Etymology of “Parava-illai”

Parava-illai (pronounced as ‘paravala’) is one of the commonly used words in modern conversational tamil, and is used to say “ Its OK” or “thats fine” or “Dont Bother”[This is almost getting replaced by ‘freeyavidu’ 😛 ]. I saw a news feature in Kalaignar TV a year back or so which explained the etymology of this word. It is neccessary to know a bit of background to understand how this word might have come into existence. Chennai has a good presence of  north indian population ( especially from rajasthan) & references to “Sowcarpet” and “Pawn Brokers” are automatically associated with Rajasthanis.If you had been there , you wouldn’t be surprised to find name boards of shops in rajasthani  ..and Parry’s does have a good Gujarati settlement too. So it is believed that these people moved to Chennai somewhere in the 1950’s and settled down to do business.Although a lot of them are into a variety of businesses now, “Pawn brokerage” was and is the most common business they were/are into.All of them are referred to as “Seits” [coloquially say-ttu ]  .By and large , most of these wealthy immigrants were “money lenders”.

Its believed that “Paravaillai” is a hybrid , formed from an hindi and tamil word. The hindi word  “parva” – means to care. [ I did get confused with Bhadwa .. which refers to a Pimp !! ] and  “illai” in tamil means “no”. When the seits wanted to say – ‘dont care’ , they simply put these two words togather & said “parava illa” , which kinda expresses ‘Dont care’.The word kinda caught up and hence into tamil Dictionary.

I think there is a word in telugu – “Parava ledhu” , which might be attributed to a similar etymology 🙂


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