Saturday, April 23, 2016



No, there is no spelling mistake. It is Kalaiya.

Till 70s, whole of Gujarat was cooking food in brass vessels, as they were good conductors of heat and distribute it evenly. However, they were reactive to acids and salt, there was risk of excessive copper in the food due to the interactions of organic acids from food, which may have adverse effects on health.

As Gujaratis are fond of Kari, curd and milk, brass vessels without tin plating spoil the item by chemical reaction of copper contamination. Therefore, the streets of Gujarat used to have tin platters moving with their carts. They were called Kalaiwala. Sometimes, when the work is more they carry utensils to their home and return next day after plating. But after building trust of the colony, sometimes, the platter run away with the utensils given for plating. People were cheated, therefore they named the Kalaiwala, as Kalaiya. Kalai kar gaya, is the phrase used for the act of cheating by the Kalaiya.

However, as the tin coating wears off rapidly with constant scrubbing and requires periodic renewal, people have moved to steel vessels, therefore the kalaiwalas are disappeared. But they have been replaced by new Kalaiyas in the society.

Many times, we hear theft of gold ornaments from women in the name of making double or doing better plating. Real gold ornaments are replaced by the plated ornaments. The cheaters are Kalaiya.

The brokers in share market attract investment for eating away money by promising high return to the investors. The scammers are known as Kalaiya.

The NPA of banks are nothing but the acts of Kalaiyas.

Some people in public administration use their good offices and become Kalaiya. They are managers of public properties and treasury. Instead of acting as trustees of the treasure, when they become middle men and exploit the opportunities for their personal gain, they become Kalaiya.

Promise breakers are called Kalaiya, whether a lover or a lofer.

Have you met any Kalaiya?

Beware! My father used to tell us, they are double body people, good at face and bad at heart. They are guaranteed cheaters.

21 March 2016


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