New Delhi, May 6 (IANS) Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday drew on Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s knowledge of both Marathi and Hindi to add some ‘astringency’ to a point he made about the controversy over the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal.
In his remarks on the calling attention notice on the chopper deal, Parrikar used a Marathi idiom — “Only one who eats ‘Aru’ gets to feel it in their throat” — to make the point that only a wrongdoer shows signs of a guilty conscience.
The minister translated the idiom into Hindi as “Aru ki bhaji jo khata hae, uske hi gale mein lagta hae”, but got stuck on the meaning of ‘Aru’ in Hindi.
“I don’t know the exact Hindi word, madam. In Marathi we call it Aru,” Parrikar told Mahajan.
The speaker was quick with the translation.
It’s “Arbi ka patta (leaves of Arbi),” she responded.
‘Arbi’ is a root commonly eaten across India as a vegetable whose leaves are also culinary but have a strong astringent quality.
Tasting even a bit of an untreated Arbi leaf can leave one’s throat contracted with a severely acerbic taste.
Mahajan was born in a Marathi family but is a resident of Hindi-speaking Madhya Pradesh.