyway, i've kept my mob switched off for the last few days, that's why u haven't been able to reach me...will be back tomorrow...
Dewdrop: i can do a whole post abt the bloopers prof.'s make...hell, i probably will...
Carol: more than anything else, workplace/college lingo gives this feeling of exclusivity and belonging, i guess....
diabolical angel: chaman dhingra,huh? never heard of that one....
happy diwali, everyone...have a blast (pun intended)...

 
At 1:41 AM, Blogger hope and love said...

lol
:))

 
At 7:12 AM, Blogger Diabolical Angel! said...

u must not have...just like i hadn't heard of chaat before this!!

 
At 2:43 AM, Blogger manjari said...

fun to read post...n u are very right with the dictionary regularly being updated someday we may find the word "chaat" there

 
At 5:35 AM, Blogger cherubic_chipmunk said...

me updated mate...chk it out though it aint anywher near ur standard of writin'..c ya aftr xams

 
At 6:01 AM, Blogger Harashita R. R. Bajaj said...

hey...well v also use this chaat thing in NITJ its one of the most common words others like faata(for a pathetically poor joke) pelam(to the exent) are lso used a lot...well its fun using these words especially in front of those who dont know wat they mean

 
At 12:23 PM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

I've added "chaat" to my lexicon. Thank you.

 
At 9:07 PM, Blogger the Monk said...

harashita:i know exactly what u mean... ;)...u unwittingly(?) slip the word into conversation and when ppl go 'huh?', you just wave it away with an 'oh, that's nothing, just NITT lingo....'

 
At 1:00 AM, Blogger hotICE said...

chaat eh? good good!! I like it! chaat is everywhere!

PS: this comment is posted by the header (the one who heads) OUCH or Organization of Ultra Crass Humourists, the outlawerd organization that is responsible for churning out chaat in NITT campus

lol!!

 
At 1:13 AM, Blogger Andy said...

Hey! Nice 'Chaat'ing post...

What's Chaat at NITT is replaced by 'arbit', 'frust','pakao' at IITD...There are other variant stoo that I'd not like to mention here.

Nice usage of the word, anyways.

 
At 3:48 AM, Blogger !xobile said...

chaat seems to be as popular in ur place as 'arbit' and 'fight' in ours!

a very unchaat blog there....

 
At 6:43 AM, Blogger the Monk said...

alfi me boy: do u happen to know whose fotu i was talkin abt?
andy and exaggeratorr: we have arbit and frust here too...not pakao...though the first two are used in slightly different meanings...they are used in conjunction too, sometimes...like arbit chaat...

 
At 10:52 AM, Blogger Tara said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11:00 AM, Blogger Tara said...

Cool post Monk.

We had an equivalent called 'choozer'. hilarious when used in the presence of people who have no clue what you are talking about.

For example, you go:

'Man, what a chooZer..."

And the unsuspecting audience readily falls into the trap and says:

'chooSer? What does he chooSe?'

And you go blink-blink and say:

'Dude, he doesn't chooZe anything...he's just a chooZer...'

And the frustrated ( and now beginning to feel dumb) audience says:

'Uh-ok...though i don't think there's a word like chooSer though..."

And you look mildly irritated and somewhat disappointed (that the other person hasn't made the grade with you) and say:

'Whatever dude...don't chooZe me on this now...!"

And the now-beginning-to-have serious-doubts-about-their vocab audience says...?!?!?!

Actually i think i'm not interested in the rest of this conversation. Don't think anyone else is either. Am two beers down and back at work. Hic!

 
At 6:16 PM, Blogger Camphor said...

new post?! Come on!

 
At 12:03 AM, Blogger the Monk said...

Tara: hilarious...though most ppl generally identify words like that as workplace/college lingo...
Camphor: Coming soon!!!

 
At 12:49 AM, Blogger Viveka said...

so much over "chaat"...i have never heard or used da word personally...like udit said...these colloquial terms r so friendly n nice-2-use...hope 2 read sum more "chaat" posts on ur blog ;)

 
At 5:05 AM, Blogger hotICE said...

check out my page.. therz something interesting.. maybe you could join the game too...

 
At 6:12 AM, Blogger Priya said...

ahh, a new word now... i'll introduce it at nitk..
nice post.

 
At 10:07 AM, Blogger Quz Boss said...

We all gotz to hook up our peepz, mainly when we get da money tho ;-) PEACE

 
At 11:28 AM, Blogger Parth said...

Lol. Thanks for stopping by my blig.

 
At 4:57 AM, Blogger Pushuka said...

nice post dude... anything but chaat :) .. keep blogging..

 
At 4:21 AM, Blogger steelmagnolia said...

u have brought out the meaning and usage of "chaat" very well...we use it in NIT R as frequently as u guys at NITT do...we use it in various forms...we have a noun form of the word...its "Chaatu" and a verb "Chatofy" and adj one also is "Chaatu"...its quite amazing actually how college lingo all over have such striking similarities...its nothing to do with age i think..its gotta do more with the environment...

 
At 7:40 AM, Anonymous Dee said...

Definitely not chaat !! :D
Good one..

 

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