Ode To Abu

Friday, 12 April 2013

J for Jannal


Jannal means 'window' in Tamil, the local language of Chennai. I must attempt to use more Tamil words in my post; will help improve my limited knowledge of this wonderful language. Did use a few words in the very first post on alphabet A as well as on alphabet G.

The word 'Jannal' is also used in a few other Indian languages, with slight variations. Apparently, it is also a Portuguese word. The Portuguese invasion of India saw a lot of our coastal regions adapt to Portuguese influence in the local lingo, food, customs and traditions. 

There is an old and well-known street side eatery in Mylapore, a suburb and older part of this city, rich in culture and heritage. The name of this eatery is 'Jannal Kadai' meaning 'Window Shop'. Customers actually stand outside a tiny window by the roadside and order food through it, eat and leave. Mostly finger foods and snacks are served here. The dishes are what are popularly known as 'tiffin items'. The oft-ordered ones are Jannal Kadai's super soft idlis (steamed rice cakes), bondas & bajjis (fried potato balls and stuffed fritters) that are crisp on the outside with soft and spicy filling on the inside. The wealthy as well as the not-so-well-off people of the city haunt this joint in equal measure, particularly for their special chutney. Food that is quick and very reasonably priced, Jannal Kadai is total value for money or VFM, to satisfy one's craving for simple and healthy South Indian food.

On another note, the other day I saw this beautiful photograph which made me think of the word 'jannal' or window as a metaphor. Especially the sunlight streaming through that beautiful artistic window.
#atozchallenge

Life can weigh us down at times (as can impromptu blogging challenges that one joins impulsively). Yet we ought to never fail to look out the window and enjoy the sunshine, or even the rains. No matter what, we keep going ahead. Keep your 'jannal' clean and bright and look at the world with positive light. Or sometimes, we need to let the sunshine in, into our lives, as shown in the picture. Open our hearts, be fearless, and embrace life in all its glory. 

This blog post is part of the A to Z Challenge. This challenge involves writing a blog post on any topic/theme in the order of the alphabets from A-Z. The blog posts have to be written each day through the entire month of April, excluding Sundays.

My chosen theme is the city of Chennai - sights, sounds, tastes, its happenings, events, and my memories and experiences connected with this place.

22 comments:

  1. Your post made me wonder, can eyes be the "Jannal" for our soul? :)

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    1. There are indeed :) So many beautiful writings about that.

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  2. As you said, the word "Jannal" is pulled from Portugese. The actual Tamil word still in usage on books and formal references is 'Saalaram'.

    Btw, I do window shopping in malls. Not at eateries. :-P

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    1. Saalaram sounds nice, didn't know that, thank you. And good one!

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  3. Very interesting, love the window it's quite pretty.
    A-Z

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    1. Found the image on Google, apparently it is Islamic architecture. Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. You write very well. I could practically taste the food served at "Window Shop." (I wish I could!)

    Happy A to Z!

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    1. Thank you so much, Lillian! Do visit India sometime and the Window Shop! :)

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  5. Very nice info.
    The other names for ‘Jannal’ - பலகணி,சாளரவாயில்

    I read the below poem before 2 decades
    விழிகள் நட்சத்திரங்களை வருடினாலும்
    விர்ல்கள் என்னவோ ஜன்னல் கம்பிகளோடுதான்.

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    1. I would have to get that translated! Thank you for reading :)

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  6. Nice one!
    Even Bill Gates saw through one, WINDOWS (JANNAL)

    Keep smiling,
    Lakshmi

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  7. awesome post !!i love janal kadais and tea kadai and fast foods!!

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  8. I love ornate windows and the one on your post is superb. Jannal sounds so much better than window!

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    1. Doesn't it...Jannal has a beautiful ring to it. That's Islamic architecture...the work is so intricate and beautiful...I instantly fell in love with the picture.

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  9. Jannal. Lovely post. Thanks for a wonderful post and the reminder to keep moving foward with a smile.

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  10. Jannal is also used in malayalam.... And I loved that pic.. :)

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    1. Yes I know and its used in Konkani too :)

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  11. This is a lovely post. And such a beautiful picture.

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