I avoid using foul language in personal communication. (Voice in background: Such a nutcase. Does it mean she uses it in official communication? Other voice: No, no, she sometimes writes stuff like that, you know…) Except for damn, shit, hell, bitch (usually for myself) which I am afraid have become a part of punctuating.
Yes, it makes me feel good that I don’t use abusive words. I do it for myself, for my self-esteem. Perhaps in very close intimate company I might utter an expletive.
When I say fuck, I mean it…as in ‘fetch’. Okay?
So, I surprised myself the other day when I used a fairly horrendous word in Urdu/Hindi. “You are such a chootiya,” I told him. It wasn’t meant to be literal, but even then it was not something I would condone. I don’t even know what it really means, although I have a fair idea.
This was the second time I used the word. The first time was with an Egyptian friend. He was dropping me off somewhere at Jumeirah in
“Hello,” I said. “I am Indian.”
“You are different.”
Well, I am…at least I was nowhere like that bloke who moved his vehicle like a bulldozer.
“Come on, come on, tell me some baad wordh thu give him…”
“Chootiya…” my tongue whipped it out like a magic wand.
“Wallah! What it means?”
“Very bad,” I said.
I thought I was inculcating subcontinental values in the Arab mind.
Next thing I know is he had rolled down the glass and was yelling out, “Ay, ay, shoot-ya.”
“Wait,” I restrained him. “If you have to, then at least say it right.”
Oh, the driver of that offending vehicle mattered no more. My friend was on a roll.
Till we reached Jumeirah I had to listen to his rendition of the different ways of saying ‘shoot-ya’… It was slightly better than his version of Bob Marley, though.
Yup, there he was humming and asked me, “You know Boob Marlee?”
“Yes…I like him a lot…”
“Gooth…listen…Woy, yoy, yoy…” he began tapping the steering wheel…
“Boofellow soljur, dhreadhlock raster
There was a boofellow soljur in the harth of Amerikha,
Stholan from Aafrica, broughth to Amerikha,
Farthing on arrawal, farthing for surwawul…”
Oh, it was soon my destination. He opened the door for me and as I waved out, he called back, “Habibi, shoot-ya!”
PS: For those who want the real words of Bob Marley:
“Buffalo Soldier, Dreadlock Rasta:
There was a Buffalo Soldier in the heart of
Stolen from Africa, brought to
Fighting on arrival, fighting for survival.”