The definitive guide to South Asian lingo

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Noun. July 17, 2011, Word of the Day


Literally: A busy, bustling, southern railway junction in the wonderfully connected maze that is the Indian Railway system.

Idiomatically: It is used to refer to a complex tale of woe and misadventure completely fabricated on the spot to veer the convesation away from the potentially delicate actual subject of discussion.

Truth be told, this is not daily desi parlance. I admit it's a family word! But it's such a crucial mechanism of the Indian psyche that I thought I'd share it with Samosaworld. The story goes as follows:

My granduncle and his nephew (to wit, my uncle) were returning from the old family village after a visit and were naturally carrying back a host of goodies and parcels for just about every neighbourhood family with relatives in the city. One of these happened to be a stainless steel dabba full of moist sweet juicy neyyappams.

After twisting his nervous nephews arm into cracking the sacred seal of anothers' neyyappams the travelling grand old man proceeded to gobble the delicacies until the container stood empty by the end of the journey. He waived this grevious breach of trust off under the notion that his wife would have ample time to whip up another batch an refill the container and none would be the wiser.

Unfortunately, word of the sweet package had been sent ahead and the eager family was awaiting their prize at the doorstep before the uncle and nephew duo even got back home from the railway station! My granduncle, without batting an eyelid, proceeded to explain in great and excruciating detail the madness that was the Jolarpet junction, the tizzy of the train switch, the errant nephew falling behind, being knocked down by scurrying coolies, the bandicoots that had the run of the place, the bags being mixed up, the train starting to move, the mad dash to throw luggage and bodies in through the door and jump aboard... (deep breath) "...and that was what Jolarpet was like, can you believe it?!"

The poor folks that came to collect the gastronomic treats they had been bequeathed, couldn't even muster up the courage to ask for them, and silently tucked tail and returned home after exchanging a few pleasantries. Within a day a new batch of neyyappams had been constructed by the grandaunt's expert hand, packed into the empty stainless steel and delivered to the confused family with a laugh, saying "In all that talking I did, I completely forgot to give you your sweets! And you didn't even mention anything!"

And that, my friends, is how you pull a Jolarpet.


Physics teacher: Anwar, you've certainly written up a storm on this paper, but you have no idea how to prove this theorem do you?
Anwar (ashamed): No ma'am, I thought I could Jolarpet my way through...
Added 2011-06-30 by Studmuffin





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tation, Malgudi, bangarpet, Erode