June 13, 2005

Slang Sighting: Pakdu

The Maharashtra government has framed new rules for dance bars in the city which prohibit the serving of alcohol. Today's Mid-Day reports that the state's restrictions have given birth to a new kind of pick-up joint.
With thousands of bargirls desperate for survival, the state could see a huge boom in sleazy pick-up joints, known as pakdu (silent) bars.. They are dimly-lit places with blaring music, where waitresses, usually between 18 and 30 years old, serve customers food and alcohol. But there's more to them than meets the eye, as customers negotiate with the girls for 'favours'. (Mid-Day, June 13, 2005)
I'm not sure why pakdu has been glossed as 'silent' here. I assume it's from pakadna, to catch, implying that the girl is bait, or more likely, that you can 'catch' her unlike the touch-me-not performing girls ('items' in Mumbai parlance).
'Yahan sab milega. Pakdu ke saath full time ke liye room, nahin to item ke saath disco mein dance bhi kar sakte hain,' said the bar's valet attendant.
I'm told by them as knows that 'shorttime' is the Mumbai prostitute's slang for a quickie, which explains the 'short' favours mentioned later in the piece.

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