Avadhis treasure their possessions-Mangoes and Language: dussehri aam and Zubaan. Sweetness is in both, are both are as refined as one could even imagine. The claim still is consistent even after a few bitter claims, and that is what makes Lucknow a beautiful place to grow in.
Huzur, hazraat, mohatarma, janab, mezbaan…a few sweet words flaunt Lucknow’s courteous tone pleasantly. Till now, “aap” is the most picked words for elders, and for Youngers. For rich and even for poor. Much like the delicacy of Avadh is selected and marvelous, the words spoken here are no different. “Pehle aap” is a signature word for Lucknow, and it’s worth it. The city has been in the beautiful sweet grip of “Pehle aap”, showering more love, more empathy.
The famous Ratan Nath Sarshar wrote in his masterpiece, Fasana-e-Azad about the two nawabs (commonly called nawab as they were from the city of nawabs-Lucknow) at the station, waiting for the train. The train arrives at the platform, the two humble men insisted each other to step in first by uttering “pehle aap”, they both maintaining utmost Lucknavi decorum, didn’t realize the train might be missed, or they did realize maybe. They bowed and wanted other one to go in first everytime saying “Janaab pehle aap”, and finally train whistled and end up missing it. It was discourteous for them to move first, and they abided by the tehzeeb of Lucknow.
Muzzaffar Ali in is famous Bollywood movie Umrao Jaan has captured the sweetness of Lucknavi zubaan in the dialogues. Much water has flown since then. Many believe that “pehle aap” is harshly replaced by “pehle tum.”
Filmmaker Sudhir Misra who belongs from this city, says Lucknow is richer in the ethical and cultural parameters. Yogesh Praveen, famous historical from Lucknow has to say about this is “immigrants have changed the zubaan and the tehzeeb. English is one major factor behind Lucknow’s diminishing language. Parents should make kids pick up the etiquette once Lucknow was famous for.“
Ram Advani, veteran bookseller from Lucknow has something else to say, “No way, the watsap generation can never corrupt our zubaan. It’s too deep-rooted and hard to lose the grace. If just a few youngsters prefer the same famous Lucknow zubaan, then it’s a happy thing to know.”