Thursday, February 2nd, 2023 06:30:12

Of Excellent Expletives & Superlative Slanguage

Updated: May 31, 2014 5:28 pm



THANKS to the elections, Satiricus can no more bemoan the fact that he has a poor vocabulary. Rather, it has been enriched beyond his professional requirements. Not that he did not know that polls and politeness do not go together, but, as Shakespeare could have pointed out, there are more things in heaven, earth and elections, dear Satiricus, than are dreamt of in your apology            of a philosophy. The most important among them is a code common to all candidates—a common uncivil code. To abide by it, every candidate needs a rich range of excellent expletives, classic cuss-words, and, in general, superlative slanguage.

An illustrious illustration of how meticulously this code was followed was provided by the wondrous ways in which Modi was described with imaginative invectives by inventive opponents. Beginning with being a Feku, he was promptly promoted to Kutte Ka Bachcha, then graduated to the level of a Butcher and a Jallad (executioner), swiftly climbing to the dizzy height of being hailed as a Devil, finally getting consigned to a pack of “panic-stricken rats”.

Satiricus was well and truly impressed. Having known Modi personally, at least cursorily, he thought the man was a nice person with a ready smile. But then, Satiricus should have again recalled Shakespeare—a man may smile and smile and yet be a villain. Which means Modi readily smiles because he was really a villain. And of course a villain is by definition everything that is bad. Take Butcher. The court had said he wasn’t, but who cares for court verdicts? Then take Devil. KPS Gill, who was Gujarat’s top cop during the post-Godhra riots, has written that Chief Minister Modi had not given any devilish directives to the police, but who cares for trifles like truth during elections?

Finally and famously, that curious couple of unendearments—Kutte Ka Bachcha on the one hand and one of “panic-stricken rats” on the other. Well, now, Satiricus has come across frequent reports of intelligent dogs which show that the human world that is going to the dogs is actually getting to be a better place thanks to the dogs. And as for chuha, the English papers have translated it as rats, but has not something been lost in translation? Should it be a rat or should it be a mouse? Satiricus does not know, but he knows someone who knows—Prime Mouse Manmohan.

Woefully Ignorant Unbeliever!

BEING a mere male, Satiricus does not qualify as a feminist. But like all men in general, he is polite to women. At the same time he cannot help feeling that this women’s lib business is getting a little too much. And when even Saudi Arabia succumbs to it, Satiricus seriously suspects things are getting out of hand. Take what happened the other day in the holy homeland of Islam. What happened, believe it or not, was that a woman took her husband to court for publicly calling her a cow and a donkey. Good God! A blessed Believer, a Quranic card-holding member of “God’s Party”, so publicly humiliated with a court case against him? Can Islamically secular Satiricus do something to save him? Yes, he can. He has a degree in Law under his belt, so to put it to pious use he can journey to Jeddah for a legal Jehad on that woeful woman. And he would not lack arguments in defence. There are quite a few, and they are quite solid. He would open his defence by pointing out that the Quran specifically states that it is in Arabic so that Arabs may understand it, and yet this Arab woman seems to be so woefully ignorant that she objects to being called a cow but she does not seem to know that the Quran has a section specifically titled “The Cow”. Then is it not plain that a cow cannot be in the Quran unless it is important enough to deserve to be there? Then how can this woman feel insulted by being called a cow? Actually it is an honour; therefore her believing that it is humiliation exposes her as an unbeliever, which is unforgivably un-Islamic, because “The Cow: 78” warns her that “Allah is an enemy to unbelievers”, and “The Cow: 161” not only repeats but emphasizes that warning with the words: “On unbelievers is the curse of Allah”.

As for this woman being called a donkey, had she known even a little English she would have known that ‘donkey’ comes from ‘don’ which comes from ‘dun’ which means not only a dark brown colour but also a dark-brown-coloured horse. In short a donkey is a horse by another name. This in turn means an Arabian donkey is the same as an Arabian horse—and are not Arabian horses among the finest in the world? Then was not the woman actually complimented on being as fine as a donkey-deemed-horse? The defence rests. The expected verdict: Case dismissed.

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