The origin of curses

An untold history of indian gaalis.

ITO Circle, New Delhi. Summer 2009

A Toyota Camry brushed past my Maruti Alto embossing a subtle scratch; Somebody appealed, and somebody caught the Camry driver off-guard like a third umpire. Camry took the brunt of Delhi-Wallah’s enviable collection of curse-words with his entire feminine genealogy denigrated within minutes. The victim, myself, could just mumble to pardon him, and was snubbed off with a hackneyed delhi phrase,

Aap tension na lo. Hum dekh lenge ji.”

(‘Dekh lenge‘ verbatim means ‘will look after’; it practically means a barrage of abuses and may be a slap or two)

Although, its a blasphemic topic to talk about, I was always curious about the origin of curses and abuses in India. Who was the first man on Indian soil to plant abuses on another? I look back at history in chronological order.

Pre-historical mythical era:

A still from Star TV serial Mahabharat
A still from Star TV serial Mahabharat

Ramayana and Mahabharata, the grand-epics of war with epitomic bad-men ‘Rakshasas’ and ‘Kauravas’ never mentioned about any abuse. Else, Bibhishana and Sugreeva would have been blasted black-and-blues with ugliest of abusive inventory. But, nothing! No such mention in Ramayana. Duryodhana and Karna did improvise a bit abusing Pandavas and Draupadi, when Karna called Draupadi ‘unchaste’ (dramatised by these TRP freak serial directors as ‘veshya’ and what not). Ved Vyas too would have scandalised the issue a bit. Still I believe, event was much milder in terms of curse-words as compared to ITO affair. And above all, disrobing kulvadhu‘s pride and womanhood can’t be compared with some random Alto car being brushed. If 100 curses were reason to kill Shishupal, half of delhi would have been dead by Krishna’s sudarshan.

Medieval era:

Chakravarty Ashok Samrat: A colors channel TV serial

Neither in Romila thapar nor in Satish Chandra’s medieval history, curse-words are accounted.

They might not be apt for a written history, but people like Huen-Tsang or Megasthenes could have mentioned about them. Why would the outsiders care to maintain decorum?

Pali language of those days could have had some encrypted ‘gaali’. But, why didn’t archaeologists find anything? As a natural reflex, they should have decoded all porn and banned stuff first.

May be all was burnt like Nalanda legacy. I don’t quite buy that argument either. Even if somebody nukebombs our country, atleast one curse-word would remain somewhere, on some facebook status, or some piss-sprinkled wall, or some public toilet or some chetan bhagat’s novel.

The muslim invasion and origin of ‘gaali’:

A still from TV serial Jodhaa-Akbar
A still from TV serial Jodhaa-Akbar

Only reasonable period attributable to earliest indian abuses, could be the period of Delhi Sultanate. In one of my childhood textbook lesson on Ibrahim Gardi, Ahmedshah Abdali called him, “Dozakh ke kutte“. And, that stays first documented abuse of Indian history in my memory. As most of these invaders belonged to land of unrest in middle-east, probably those war-cries and angry exhanges had permanently scarred their vocal cords. Words like ‘Dozakh‘, ‘Haraam‘, and ‘sahabzaade‘ crept over the people of India who were already tired of Sanskrit tongue-twisters like ‘kimkartavyavimudh‘. Soon, mutations and combinations gave rise to ‘apbhransha‘. How ‘Haraam‘ would have mixed with ‘Sahabzaade‘, and when ‘Matri‘, the revered maternal term, became ‘madar‘ and later to ‘Mother’, is pretty comprehensible.

Did Mughals really invent abuses?

Mughals or earlier muslim invaders are not to be blamed for curse-words for present day. Arabic language or present day Urdu are one of the most disciplined and respectful lingos, which has a certain ‘adab‘ and ‘lihaaz’, and distinct place for elderly and women. A sharp contrast still prevails between Delhi and Lucknow day-to-day usages.  In Lucknow, some would ask, “Aur zanaab, kaise mizaaz hain aapke?“. In a Paharganj hotel in Delhi, my friend was welcomed by morning chai-wallah, “Aur bhai! neend aayee ya machhadon ne maar lee?

British period

A still from movie 'Lagaan'
A still from movie ‘Lagaan’

Its pretty natural British would have pounded umpteen of abuses during their rule. But, only accounted and popularised abuse is ‘bloody Indian’. British and most of europeans even till date, aren’t much into sex-linked abuses, rather they are into scatological abuses like- bloody, scum, shit, faeces, dirt…and so on. That would have barely hurt Indians who never used a toilet-paper and loved to shit in open.

North-Indian origin: The aryan legacy or something else?

Coming back to counter muslim origin, my other contention is muslims of those days (and some even in present day) had consanguinous marriages, i.e. marrying within the family with some sister or cousin. North-indian Hindus stayed away from such traditions (rather its blasphemic to even think about such relations). Recently, one of the high-class polygamous woman is accused of murdering her daughter on this behest. Abuses based on such incestual innuendos are most prevalent today, and I believe they must have been brain-child of north-indian orthodox hindus for whom an incest could be the worst abuse.

Its not like south-indians would be less abusive, but their inventory must be much smaller than average delhi guy. Sweet-tongued bengalis probably have only one curse-word based on bengali word for stupid- ‘boka‘. In our college ragging days, we were told to utter abuses to the ceiling fan till it stops whirring. People from all states ranging from Bengal, Bihar, Madhya pradesh, Rajasthan tried their best but could not utter little more than filmy abuses like ‘saala‘, ‘kutta‘, ‘kameena‘ etc. But, when a punjabi began his ‘O teri ……’ , ceiling fan was almost shaking and about to fall at his toes.

Award winning scene from Movie ‘Omkara’.

While traditional crime hinterlands of Bihar and UP improvised on double-meaning Bhojpuri songs with roadside romeos uttering some cheap innuendos chewing paan, Sardaars (sikhs) and Jats of north innovated some hard-core abuses. A simple reason I could think is Punjab witnessed gory days of partition and terrorism which made the funniest and most gayful community burn in anger. Abuses may have emanated since Jaalianwalla Bagh and flourised till golden temple incident of 80’s. On the other hand, feudal lands of Bihar-UP witnessed suppression of dalits and lower caste by landlords in a derogatory way. So, the abuses were invented to laugh and scorn at them- subtle and punishing ones.

The days are over, and India progresses towards egalitarianism. From Dr. Dre to Honey Singh; Vishal bharadwaj flicks to Chetan Bhagat’s novels; MTV roadies to AIB Knockout; Rave parties to casual facebook posts. Abuses are a universal vogue entity. Some days back government was contemplating whatsapp monitoring. All they would have had is – porn and abuse collection for next decade. The beeps in movies prompt you to say it aloud, and the **** studded words appeal us the most.

Even if great Subhash Chandra Bose rises back from his grave, he would go back to sleep if he hears, “Bhaag bhaag DK Bose…….D K Bose.” and wonder if his land of ‘dharma’ has become land of ‘curses’.

If you are searching for some funky abuses for Nehru and Gandhi in his letters, remember it wasn’t us. It was the great orator and visionary Bose. Abuses are created by us, and hope next generation doesn’t get hold of them.

Jai Hind!

Disclaimer: Author has expressed his fictional opinions and interpolations, which does not claim to have any relation to actual history.

Read also:

The complex origin of our favourite ‘gaalis’

Great Indian punishments

Joyous kids, flashy uniforms and teachers with dashing smile. An almost daily update of kid’s activities and progress. The learning apps on iPad and over-concerned parents. International schools of today are an antithesis of schools of yore, where ‘masterji’ would be symbolised as a disciplinarian ‘muchhad’ in Hajmola ad. The power of an index finger which he moved sternly and the child meekly surrendered- ‘Hajmola sir!’. Even parents preferred the strictest of them. Most famous teacher of my neighbourhood was the one who had the laurels of caning the most notorious kids to make them fall in line. His once bruised and battered pupil have now become rich respected responsible citizens of country.  Before their legacy is lost, I wish to revisit the innovations in punishment they bestowed on us.

# 10: Get out of the class: Mildest yet commonest punishment. Everyday, somebody had to sacrifice and get out.  Usually a clumsy kid who couldn’t get up when the boss entered, or one with protruding front teeth which resembled an ignominous grin, or just any random pick. Like a ritual.

#9: Stand on the bench : On the face-value, an innocuous punishment. But, the ‘odd-one-out’ feeling, ‘smirking girls in background’, and feeling ‘helpless’ when next guy pokes pencil in the leg, virtually proclaims you a ‘mascot of stupidity’.

Stupid (n): A helpless child in dirty uniform; standing on the bench consciously adjusting his sagging shorts; with a running nose”.

Great orators of world must have taken this brunt of public-scrutiny in school-days before they became one.

#8: Hit by the chalk-piece: An unpredictable high-velocity targeted missile. Targets were decided impromptu, based on subtle behavioural instincts. A yawning front-bencher, a whispering back-bencher, or a fledgling eve-teaser. None of them would be spared from the hawk-eyes of master. This impeccable hand-eye co-ordination many greatest batsmen would envy. Some times we dodged and ducked only to be hit by another flying chalk-piece within fraction of second.

#7: Murga-punishment is an age-old punishment probably before the arrival of real ‘murgas’ (chicken) in India, and educationists (colloquially termed ‘master’) have innovated it over time. While ‘sitting murga’ was a cake-walk, and many would bear it through out one teaching session, ‘standing murga’ would be punitive extreme. We even had a sadist guru, who innovated a combination of ‘standing’ and ‘sitting’ murga. Yes! you guessed right. Such a diplomatic sadist approach can’t come from bland monotonous science, maths or language teacher. It must be the mutant descendant of Chanakya- the social studies teacher. I am sure Chandragupta Maurya would have been made’murga’ umpteen times by Chanakya.

#6: Sitting between girls: Was this a punishment? Ask the victim! The false pride of boy-hood one carried from birth would be pulverised between lice-infested unkempt hairs, disproportionately perfumed body odor and unwarranted sniggers of school-girls. A live casual public demonstration of sexual-harassment. Embarassed to the core, the boy would never repeat the mistake whatever it may have been.

#5: Slap exchange: A simple transformation of relationships. Two best friends caught chatting and scheming during class, are asked to slap each other. A forced yet tight slap well responded by a furious ‘tamacha’. The friendship shatters instantly and they don’t chat for quite some time like two neighbour-turned foe, like Maneka and Sonia, like India and Pakistan. A sadist yet effective political approach to break the naughty duo and rule.

#4 a): Caning: Punishment in most raw form. Some (like my sports teacher) literally carried a miniature ‘hunter’, while some had traditional polished ‘stick’ reminding its power by rhythmic taps on master’s other palm. But, most of them resorted to pruning a fresh twig everyday from campus flora. Deadliest was the misleadingly thin pliable green twig, which revolutionised the concept of caning. It came with its own elastic inertia magnifying the actual force applied; much more impactful due to low surface area of contact. Oohhhhh!

# 4 b): Ear-tweezing: ‘Ear-pulling’ is subdued version of the actual punishment. Easy to grab; even easier to tweeze and twist. Looks like god has designed ‘pinna’ for this one more purpose. Since, I am going descriptive, this punishment too had two forms. One, the milder one, was holding the entire pinna in one go, and twisting it anti-clockwise. Would create a facial grimace and a closed ipsilateral (same-sided) eye. The other one was just holding the ear lobule (lower post soft part of ear) and tweezing it between the fingers till it become red. A roasting and piss-stimulating experience.

#3: Call the parents: In true sense, it was the virtual defeat of masters by incorrigible mischievous kids. But, it served the purpose. Father would begin where the teachers left. Most powerful slap a man can have is of his father. Slap would be so dreadful like Lord Indra’s ‘Vajra’, they preferred to go back to those much milder ‘asuras’ of school. If fathers were god-incarnates, mothers too were no less than goddess Durga, who could blast with sharper slaps potioned with heart-wrenching emotional melodrama.

#2: Public humiliation: Humans are hurt most, not by canes or sticks, but by psychological subjugation. A public humiliation leaves an imprint which stays through life. Some school-kids who now have got respectable position fail to turn up in alumni meets, since it reminds them of their humiliation. Every grin of their batchmates still hurts them. They might have stopped ‘bed-wetting’ long back and ofcourse no more shit in the pants, but the bullies of past haunt them.

#1: Moral lessons: I never feared any of the above punishments. Murgas and caning were transient corporal burdens and public humiliation was limited to some of the unfortunate or ultra-mischievous ones. But, moral lessons were the lethal weapon. Even British left bored of Gandhian harangues. Mildest of my masters, who never caned or scolded, haunted me the most. A moment of error, and man would begin his hourlong lesson on morales and ethics to the extent that you forget what the error actually was. That too, Gandhi must have been a great orator, but we were facing an insipid unrelenting repulsive rant.

Its not just that punishments have disappeared, the priorities have probably changed. Freedom of mind and self-development reigns the current education where you chose your own path rather than working on a written script. You don’t need to fall in-line, rather make your own line, vivid and uninhibited.

P.S: Author condemns all kinds of school punishments, and hope they are buried for good.



The low-ki affair: Rise of Calabash


Lunch-box- a quintessential mystery in our life. A uniform dangling structure forced into our fist every morning, or shoved into our school bags in our childhood. As I tune into FM while driving to office, the box lies wobbling in bangalore roadbumps, untended in the backseat of car. My junior staffs would smile when a well dressed doctor often in his dashing suit tries to sneak this shabby box behind his ass; hides it in the closet as soon as he reaches desk. As the security guard smiles at me, I feel like he is asking, “Kya sir? Aaj fir lauki?” How did he know its ‘Lauki’? Is it an uniform content irrespective of caste and social status, a security guard to a suave doctor, all would have ‘lauki’ in lunchbox? Well, he never asked, but I could sense the aromalessness of lunchbox. If it was anything else, there must have been some whiff, some aroma, except the blandest thing in world- Lauki. Curious and worried, I nosedive into the closet. No…Nothing….Not an iota of smell. Must be ‘Lauki’. Dejected, I get lost into my work. “Karmanye va dhikaraste; Maa faleshu kadhachanah……..”  Did Draupadi cook Lauki for all pandavas? Did Lord Krishna convince Arjuna like, “Better you go fighting, there is nothing good for lunch anyway.” As Sahadeva sneakingly opened, “Its lauki!!!!!” ;  they all went charging, rampaging, killing all over Kurukshetra.

But, as I search into wikipedia, ‘Lauki’ isn’t that old, and its no mention in Mahabharata supports the hypothesis. How would Ved Vyas, who almost detailed upto Duryodhana’s banana undergarments, miss ‘lauki’? I recently read about Mughal king’s culinary habits, and ‘lauki’ was conspicuously missing. Aurangzeb never had Lauki. But, I am sure vegetarian Abdul Kalam would have gobbled on plenty of Laukis. Was that the key for conversion from ‘Bad Muslim’ to ‘Good Muslim’? If Lauki is that magical formula, why doesn’t the US forces bombard ‘lauki’ on IS militants to convert them for good. One of the cheapest vegetable on planet can save millions spent on drones and missiles. Incidently, it has a gifted shape of ‘missile’- designed to kill. An american name of ‘Calabash’ has more deadly flavour in it….NYT HEADLINES- “Four IS militants bombed by Calabash have turned Sufi and dervishing Rumi. Indian premier Modi have promied to supply a million more Laukis in war against terror” .

My grandfather never liked Lauki and he once confessed he never had much of Lauki in his childhood. Those golden days were ruled by ‘savarna’ and upmarket vegetables like ‘cauliflower’ and ‘okra (bhindi)’. Potatoes, and brinjal followed and so were many. Laukis were ‘shudras’ among vegetables who would never dare step into any affordable platter. But, then the ‘rulers of kitchen’ realised if they uplift these ‘shudras’, they would be able to rule the patriarch India. First time it was served, it was thrown right away. But, soon ‘moderates’ and ‘wife-loving husbands’ gave in, and lauki’s upliftment was discussed. Demand for reservation grew, and Lauki finally got ‘reserved’ status. It would be served once a week, no matter what. Some northern state rulers of kitchen made it twice or thrice a day. Later, Lauki took shape of convenience, threatening and sometimes revenge to the husbands. “Buy me a jewellery, else have Lauki everyday!”

But, reservation wasn’t enough in a gastronomical country. Many would conveniently throw it out of the window covertly. Many laukis would have flown down ‘naala‘ beside my childhood home.  It needed a societal status, an edge over upmarket vegetables. Many social activists poured in ideas from their ever useless brains. One of the famous Baba came up with a brilliant concept that ‘Lauki juice can cure diabetes’. Lauki juice- a potion of poisonous bitterness unnaturally swallowed by sweet-deprived suffering diabetics. In the name of Lord Shiva, they swallowed like ‘Neelkanth‘. Lauki got what it never deserved, and flooded the sabzi-mandis more than ever. Once the reservation and status was achieved, rifts followed within the Lauki community. Baba helped in categorising the reservation- better upliftable shudras and untouchable shudras.  He proclaimed, “If oblong Laukis are nectar, round laukis are poison.” So, the oblong Laukis made their way upto elite societies, tribal round laukis were barred and left to rot in hidden corners of land. Society was divided for good.

As Lauki became cynosure of other vegetable’s eyes, conspiracies began too. Old upmarket ‘savarnas’ got into their dirty tricks to denounce Lauki. One of the quintessential ‘savarna’-favored highest medical institution in country came up with a research paper which claimed, “Lauki juice can cause inadvertent deaths”. Some three people died after having Lauki juice (I doubt numbers must be much more!). It actually never needed a research paper to prove that. Many people are dying this death every day, when they try to push it somehow down the neck diluting it with ‘achaar‘ and spices. The gurgling and throwing up follows often.

Whatever disgruntlement and facebook posts say against Lauki, reservation stays and Lauki stands vindicated. Afterall, it has a huge votebank for kitchen kings. Even if I try to shop vegetable myself, and come smiling with all those beautiful cauliflowers, I would see a kingsize Lauki already well seated in kitchen corner. It was ordered online. So convenient to scrap, cut and cook it. Add salt, oil, spices anything, wouldn’t make any difference; serve it raw or cooked, its all the same. An epitome of convenience.

All said and done, we all have right to gobble on tasty ‘seekh-kebabs‘ and culinary delights, but denying lauki of its hard-gained status and abolishing its reservation from platter isn’t the solution. Baba couldn’t be so wrong and so wouldn’t be our moms and wives who kept serving it. The kebabs could give a hard-time in morning rituals but Lauki- never! As I struggle hard in morning after the ass-burning guntur chicken I had yesterday, I wished I better had Lauki. (P.S. Hope the wish doesn’t get fulfilled atleast on a pleasant sunday)

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Gandhi’s letter to future US President

Much water has flown since 9/11 tragedy; the world is witnessing rise and rise of terror in middle east; Europe facing a refugee crisis; United States readies itself for presidental election. In such times a ghost of Gandhi’s follower scribbles a letter for future american president.
Dear Mr. President,
I wish to congratulate you for being elected as president of United States, and as my friend Ben (oh! you may call him Uncle Ben) says, “With great power comes great responsibility”. What your predecessors have done repeatedly to avenge with sheer violence, may have given transient pleasures and respite, but “I am an uncompromising opponent of violent methods even for noblest causes”.
Not beating around the bush (no offence to George), I would straightaway come to the point. How I wish you tackle Islamic State terror?
1. Non-violence: You bring back all your troops, and fight the terror with non-violence. Individuals or nations who would practice non-violence must be prepared to sacrifice everything except honour. Let them bomb you, gun you down which they will anyway do. Do not retaliate by force. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. What they want to instill is fear, and they would be embarassed to see you smiling and proclaiming peace. Terrorism and deception are weapons not of the strong but of the weak. If those youths have been motivated for terror by some hatewords, same youths could be motivated for peace. You help build a band of youths in each of those affected states who would preach non-violence. Organise a mass fast across the world in name of Aylan Kurdi and the orphaned kids. Unite whole world peacefully marching across cities in terror heartland. I am sure you would witness many surrenders and redemptions. Non-violence is never a method of coercion, but of conversion.
2. Kingdom of righteousness- Our aim is to establish kingdom of righteousness on earth. Please do not support any nation in its violent militarisation and nuclearisation. Your country had this habit of cultivating one power to resist another. Real disarmament cannot come unless the nations of world cease to exploit one another. Rightfully or wrongfully, your country has been blamed for hegemony over any profitable corner of the world, and there is nothing wrong with capital generation. Capital is not an evil, it is its wrong use which is evil. Your capital can help in humanitarian aid but say ‘no to military aid’.
3. Apology– Its always the toughest thing to do, for a gigantic nation like you to bow down, but your apologies would be victory of truth. You apologise for your sins like hanging Saddam when there was no weapon of mass destruction. You apologise for bombing a state just to nail one man who finally was hiding in a small mansion somewhere else. Your sincere apology would erase the hatred. The right to err is universal condition of progress. In our experiments with truth, we err umpteen times, but a courage to apologise can wash off all our sins.
4. Religious Harmony– I wish if you could stand at the world podium and say boldly as me,
I am a Christian, and a Moslem, a Jew, and a Hindu.
Hate for Islam should be converted bit-by-bit, and they would no longer hate your religion. Religions are different roads converging on the same point. We all are equal, and a civilisation is to be judged by its treatment of minorities.
5. Bow for apology but not as cowardice– People often mistake me as a promulgator of cowardice. Let me tell you if I were in Somalia fighting for inequality and humanity, I would have never pulled my troops back. Now I tell you the only place for violence I advocate. Where there is only choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence. This would only come when above four methods fail. Fearlessness is the requisites of spirituality, and cowards are immoral. 
But, I am sure my friend, you would get a much better result by using my four methods of peace.
“Peace has its victories much glorious than war


Gandhi statue in Washington DC (Courtesy: Gandhi statue in Washington DC (Courtesy:

Note: Author has used Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings (sentences in Italics) in the letter as a tribute to the great man, and apologise for any misquotes.

Born immigrants of India

Years back, when I was studying in Pune, I had a friend who never travelled beyond Bombay, forget out of state. A proud marathi fellow, who loved his state and his culture, and never dreamt of foraying anywhere beyond Maharashtra. Its altogether a different story, today I see him hopping from one continent to another. He wasn’t a born immigrant and neither are a lot of Maharashtrian, who are proud to be grounded to their origin and their culture. But, country do have set of born immigrants, who are born to wander, some erasing their footprints and some carrying their old soil wherever they go.

#5 The wealth creators: Gujratis and Marwaris

A herbivore species, with an accented speech and a basic degree in commerce or sometimes just a matriculation, knows to mint money out of scraps. Birlas or Ambanis, or owners of any small Baskin Robbins outlet in US, they are everywhere. Given a choice, all gold and diamond of world would love to be kept in their custody. They know their value, every bit of them. The sweetness haunts you when they try to sell, or when you are employed by them. Most difficult employer to quit in my life, was one of them, as I could never have enough arguments with him in spite of disagreements. No wonder, we have a prime-minister with wide acceptance in spite of plenty of dissents.

#4 The intellects: Bengalis and Tamils

Exactly opposite of Gujratis, Bengalis are fish-gobbling, sophisticated (oily-haired bhadramanush is past!), and highly educated individuals who barely care for money. May be ten years from now, only people you would find doing a PhD would be Bengalis. The protectors of Classical music, Rabindra Sangeet, and wearied old literature from Shakespeare to Sharatchandra, all would have a thick spectacle if they get their eyes checked properly. Similar description goes for Tamils, who too would reach the heights in science, have penchant for music, and yes, spectacles are equally universal. Yet, both of the groups would have their own coterie who would chit-chat in their language, bengalis with their rolling tongues and rounding lips, and tamils with their vibrating vocal cords and cluttering teeths. When I spent some unsuccessful years in PhD course in US, university was studded with Bengali research grads, and sight of some eminent Tamil faculties.

#3 The paramedics and gulf stormers: Malayalis

Not a corner this country would have a hospital without a Malayali nurse. How this crept in the culture is not well understood by me, but they are the best in healthcare industry, be it my field of radiology or any discipline. An incomprehensible one of the most complex south indian language, an even more complex cast and religion mix-up, and most butchery culinary habits from minced beef to chips-and-pickle made out of fish, yet they have wide presence in nation. Well, sea route could serve an access to gulf, but India has a huge coastline, yet migrations happen most from the ‘god’s own land’. If you throw a stone in Arab lands, chances are more of hitting a malayali than an Arab.

#2 The honest hippies: North-easterns

Inherting a covert culture hidden in ‘chicken-leg’ of Indian map, they are true outsiders with different physique, face contours and a non-native accent. They could never hide their identity, never could gel completely within the mainland. Delicious chinese cuisine cooks, a trusted security person, or a smiling masseur, they choose such professions where nobody could ever contend them. Vogue hairstyles and dresses, some junkies, some musicians, some boxers, some just plain dumb humans, they are the inherent nomadic hippies of India.

#1 The ambitious commoners: Biharis and Punjabis

This may sound weird to club two contrasting cultures, but in essence, their reasons to immigrate are similar, and have similar earthly roots. Years back, when we had some squabble in college days, one of our seniors pointed, “Both of you are equally rustic (“ganwaar” was the actual word). One says ‘ishkool’ and other ‘askool’, none of you can pronounce ‘school’ correctly.” While Punjabis began moving from the days of partition, or when became terror-capital state, or after ’84 riots, Biharis ran out of suffocation in undeveloped corrupt state. In punjab, many people still carry two dreams- one, to go to Canada, and another, to release their music CD. Biharis who could dream became IAS, one who couldn’t dream, opened a Paan-shop. When I moved from one city to another, I changed my accent or learn the local language, trying to gel myself with the culture. I got dissolved in local culture like a ‘dispirin’ tablet. Punjabis love to keep their accent, sing bhangra, and drive the cab with pride.

One erases the footprints left behind, and other carries the soil with them.