Mind your language!

Shilpa Shetty was allegedly called a pig in Big Brother. The world seems to be in great difficulty because of that. It’s front page news! There are 20 odd talk shows discussing the nature of reality shows like Big Brother and its Indian cousin Big Boss, and how racism is still there! Now, I don’t want to discuss the same thing. I think they are over doing it anyway. There is a reason it’s called a “show”. Let it remain that… don’t make a show of that.

My concern, as a keen observer of different culture and English language, is the choice of abusive words in different countries.

Calling someone pig, it seems, has lost its favor among Indians. When I was young, I mean really young, “bloody swine”, used to be an elite english gaali! How refined our language was – no pig, no boar, no hog, but swine! If one doesn’t know the meaning of it, it sounds so sweet, with a swaying tone. Did you notice it rhymes with wine?

Now, however, “dog” is the abusive word of choice. Now, the range of emotions that can be portrayed with the term “Dog”, is unbelievable. Right from describing gluttony (Kutto ki tarah khaya), to talking about someone behind his / her back (Bitching!), it can really be used anywhere. Even when greeting someone. Some of my “Yo” friends, inspired by 20,000 odd rappers (with ludicrous names like Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, 50 cents and Ludacris), have started greeting each other with “Wassup dog?”! Bad influence I say.

The other factor in this pig vs dog war, according to me, is film stars. Now we all know how movie stars swear in movies. Take the example of an iconic hindi movie - Sholay! Both the dog and pig are prominent in the dialogues. But, with all due respect to late Mr. Amjad Khan, his “suaar ke bachho” was pale in front of Mr. Dharmendra’s “kutte, kamine…”. More importantly, Mr. Dharmendra has repeated his dialogue often in many movies, and managed to teach Indians their most important gaali. In training, we call this reinforce technique.

There is this other factor, which struck me. There could be a cultural thingy here. Indians, contrary to what Ms. Jade “Goody two shoes” thinks, are very respectful to what they eat. We don’t prefer to use those that we eat as abusive words. Earlier, we never ate pigs. Now that we have started eating (at least in urban India), we stopped using “pig”. In western culture, this appreciation for food seems to lack. They call people “chicken” and “pig”! Of course, even in India, exceptions to this exist (one prominent example is where people of India call Inzamam Ul Haq – “Aloo”). We should treat this as affection though.

Anyway, enough of this stuff. You go back to whatever you were doing; let Ms. Shetty enjoy the Rs. 3,00,00,000/- that she reportedly got for all those “horrible” things that were told to her; let Endemol (the creators of Big Brother) enjoy all the hype and increased viewership; let Ms. Goody enjoy the trip to India proposed by Indian tourism department; let the media find some real story for a change; and finally, let there be peace on earth. Amen!


Woodsmoke said...

Now for the grander comment.

Woodsmoke said...

Your last paragraph is a fabulous piece of work. The promised trip to Jade Goody is the most hilarious thing our government has done in recent years.

And let me observe the Americans more keenly...what are their favorite food/animal life related gaalis? I will get back to you on that.

Rohit Talwar said...

I remember laughing my guts out when I read the letter written to Goody. Man, never knew our government could!

Oh and you forgot sonofabitch (!)
Stuff like tamatar laal also exist man.
Geewiz, nice post birother.

Subhadip said...

YF. Please find out more and help my research.

Only our government could! And, I was avoiding hardcore gaalis! The I&B ministry is particularly active these days. They might take my blog off the Internet on obscenity charges in 2010.

Richa Bhardwaj said...

Profound observations!

But yes, peace! World peace.

Subhadip said...

Pro-found (something found by a pro) it is!

World peace... yes! Very important!

Richa Bhardwaj said...

hehe [:D]

I see.

~ | | OM | | ~ said...

i think this article should get to the headlines !!!

subbu you rock darling !!!

Subhadip said...

Kaunse headlines bhai?

Waise, the way the media works now, they may ask me to go to a talk show as an expert. These days, it is customary to have a blogger in the panel!

Chitrangada said...

wah wah what a post :)

n yesh different bhi thi :)


Butterfly said...

Very good post!
But the media will never find some real story. They'll not try much either coz the people enjoy these stories more.
The gaali "pig" is indeed,nothing compared to what I hear on the streets sometimes. They are not worth mentioning.

Subhadip said...


I know the happening gaalis in Kolkata. A young lady like you should not learn them.

~ Deeps ~ said...

well written.....jam mag main bhej do sir :)

Kanu said...

WHAT A POST!!! I laughed and laughed and laughed!! Talk about a forum when you actually sit and think about gaalis...serious brain work involved there I can see.

I couldn't help but say it....the letter was awesomly sarcastic...whatever happened to your stance of diplomacy? Its an official document and man it works.

Brilliant post needless to say

Subhadip said...

Nehi nehi... yeh yaheen theek hai :-)

It's all highly cerebral work!
And sarcasm works!

Sanjit said...

Hilarious shubu!!!

Subhadip said...

Oi Sanjit! Nice that you read my blog. How are you?

Adisha Agarwal said...

Fabulously humorous.. is what I have to say...