The fat one had a very dark complexion, unkepmt hair, wore a dhoti and loose shirt, the tall one had a wheatish skin tone, he was shaved, had a thin moustache and wore relatively clean clothes. I wouldn’t have noticed their clothing or looks, not after having driven 1500 kms in two days from Karachi to Rawalpindi. But it was the last leg of my journey enroute from Multan to Lahore, I was tired, it was hot and I was desperately looking for a good cup of tea. The two gas stations I had stopped were out of tea and electricity, respectively, the two important ingredients is making tea. My pet parrot sat on my shoulder, silent but watching me all this while.
So, this small roadside hotel or dhabba caught my attention and I decided to have some tea there. The place could house 20 or more people, it was clean and tidy. The owner was a burly fellow with an imposing personality. By the looks alone he commanded a lot of authority on his employees. A large mug of tea was deftly placed in front of me, which is kind of rare in such hotels. The tea was hot and sweet, with the right amount of nicotine to give my senses a good whir. That being hot, the bird still on my shoulder made quite a spectacle for the dozen or so people sitting there. I served the bird water and he loved it.
That’s when I noticed these two gents talking to each other in Punjabi but with the choicest of expletives. My usual vocabulary of Punjabi expletives would fall short of a few incestuous words, words that would describe someone’s sisters or mothers. Not that I use this mode of communication, its just that I know very less of it. For someone like me who was born in NWFP (Now KP) and raised in Punjab one is wont to know quite a few words of both the languages prevalent there. The men were not out of ear shot and hence I just couldn’t ignore it. The language was more colorful than I or you can imagine. The decent in me, forbids me to say those words but I will definitely tell you about those few expletives these two men were hurling at each other in the most casual and friendly manner, as if complimenting each other for their performance.
The fat man asked his partner about his fields but with the added title of sister huncher. The tall lean man then looked him in the eyes and after complimenting his mother on her bedding abilities told him it was good. The tall man then asked the fat one but only after presenting a great desire to bed his aunt about his work. The two went on as if it was usual to express oneself in this way. Each time a new member of the family would be forced in their conversation with minute explicit details. I was amazed at their vocabulary and sense of humor when aunts, grandmothers, sisters, mothers, cousins etc were dragged in while discussing business as usual. The high point of their conversation was when one of them dragged uncles and brothers in their conversation. Besides various eatables like ghee, lassi, curry, milk and gurh were used in the desire to bed each other’s relatives which is amazing and unheard of.
Fat man asking tall man if he was still doing it with donkeys, to which he would reply “no I don’t own donkeys, anymore”. Tall man asking him if he had ever slept with a she dog, and fat man telling him he would love to sleep with the tall man’s she dog. This went on as if the two were reading lines written by some expert on linguistics with a major in cusswords. Tall man finally told fat man if he would consider letting him sleep with his wife and fat man telling him in an instant he wouldn’t mind but that his wife considered tall man as her brother. Tall man remarking that wasn’t a problem since he was a renowned sis huncher. By this time I had finished my mug of tea and was ready to leave, so with a heavy heart I set out on my journey having had the pleasure of knowing about the vastness of Punjabi language and its expletives in particular.