Bhubaneswar Buzz

Kana Kala Se – A view on the current socialmedia trend of Odias


If social media is to be believed, the latest slang going on in Bhubaneswar is – KANA KALA SE. Transliterated it means “What he/she has done !”, the reason I have put an exclamation mark, is to indicate the way it is delivered with an emphatic stress at the end. It could have several connotations, but apparently used mostly to tease girls.

My memory of such slangs emanating from Bhubaneswar goes back to late 1970s. The first one was “GHAIN GHAIN BULE BINCHANA NALA”. I was too young to comprehend the meaning of it. Literally it meant “the hand held fan rotates superfast”. It probably meant nothing, but I do remember some Bell bottomed boys from that era, with cascading hair covering their earlobes and long sideburns, using these lines to tease girls. Whatever it meant, the weather in Bhubaneswar needs AC these days for most part of the year, BINCHANA NALA (hand fans) are now relegated to villages. 40s were unheard of in the city interspersed with water bodies, their cool surface wind propelled into the city by bursts of air emanating from Bay Of Bengal. There was hardly any tall building to block its path or absorb heat, the only one being the 9 storied one which housed government offices. It was a place of tourist attraction of the time.

The immensely talented Odia singer Akshay Mohanty, mentioned about this slang referring to the to the New Capital city of BHUBANESWAR. The song went like this


Roughly transliterated..

“Earlier it was a jungle filled with Tigers and Bears,
Hail to Our New Capital Bhubaneswar.
You see O’ The Mother of SUKUTA,
The hand held fan rotates superfast”.

Not sure about Tigers and Bears but when we moved to the newly constructed BJB Flats in 1976, howling of jackals were not uncommon, coming out of some of today’s poshest neighborhoods. SUKUTA which in colloquial Odia means “the lanky lad” is referred here as the typical down to earth Odia guy from a village or small city, lost in the din and bustle, inside the labyrinth of a big city like Bhubaneswar.

Early 1980s saw couple of new slangs DEKH TAKU (look at him/her, it’s mostly directed for her) and KOUTHI THOIBI (where shall I keep). That period saw the rise of KHATTI (Nonsense gossips) culture in the city, where boys would cluster around culverts (cemented structures on the cross roads of drains, originally meant for drainage of storm water, ending up being youth activity centers). Whistling and passing innuendos at girls passing by were not uncommon.

Three or more guys on pillions, often referred as LUNGUDA (habitual girl chasers) would follow nubile girls. No sooner they sight a girl, than the driver would turn his head 45 degree (anything beyond that can risk an accident), those behind him turn 90. It was not unusual for a driver to get carried away and turn his head 90 degrees, ending up in bruises. The bike or scooter would end up screeching and skidding, making them bite dust on the dusty roads of Bhubaneswar, filled with protruding pebbles. These slangs rarely lasted long and more slangs will come up in future. Time has changed, the human nature hasn’t.

Author: Sambeet Dash