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English to Hindi translations [Non-PRO] Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature
English term or phrase:la... la mai!
(the cook (in india) is expecting a phone call from his son in america. the telephone is in a guesthouse, where the watchman looks after it. when the phone rings, the watchman picks up and hands it over to the cook)
'The phone sat squat in the drawing room of the guesthouse encircled by a lock and chain so the servants might only receive phone calls
and not make them. When it rang again, the watchman leapt at it, saying, “Phone, la! Phone! La mai!” and his whole family came running from their hut outside.'
can you please explain what "la mai" here means? i also wonder if the first "la" in the "phone, la!" expression has a particular function. thank you
Watchmen all over India come from Nepal - they are "gurkhas" (many times retired army personnel) and often the words watchman and gurkha are considered synonyms in India, so there is quite some confusion! In South India, where I grew up, our night watchman was a real (Nepali) gurkha, but of course there are many who are not. This story is set in Northern India, so there is a an even better chance that the man is a Nepali.
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