“Neti buri kunji kore, ghuchkun munu tu. Badur bachcha, badur bachcha, nyat ba cha-chang chang.”
I’m sure most bongs in every hemisphere has heard that sometime in their lives. In my family it is used as a mantra of endearment and as I’m a ‘lovely kid’ I hear it almost daily, and get over-doses of it at family weddings.
In spite of being inquisitive I never wondered what it meant because I just assumed it was a collection of funny sounding words…there are too many of them in Bangla- pota (with a nasal twang on the ‘po’), shikni, potol (a unique bong vegetable with no english translation), pachhu (I’m not trying to be profane…but common, its a funny word!)
But turns out “neti buri kunji…” has multiple possible origins.
The first story goes that the Indian farmers were up in rebellion outside the East India Company’s headquarters when the saheb asked “Native ra kun chiz kore?” to which an Indian watchman replied in an attempt to pacify the saheb, “Ghussa mat koro tum” and the conversation continued in a medley of English, Hindi and Bangla, which over the years has been played Chinese whisper with and transformed into ‘neti buri kunji kore, ghuchkun munu tu…’.
And the second origin I’ve hit upon today at my Yoga class. Once every week I have to drink 6 glasses of water, do asanas and pee my brains out. This asana is called “Laghu Shankh Prakshalaya.”
The second asana involves shoving the long spout of a lota filled with water into my nose. I have to pour the water into my right nostril and make it pour out of the left nostril. This enlightening experience is called “Nyati Buddhi.”
Then I have to drink another six glasses of brine and puke it all out. This activity, “Kunjal,” gives you a warm sense of community. All of us gather around a huge tub, shove our fingers into our throat and vomit into the community tub…what a pleasant experience, wouldn’t you say? I was supposed to do “Kunjal” on an empty stomach but I cheated (I got hungry, ok!) and ate 2 biscuits. So in this community tub of multi-coloured vomit there were these tiny pieces of Brittania Thin-arrowroot biscuit floating around. There’s no cheating to your yoga instuctor, mate, you have to vomit out the truth!
Now put all that together: “Nyati Buddhi, Kunjal, Laghu Shankha Prakshalaya.” Sounds familiar? So really, every time my grandparents and kakis and mamis and what nots have been saying “Neti Budi Kunji Kore,Ghuchkun Munu Tu” to me while pressing my cheeks and hugging me, they’ve imparting centuries old yogic knowledge!
Ohm shantih shantih shantih.