Hi, I’m Nikhilesh and I’m a profanity addict. There… I admit it, and as much as I don’t like it, profanity has become an integral part of who I am. Sincere attempts are on to cut down on the usage of words, but it is tough to do so. Every day, I leave home saying that I will not yell at the another insolent numbskull driver on the road, but then one of them always successfully ticks me off by doing something like taking a U-turn from the left of my car, cutting across while talking on the cell phone. This generally prompts me to roll down the window and go….well, let’s leave that to the imagination.
This got me thinking as to how profanity has slowly found a place in one’s life. While I know sarcasm was a trait picked up from the parental unit, profanity definitely was not in the picture. I’m guessing this started somewhere in class 5. We were abroad in Africa, so the only entertainment was either football or movies. Couple a whole bunch of Hollywood action flicks that had just started using words, with adolescence and the anger of football….and presto…out pops the first word in the long sad future of words. And it started some where there. I really can’t remember the first word I said back then…it’s sort of like the history of Britain….no exact clue as to when it began, but it did go a long way to give the world a lot of pain.
But what I do remember is when how we would nearly kill one another just because the other chap called you, “stupid idiot”. And if someone were to use the word ‘Bloody’….oh lord, watch all hell break loose. Couple that with the ‘fat’ or ‘pig’ insult…watch me run you into a wall and then pound you. Violent times….sad! But then we all grew up…some more than others, and the profanity lexicon kept evolving. So did the greetings; ‘ yo jackass’ or ‘hey moron’ was completely acceptable bro-code for a greeting. We’ve still not touched the F and B words. The place where profanity really took off was in graduation….and I’m sure that is where it did for most people in my generation. You may have not learnt anything relevant in the course, but you sure did learn a lot of new words….. and Eminem’s 8-Mile just made the F word so cool. This was also my Limp Bizkit phase.
And now, standard greeting between friends is more like, ‘You bas***d, how’ve you been man?’…and there is nothing wrong with that. You can mock friends for how poorly their football team is doing and they’re prompt with a ‘you f***ing bas***d….’ and we’re all still going out for beer with no hard feelings. The same words said, maybe 15 years ago, would have probably ended up in a bloody feud with the class being forced to take sides, all differences to be settled in what would start off as a football match and end up in nothing less than the WWE. It was a good thing I weighed more than others even back then…..they could run, but they could not hide. Strategy was to get to the classroom and take possession of their bag or lunch box. The thrashing at home from their Mom was far worse than what Mr.Murthy would give. Hehehe….make the prey come to you, must be that hunting instinct from living in Africa.
And it’s so amazing as to how forms of greeting now involve bas***d, MC, BC (don’t ask me to translate those), b**ch and a whole host of other words….the F word is like saying ‘Hello’…which are common. After India won the ODI world cup last night, a lot of kids were partying on the road outside, one fellow calls up his other friend to say ,’ Yo b**ch…where are you? We won you mother****er’ and they go on to have a very pleasant conversation. My mum was obviously shocked and wanted to go down there and beat some discipline into those kids. Sigh! If only she knew how times have changed. Bob Dylan was right all along.
What is your recollection of the first ‘Ushoooo….you used THAT word’ ???