Tag Archives: nouns of multitude

A Maneka of Indian group names

By Gaurav Rastogi

Summer's almost here, and it's time to think of new ways to pass the time. Earlier this year, I read an excellent book called An Exaltation of Larks (Bay Area readers can get it from the Alameda County Library), which is essentially a collection of nouns of multitude. Basically, a collection of objects can be given a unique name, as in "a bevy of beauties", or "a pack of cards". Some of the more unusual ones from the book are

– an intrigue of politicians

– an addition of mathematicians

– an unkindness of ravens

– a shrivel of critics

– a score of bachelors

Now that India has arrived on the world map, it's time that all things desi acquire their right pride of place in the english language. Let's start naming typically desi things, just like that! Here are some to start us all off:

– A Hangal of filmy fathers

As in "I was at the  bollywood dance  party yesterday, and this Hangal of  unclejis was crowded around the front of the hall!"

– An Asthana of laughing yoga practitioners
 no laughing matter, this. As in…"when I reached the laughter yoga class, the Asthana was already bellowing with bellyfull laughs".

– A tashan of dalhi (yep, that's how we pronounce it) teens
As in…"Oy yaar…the other day I had gone to SouthEx with my tashan from college"

 A pampering of desi mothers
As in…"Boss, I went to my Mausi's house, and the place was crowded with a pampering of desi moms".

Ouch…An accent of desh-returning-NRIs (even a "crow luncheon", perhaps?)
As in…"My flight from Frankfurt into Mumbai was booked full with the crow-luncheon of NRIs returning back to India for good"

A clockwork of desi weddings (this one's in irony, in case you're wondering).
As in…On Nov 23, 2003, Delhi hosted a clockwork of weddings – in fact, 14,000 weddings in all in a singleday.

A bevy of biwis
As in…"I was out to lunch at M52 in Greater Kailash, and the place was chock-a-block with a bevy of biwis at their "kitty party"'

On the same notes, what would you call a collection of…
– masala movies
– pooris
– dosas
– desi TV serials (saas-bahu variety, of course)
– Indian sportsmen
– Air India air-hostesses (I'd recommend "an aunt-hill")

Let's see what you've got, readers!