Things Cabbies Say

For want of a more pertinent image 😛

I’ve been using Uber and Ola to commute to work and back for a year now (I know, I know, I just burn my earnings with the tap of a button, I should learn to drive and get a car). Fretting on how dependent I’ve become on these services, it suddenly hit me what fun it would be to jot down all the interesting bits of the conversations I have with the cabbies. So here’s a list of things they’ve told me, right from hilarious to downright annoying (I intend to update this post with more Cabbie-speak as and when they happen):

“Naan ungaluku 5 stars potuten madam, neengalum enaku 5 stars potudunga (half-threatening, half-pleading tone)”
Translation: I’ve given you 5 stars, madam, you give me 5 stars too.
I am being rated by the cabbies?!!! *Anxiety attack in 3… 2… 1…*

“Route theriyalaina kaetukalam madam… Maps la parka thaeva illa…”
Translation: If you don’t know the route we can ask around, you don’t have to look at (Google) Maps…
I was just skipping songs on Saavn.

“Neenga Iyer ponna?! Naan Christeennu nenachaen!”
Translation: You’re an Iyer girl? I thought you were Christian.
He overheard my phone conversation with my grandma, and apparently, Brahmin girls don’t look like me.

“Thamizh ponnungaluku pottu thaan azhagu!”
(Rough) Translation: Tamil girls look best when they wear pottu.
I wasn’t wearing the pottu. I was also wearing jeans and a tee. Now how do I explain to him that pottus don’t go well with western wear? Wait, why should I explain?? I guess culture policing is the in thing now, you know… Comes second only to the “super ji” usage. Hmph.

“IT companyla thaana vaela seireenga? Evvalavu sambalam?”
Translation: You work for an IT company? What’s your salary?
Ummm….

“Rendu drop na neenga Share book panirkanum. Ungalala ippo enaku loss! *more angry rants*”
Translation: If both of you need to get dropped you must’ve booked (Ola) Share. Thanks to you I’m losing out on more money.
My colleague’s drop point was on the same route I take, he didn’t have to take any kind of effort except stop for less than a minute for her to get down. What was the bit about profit and loss again?

“Paytm ah? Cash illeengala? Modi ku sondhakaaranga pola iruku!”
Translation: You’re paying via Paytm? You don’t carry cash? Guess you’re related to Modi.
Yinnsultt!!

“Iniku leave illeengala?! Velinaatula irukaravan ungala vechu nalla vaela vaangaraan!”
Translation: It’s not a holiday for you today? Your employers from abroad are slave-driving you.
It was Tamil New Year, BTW. What? Stop judging me already!!

Published by Kirthika Soundararajan

Journalism student. Loves animals. Aspires to write about history, art, culture, and people.

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