This Mumbai Mayanagri never leaves an opportunity to amuse me, be it for the simplest of things. You all will find the incident I share today really funny, especially if you are from the North.
Well, if I ask you what is the meaning of the hindi word “kamra”, what would your answer be…A room, right? You must be wondering I have lost it today!
Wrong answer if you are in Mumbai for here, "kamra" signifies a full flat! Can you believe it?
Even I couldn’t digest it the first few times I heard this rather funny usage.
The first time was when Mr. Hubby and I were on the lookout for a house. While we were clarifying our concerns of adequate water and power supply, security etc. our landlord suddenly mentioned, “Don’t worry, you will really like your Kamra!”
For a moment, I felt like the passenger who has been downgraded from business class to economy at the last moment and whispered to Mr. Hubby “What is he talking about? He thinks we will shell out this much money just for staying in one room?” Mr. Hubby then explained to me the Mumbai version of Kamra!
I was still not convinced. “It might be some old school of thought.” But my myth was broken as soon as we shifted to our house, for everybody from the milkman to the neighbors had the same reaction, “So you have shifted in KAMRA number …?” Always put off by their questions, I replied “Yes, FLAT number…”
And the usage is not just confined to verbal mention. I found several flats in my society mentioning “Kamra no. …”on their name plates!
We Dilliwallas are used to living king size, so a house is usually a kothi, a flat is a 2/3/4 bhk and a kamra usually indicates a single room. But here kothi becomes a bunglow, and flat straightaway gets downgraded to Kamra!
Anyway, I have undivided love for all the Kamras in my flat. But yes, I miss the spacious balconies, terraces and gardens Dilli has to offer.
No matter how much I may have cribbed about my city, the long distance relationship has its own charm, for distance deepens the bond of love. So my big city with a big heart, I miss you!