Poison Pen

don't worry, she doesn't bite anymore.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

whats love got to do with it?

so, i was watching a hindi flick after ages. A decided he wanted to watch a real masala bollywood movie, but there was no way i was going to waste an evening watching garam masala. so we compromised and watched 'hum tum', which i'd already watched. but i didnt mind seeing it again. he quite liked it, and i told him how this was pretty bold by bollywood standards, because they actually showed a couple who had premarital sex, and didn't moralise about it. but he said he thought it was kind of conservative, since they never used the word sex, which was an important part of 'when harry met sally', but instead kept using the word "pyar". and that started a discussion.

you know, i've always found it odd that there's no polite word in bangla or hindi for the act of sex. there's "jouno" which is a general prefix for sex-related concepts, like "jouno-rog" for std's. but jounokormo is just too obscure to use. my hindi isn't great, but i think the hindi word for sex is kaam, which is funny because its similar to the word for work. and "kaam karna" is so inappropriate for "having sex". of course there's the ch** word which just sounds terrible, and you really can't use it in polite company. i don't use it at all, because its just downright offensive.

so the choice is between really obscure words which no one uses and rude words which you shouldn't. english is so much better in that regard. you can f***, you can have sex, or you can make love. all of them are very different ways of doing basically the same thing. i guess the hindi obsession with pyar is equivalent to "making love". but one doesn't always "make love". sometimes one has casual sex. or even when you're with your boyfriend/partner, you can have sex of a kind that can under no circumstances be called "making love". what do you do then?

imagine a conversation where one friend asks another about a date she had - "so, did you guys have sex?". its a simple question without any judgement attached. how would you say it in bangla? "tomra ch***"? "tumi oke bhalobashle"? that's just funny. i guess you could literally transalate "sleeping together" but "tumi ki or shathe shule"? is just bleah!

so, until someone comes up with a better word, men and women in india will just do pyar, no sex.