GANG TALK Abu Salem was called Chikna
Ketan Tanna on how the colourful language of the underworld has changed
It was inevitable that the language of the underworld too will change with the times. The peculiar tongue of the mafia which called AK -47,â€œguitarâ€and Dubai,â€œgaonâ€,has long entered popular culture. Now some updates are necessary.
A crore, which the underworld famously called â€œkhokaâ€ , is now â€œbada rupiyaâ€ while â€œpetiâ€ (one lakh) has become â€œchota rupiyaâ€ . Encounter cop Sachin Vaze says that â€œsupariâ€ (contract killing),once the most feared word in the film and real estate circles, is today called
â€œnariyal denaâ€ as a tribute to the tradition of breaking a coconut to inaugurate a venture. Needless to say, this is not a structured transformation. Old usages still linger but these new expressions are catching on. In the past, cops, especially the constable, were called â€œpanduâ€ without affection. Later they were called â€œbidiâ€ , without affection, of course. But now they are called â€œbadalâ€ . Itâ€™s used as by gangsters as a warming to their men that the clouds have come and they should scoot.
AK-47 has become â€œLambiâ€ (referring to its length). Pistol is â€œMagazineâ€ and bullets are â€œdaneâ€ (grains). A 6mm pistol is still called â€œchakriâ€ and if one has to bring a 9mm variant then he is asked to bring â€œnine number ki chappalâ€ . An ordinary revolver is called file. Cash is still known as â€œkagazâ€ (paper) but now it is also called â€œpatteâ€ or â€œlotteryâ€
Gold which was called â€œpilaâ€ (yellow) is now also called â€œjaundiceâ€, according to the police, and silver is called â€œbarfâ€ (snow). Silver though, according to insiders, rarely comes up in an underworld conversation.
To eliminate a person, the underworld continues to use the â€œde deâ€ (give it to him) or â€œbaja deâ€. But when a contract killing gets postponed, the term now used is â€œshaadi multavi ho gayi haiâ€ (marriage has been postponed). When a gangster is on the run, he becomes â€œ11 number ki busâ€ (11 refers to the two legs). With calls being monitored, the underworld has developed simple codes. A telephone number, like say, 22721352 is passed on as 88389758, with every digit being subtracted from 10.
A police officer says that the foot soldiers of the underworld used to come from UP and Bihar and they had created the first lexicon. Now, with most gangs disbanded and the aura of the underworld decimated, even the literary talents of the mafia seem to have become diminished. TNN