The definitive guide to South Asian lingo

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Definition

Ubiquitous word used to describe an ordinary version of a product or service.

Across the consumer industry, there is typically more than one version of an available product. This is actually very common since class divides dictate a segmented market. In its growing-up years, socialist India made sure that every product or service was available to all, and there would always be a watered-down version.

Of course, across the food service industry for instance, it is simply a way of offering you a plain, "vanilla" version without the extras.

Literally, ordinary, plain, simple.

You get what you pay for.

Usage

On a menu:

Ghee Masala Dosa - A rice and lentil crepe with loads of butter and a spicy potato and onion masala.
Masala Dosa - A rice and lentil crepe with a spicy potato and onion masala.
Saada Dosa - A rice and lentil crepe.

In a movie theatre:

Balcony ticket - A ticket at the upper stalls, the second level of seating, at a height - a vantage point for families and "decent" folks.
Ordinary ticket - A ticket at the lower stalls, preferred by wayward youths and lafangas. Colloquially, a saada ticket.

In trains:

First A/C - luxury seating and sleeping berths in spacious, private coupes, with courteous, servile attendants. With Air-conditioning.

Second A/C - seating and sleeping berths - no coupes, but spaces separated by curtains, with courteous attendants. With Air-conditioning.

Third A/C - seating and sleeping berths - no coupes, but rather congested in spaces separated by curtains, with intermittent vendors who travel with you on the train. With Air-conditioning.

Second Class Sleeper - seating and sleeping berths - in congested spaces with intermittent vendors who might hop on to the train at various stops. No Air-conditioning. Sometimes referred to as saada.

Second Class Sitting - A saada compartment. The Real Deal. You buy a very cheap ticket. No seating or sleeper berth reservation. Ordinary wooden seats with no cushioning. Very crowded, with possibly space for only one human foot each.

A cheaper, saada version exists for nearly everything - cellphone plans, internet, hotel rooms, soaps, various food items, electronic products, falana, dimka.

Look carefully - it might just be cheap and best!

Added 2011-10-27 by GoodCumbany