A is for athgaath, the word spoken by all older Kashmiri aunties whilst thrusting currency notes into the hands of girls.
B is for balai lagaye, a multi usage word …it can be a humble request , a prayer , a command.
C is for Chai Shoda, a tea addict. Koshur chai, Dodh chai, Noon chai …we have it all.
D is for Dyake baed, a blessing that literally translates to a large forehead !!
E is for Enderi enderi, a phrase claiming knowledge of the inside story behind a persons actions.
F is for fayter , a foolish person. We’ve all been affectionately addressed as this by our parents ….
G is for gaad, to be deep deep fried and then cooked with nadru or mooli or monji but never on its own.
H is for Hatai waaye, a phrase that can be liberally used through the day , to ease a backache , to show exasperation, express surprise ….
I is for Isband , the strange smelling seeds dunked into a Kangri to ward of evil spirits.
J is for Jaamvaar , an intricately woven Pashmina fabric made into shawls..and every Kashmiri has to own at least half a dozen , even if they live on the equator.
K is for Kandur Waan, the delightful baker who produces the delectable Katlam, Girda, Gyav czot, Lavasa, Kulcha.
L is for Lole , an expression to denote extreme love , and not restricted to humans only. It can be for people, places, food !!
M is for myen dreye (meri kasam) , a term used mainly and only to force you to eat more.
N is for Nechpatar, the Kashmiri almanac religiously referred to for auspicious dates …to travel, buy a house, get married, feel good , whatever.
O is for Obbah , a kiss , used rather rarely but it’s cousin myuth is used liberally ..
P is for Pahalgaam, the beautiful hill station with the Lidder river flowing by…venue for umpteen picnics and pulao sessions.
Q is for Qyasa , kya chhu pakaan ? ….. open ended conversation starter.
R is for Rogan Josh and Rice, the official Kashmiri meal that can bring nirvana in an instant.
S is for Shikara , the lovely colourfully decked and interestingly named boats floating on the Dal..think Shammi Kapoor and tareef karoon kya uski …
T is for Trath (lightning) .. it’s the Kashmiri equivalent of the f word. Eg “what the trath” !!
U is for Udhampur , the first step and stop when heading towards the valley.
V is for Var , a unique Kashmiri trait…. a naraazgi thats not final , it can be resolved by apology and even more easily by a good meal.
W is for waangun , phatwangun ( useless person) , buzzwangun , czokwangun ,
X is for the very few and rare, X rated words in Kashmiri. They need some deep thinking to be deciphered !!
Y is for Yad , the reason for human existence as per deep Kashmiri philosophy.
Z is for Zamut dodh without which no meal is complete. It has multiple uses … a spoonful eaten with sugar will ensure success in your task, a helping with rice will settle your stomach, eaten in a wazwaan it will provide a layer between endless meat dishes. Soul food