“Mumma, have you ever said the F-word?”
“Have you ever given a gaali (abusive word)?”
“No, I have not ever.”
“Has anybody given you a gaali.”
“No. This also has not happened. Why are you asking all this?”
“Are you sure you have not lived in a strange world?”
“Okay. Now can you tell me what makes you ask questions about abusing?”
“Papa told me everyone needs to learn gaali because when someone uses abusive language for you or in your face and you do not give them back then it shows your weakness. Is Papa right?”
“Oh! You must know that many times when you do not return an abusive word with your own, it also shows your strength provided you are not moved by it.”
He got his food for thought. Last week, there was considerable discussion between the father and son about the use of abusive language or gaali as in Hindi in general and the widely used F-word in particular. I was not privy to much of their discussion.
At this time that I am writing this post, Dhruv while having his brunch and oblivious to the context of what I am writing in this post, has asked me if ‘shit’ and ‘what the hell’ are abusive words. He is having a mid-term break this week which means we (the 3 of us) will be a lot in the business of giving each other food for thought on the current topic – abusing.