Remembering G: The Hyderabadi Nawab

G loved to mimic. He’d do voices and impressions of people and make me roll on the floor laughing. But his favorite tone/ impersonation was inspired by the movie Hyderabadi Nawabs. He was crazy about the movie by the way, saw it zillions of times. And I think that’s why he came to talk that lingo so often.

A particular dialect of Hindi is spoken in Hyderabad and it’s quite amusing to the usual hindi speaker. G loved to speak it. He’d carry it on for days and even get others around him talking in the same tongue. I think all of the people we know have conversed with him in Hyderabadi Hindi.

Carrying on with the spirit of the thing he called me ‘Biwi’ or ‘Begum’ – that means wife. Especially if he was trying to make me feel better. Any of his imitations, and I had no choice but to laugh.

So once, I told him I wanted to go back and join dance classes. I had trained in Indian classical dance for years, and then just sort of gave up. Strangely I had never danced FOR G in all those years I had known him. Well, not danced classical I mean. And so when I said I’m going back to learn he being in one of his moods said – “Begum, aaj tak hamare liye to kabhi nai naachi tum”.It just means “Hey! you never danced for me ever”, it’s the tone that makes it funny. In the dialect, it was hilarious. Even now when I think about it – I can hear him say it – and I can’t help laughing.

Is it just me who thinks he’ll walk in the door anytime calling “Begum, kidhar han tu!”?


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