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Dirtscapes

Read. Suffer. Try to Enjoy.

I Swear...

The male proclivity to swear is a fantastic thing. It's something women typically find difficult to understand. Ever notice how they give you their best "ewwwww" expressions when you are affectionately wondering aloud about your male friends' Oedipal leanings when you meet them or even talk about them? (the usage of such endearments increases in direct proportion to the time elapsed since last meeting). That's what I'm talking about.

The usage is unbelievably complex, with a mere inflection of voice enough to change the context totally. The same word, can be used to greet a long lost schoolmate or describe your boss.

Personally, the earliest memory I have of me getting intimate with a cuss word is in the 5th standard, and it was (drum roll) the Hindi word for posterior. It was such a cheap thrill, and it felt really nice whenever I called somebody that.

But much earlier, I had used a certain 'phrase' to rather disastrous results...

'Twas in the third standard. An uncle had come visiting, and a couple of pegs later, he got all bawdy, and let rip a phrase in the coarsest Kannada imaginable - roughly translating to "Particularly licentious woman of loose morals" to describe a relative.

I knew it meant something bad, judging from my parent's suitably embarrassed reactions, but I didn't know exactly what it meant. So a month or so later, when I got an unwarranted thrashing from my teacher (It had to happen someday. Precocious little me used to actually correct her pronunciation in front of the entire class), I opened my 'Science notebook', turned to the last page and lovingly, lingeringly wrote "My teacher is a (you guessed it...) particularly licentious woman of loose morals". Felt good to get that off my chest (beat crying in front of the childhood crush any day) and that done, I clean forgot all about it.

Till the evening when my parents were 'taking up' my Science lessons for an exam the next day. I was confidently slaughtering all the questions, till I remembered what lurked on the last page. In classic voided rectum fashion, I snatched the book from their hands and ran inside, desperately trying to scratch out the incrimination. Too late, too late was the cry of the day. And the cry of the night? Me sounding like this as my parents took turns kicking my a** all over the house.

Minor hiccup aside, the sailor-speak grew stronger with time, till another little road bump.

The 7th standard this time. Was in an all-boys school now, which ensured that breathing was as natural an activity as swearing.
Cut to hot dreary afternoon. Maths in progress. Restlessness of the class increasing in direct proportion to difficulty of the equations on black board. I was diligence personified. Two classmates sitting in front started to break free from the mathematic shackles. And sure enough, I was the fall guy. They escaped, and I was made to stand up for the rest of the duration. The guilty parties then started to turn, sniggering and taunting me with Bollywood-vamp-vigour. To which I responded in the best way I could. I silently mouthed a very very sisterly word in Hindi to them.

Without checking whether the teacher had her back to the class, or was glaring right at me. You're right. She read my lips. And then in front of the entire class proceeded to say...

"Tapan! What did you just say?! SISTERLY WORD?!!!!!"
(Note - she actually said the word out loud. No kidding.)

That must rank as one of the most glowingly embarrassing moments I've ever had in my life. Ears flaming, I sputtered furiously, trying to slither out of sight, justifying all the while. Then a couple of scholarly holier-than-thous jumped into the pit.

"Yes miss, he gives 'bad words'... "
"We have heard him say that before"

That one incident affected me so badly, that I actually wrote a letter to Wiz (of Ask Wiz fame, from that
magazine called Target). I had poured my heart out into that inland letter, moaning about how I'm a bad boy because I keep giving 'bad words', and how I needed help.

It's a good thing they never replied...
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8:28 PM, February 25, 2007
Anonymous Supremus said...

Swearing is fun, though I was a good boy @ school. Never caught on to sisterly-motherly words for quite a while, and even now its been quite less. However the same cannot be said for my usage of their english counterparts hehehehe :-). Afterall its the thought that matters, not the language hehe.

But yes, hindi swears sound more "cool" :D, and usually express the sentiment perfectly.    



1:45 AM, February 26, 2007
Blogger SEV said...

Ah.. who can forget standing on the Horizon stage and screaming bloody murder at the silly FEs who must take those benches in the exact opposite direction from which they're supposed to be ?
Being an anglophile.. it took the longest time for the swear words in hindi to sound convincing, coming from me. The expressiveness is just not the same..    



11:44 AM, February 26, 2007
Blogger arpana said...

oh !!!!! thank god I wasnt in your school! I keep getting " you dirty scum" stares from ppl cos I just cant stop cussing :D    



8:59 PM, February 26, 2007
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great work, as usual ;-)

"Precocious little me used to actually correct her pronunciation in front of the entire class", took me back to - "It is not Cron-jay, it is Cron-ee-aye"..Pickle freak!    



11:32 PM, February 26, 2007
Blogger AJ said...

The only time I got spanked in school (yes, in school I was a good boy, unlike RAIT) was because of the noun used for a child born out of wedlock (if you can call it, you decide). I remember I was in the 3rd standard when I shouted it out loudly while in the math period.    



12:14 PM, March 08, 2007
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fantastic esp ur inland letter bit!    



10:31 AM, March 11, 2007
Anonymous dodo said...

Very nostalgic post!!!!btw, have you ever visited www.insultmonger.com. May be you will pick up one or two to greet the next long lost friend you meet    



10:04 AM, March 22, 2007
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now i finally know why guys abuse soo much!!
thx a lot tapan.. u solved one big mystery for me!!!    



3:50 PM, April 27, 2007
Blogger Sam said...

AH!!
School days.........
no comments.... having come a boys school... i think u'll get my sentiments perfectly....
perhaps one of teh most common term we used was "b**** s*****"... hehe. whatever be teh damn reason!!    



6:56 PM, June 22, 2007
Blogger Tapan said...

Supremus,
Hindi swears sound cool, yes... but a lot of the ladies think otherwise... :) How do I know that? Well... :D

SEV,
I understand... :)

Arpana,
Good for you...

Anon 1,
Thank ye (supplicates)...

AJ,
You started early too...

Anon 2,
Yep... that inland letter... *sigh*

dodo,
That link is NSFW. Very definitely not... :)

Anon 3,
More than happy to oblige... :)

Sam,
An all boys setup does things to you. Indeed. :)    



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