Although a non-Gujarati by caste, I was born and brought up in a beautiful city of the state and currently living in the largest city of Gujarat. So basically, I’m a full-on Gujju by heart and I present you with the ten characteristics of the people from my state-
1> Any food, Anywhere, Any time!
First thing first, we are foodies, enormous ones at that. Yes we are only known for our ‘Khamans’ and ‘Dhoklas’ and ‘Fafdas’ but just lash onto any form of food that is in front of us. A Mexican cuisine full of ‘Athana-Sambhar’ is just as good as a plate of Noodles from a nearby ferry (and mind you that it isn’t noodles, it is simply and purely Chinese). But, nothing beats a spicy liquid ‘Sev-Usal’ and or a breakfast ‘Bhakhri’ and Tea.
2> An expert advice for almost anything!
Right from what your son should do to score well in the board exams to what went wrong in the Ambani’s new business plan, we have a to-do list for almost everything in this world and once you start a discussion with us, you would either back out with moist eyes or be forced to agree with what we say. Yes we are catching up with time like all the time but once a Gujju over hears a problem, the clock stops ticking.
3> That business is in our blood
No matter what you study, the only career option you have is to set up your own ‘Dhandho’ i.e. business. No doubt the current economic scenario witnesses Gujarati’s to be indulging into various jobs but, when you have your own business, you are your own boss and ‘Duniya gayi tel piya’ (To hell with the world.)
4> That we ‘understand’ politics like nobody can!
Thanks to the tremendous rise of our current Prime Minister, our political skills and knowledge have increased two folds. Although the majority section doesn’t yet care to research for themselves and believe in the forwarded messages, there is a thin population rising up for themselves but every problem has only one solution, ‘Modi’.
5> That you are a Gujju in a Gujju party!
Ten minutes into a Gujarati party and you will find yourselves in splits. Even if you do not understand the language, there would be visual treats in front of you; a heavy man would entertain you with his over the top speech and amusing facial expressions and the others will provide a laughter riot with their weird form of laughters.
6> That any form of dance is incomplete without a couple of rounds of Garba!
Salsa? Hip-hop? Popping and locking? Bhangra? Check everything in a lavish Gujarati party and in the end you will see circles forming and people moving to the tunes of Garba. We go crazy even at the infrasonic tune of Garba and no party gets over without mad hand and leg movements to the voices of Atul Purohit and Achal Mehta.
7> There always are short travels in short durations
Come the weekends and the people in Surat rush to Diu. Come link holidays and the students run over to the ‘Mehsana Water Park’. An experience of many, there is not a single trip when you miss out spotting Gujaratis’ around the place because ultimately, ‘Mara baba ni vacation che!’ (My son has holidays going on.)
8> That we have our own vocabulary for Hindi and English.
Any language for that matter has a major part of Gujarat accent mixed to it. When it comes to Hindi, we swap the words with such an ease that Hindi was meant only for us and English has a typically sweet ‘Bhavnagri’ accent to it. ‘Nahi karna to Naa bol de’ is equivalent to ‘Nahi karvu to Naa paad de.’ (Say no if you don’t want to do it.)
9> That nobody connects to a ‘Tulsi’ like we do
Okay so here’s a fact: No other state provides the daily-soaps with more TRPs than Gujarat. No matter where you are, is a touchdown time because ‘Jethalal’ awaits you with his ‘Tarak Mehta ki Duniya.’ The amount of understanding that our women have towards a random bahu and the immeasurable hatred for her Saas is something that will shock you to the core.
10> That no form of Good-bye is valid without an ‘Aavjo’ and a ‘JSK’
Gujju good-byes, along with a shake of a hand ‘Bye’, always end with ‘Aavjo’ (See you later) and ‘Jai Shree Krishna’. This phenomena remains constant from a romantic good-bye to a friend to a heavy scolding from your mother. And if you do not respond back with a JSK, only Krishna can save you.