Jenny tasted the power of bhaiya while watching friends negotiate with autos, seeing housewives beat down stubborn vegetable wallas, observing clever coworkers convincing recalcitrant art directors to meet impossible deadlines. A woman takes a simple bhaiya--"buy-yaa", to transliterate--and bends the word around the fulcrum of the "y", modulating the final syllable to do her dastardly bidding.on Hindi: the power of "bhaiya" (Thanks, Dave!)
Making that final syllable short and sharp expresses contempt ("Who do you think I am to quote me such a price?").
Adding a long, upward-fluctuating suffix feigns shock ("You would take such advantage of the sweet, innocent girl standing so humbly before you?").
And turning that final syllable into an angry cadenza up and down three different octaves--think John Coltrane at the end of Giant Steps, an animal howl, the fire in her belly that would have singed the quivering beedi right out of the hapless auto driver's mouth if she hadn't stuck a bhaiya in front of it--chastens even the most determined male foe...
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.