The definitive guide to South Asian lingo

Definition 1 of 1


The ultimate door to door recyclers. These enterprising souls push thelas or pedal in cities and neighborhoods, yelling Raddi, Paper, Botal in a pitch that would be the envy of Nusrat Fateh Ali. Middle-class families in India known for their careful ways hoard newspapers, bottles, and old clothes waiting for the occasion when the panhandler pays their street a visit. The visit occurs mid-day, when the mahila of the house will have finished her chores and be ready for the occasion, whence the months' supply of newspapers will be bundled, tied up in a sutli, and handed over for the ceremonial weighing. After a good bit of haggling over the price and the actual weight, a few rupees exchange hands and the money is usually tucked into the blouse, or kept in the almirah. With so much of loose paper and bottles strewn all over the streets, it is a wonder these panhandlers make the effort to go door to door buying Raddi, Paper, Botal. Nevertheless, they are an Indian institution, and keep tonnes of trash off the street and into recycling systems.


Added 2013-05-11 by Paanini




North India