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related to grief and death, elegiac


vessel, vase, receptacle


one third, one-third part


curse, anathema, imprecation, reproach, reproof, rebuke

qahr Dhaanaa

to be wrathful, to rage


a hired labourer, worker

chale na jaa.e aa.ngan Te.Dhaa

a bad workman blames his tools

aage naath na piichhe pagaa

heirless, lone, lone wolf


magician, sorcerer, wizard, conjuror


the celebration of of an engagement, betrothal, engagement

nazar-bhar dekhnaa

to look carefully


slaves of the same master in relation to one another, slave colleagues


kindness, mercy


cage for birds


a decent way of desiring, nice way of asking


living, livelihood, course of life


state of just living a life (esp. with mediocre means), whiling away one's time means of livelihood, passing (one's) time, occupation, employment, subsistence, livelihood, means of living


spread, wide-spread, dispersed, diffused, diffuse


drowsiness or mild intoxication caused by taking opium

aa.nkh oT pahaa.D oT

out of sight, out of mind

Home / Blog / Banaaiye Bhi, Pakaaiye Bhi, magar, zaraa dekh kar!

Banaaiye Bhi, Pakaaiye Bhi, magar, zaraa dekh kar!

by Rajat Kumar 24 November 2021 2 min Read

Banaaiye Bhi, Pakaaiye Bhi, magar, zaraa dekh kar!

Shakespeare famously wrote, ‘To be, or not to be.’

Umm, I ask, ‘To do, or not t… ’, wait; let me have a go at it again, ‘To do, or to cook?’

If you’re stumped at my slightly-unbalanced question, don’t be. We’re going to shed some light on two of our most common verbs that we often use interchangeably. These are ‘Banaanaa’, to make, prepare; to contrive (slang), and ‘Pakaanaa’, to cook; to bore (slang).

These two verbs are being increasingly used in one another’s place. Let’s go beyond Hindi and Urdu for a moment, and see how English works- ‘I am making Spaghetti for dinner’; ‘I am cooking Prawns tonight’. Not much there, right?

Wrong. One of the great things about language involves its ability to differentiate between different things and actions. This means, it all comes down to your appetite; Spaghetti or Prawns, those taste buds on your zabaan determine whether it’s going to be ‘Banaanaa’ or ‘Pakaanaa’. Choose wisely, or else, you’ll be made to chew your words back!

Of course, in some cases we can go for either of them, like ‘Khaanaa Pakaanaa’/’Khaanaa Banaanaa’, but in Urdu, even if you’re not a purist, ‘Khaanaa Pakaanaa’ is the norm, however here too, the eatables call the shots. 

Tell me which of the two verbs goes well with coffee, Chai, chutney, Achaar, or even Halwaa- ‘Banaanaa’, without a whiff of a doubt. No one is going to dare say, ‘Main Chai Pakaane jaa rahaa hun’. We’ll all run away! Why? Because no one likes ‘Paki Hui Chai’. You get the point, don’t you?

Really, the different verbs in our languages help us tell apart these subtle differences, once we start bartering them, grey areas appear and eloquence disappears. If you want a taste of how this thing happens, here’s an anecdote involving Bedaar Bakht. He narrates:

‘Maine Toronto se dehli apni ek buzurg (elder) ko likha kih mujhe Aalu-Gosht banaane kii tarkiib (recipe) likh bhejiye.’ 

To which she wrote back, ‘Beta Gosht to Qasaaii banaata hai; tum shaayad pakaane kii tarkiib jaanana chahte ho.’

This little piece of tongue-in-cheek humor is a good reminder that there is always more to know. That’s why we hinted in the title, Banaaiye Bhi, Pakaaiye Bhi, magar, zaraa dekh kar!

Baniye Nahin, Pakaaiye Nahin.

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