I was delightfully devouring a container of potato wedges in the dim lit crowded pub when she sat across me, a sister of a good friend. We smiled and exchanged pleasantries. I asked her how her day was going, and before I could realize she spat out a volley of F words describing all that was going wrong. F this and F that and F’ing him and F’ing her. I nodded my head, sometimes mouthing ‘right… right‘ just so she knows that I was listening. But soon she bamboozled me with a question – ‘Don’t you think it’s F’ing f’ked up?’.
I blinked. In my whole vocabulary I didn’t have a strong offensive monosyllable word to match the power of F. I replied with a lame, ‘Yeah, that’s bad’. She shot me a look that made me revise my vocabulary.
‘I mean it’s horrendously insensitive and tyrannous’. Yes, 12 syllable words to match the power of a four letter word.
That night I came back home with a determined mind, to finally utter the word. The whole world is dropping F bombs, there couldn’t possibly be anything wrong with it, right? 😛
So I looked in the mirror, stared into my eyes and opened my mouth – Ffffff… Immediately my mind conjured an image of mom holding a steel spatula which had been dipped in hot bubbling oil and of Dad in olive green uniform with pursed lips, the kind reserved for mornings when he finds the bottle of oil and moisturizers not arranged according to the height.
You see, I was born in the 80’s and went to Army and Air Force schools. I belong to an era when the conversation went like:
“Pata hai Rita ne Gita ko pagal ladki bola” (Do you know Rita called Gita a mad girl)
“hawww hawww hawwww”, chorused a group of flabbergasted girls, unable to believe that such an insulting adjective had been spoken in the school premises.
“Phir Gita ne Rita ko stupid bola” (Then Gita called Rita Stupid)
Even today, the most offensive word that I can say out loud is Sh$t. Happens when I get so involved in watching House of Cards that I forget that there’s something cooking on the stove.
Believe me, not being able to swear is a serious issue. You have no idea how socially inept I feel when my colleagues can be so powerfully expressive with one word bomb and I have to resort to phus-phus Diwali crackers to express my sentiments.
So while I make few more attempts to be bold and swear’y, let me know in the comment section whether you can swear or not. 🙂
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