This post was inspired by Anand (the blabberwockying blogging-guru) and has far-reaching implications for us bloggers.
On his insistence, I searched my dusty mental attic for some Indian sayings. I came out coughing but smiling. I did find something of value!
I discovered some old gold that still shines bright and has a lot of relevance to blogging-shlogging. In fact, these sayings and proverbs could’ve been put into circulation by some crystal-gazing creative Indians of the yore, who must’ve seen that our very existence one day will become entirely virtual, and that our blogs would become our second homes.
Here are three precious gems from my collection:
- “Thotha chana baaje ghana.”
It translates to, “Chickpeas that are hollow inside, make a lot of noise.”
What it really means in blogspeak is:
People who don’t have real substance, talk (blog) a lot. I believe that this was coined as a futuristic slight on bloggers like me, who indulge in dishing out malarkey at every possible occasion.
Such bloggers try to promote their blogs, go to the extent of adding the maximum allowed tags and categories (please read my pathetic attempt at justifying my use of a high number of tags, when pulled up by my blogging-guru Anand, in the comments of this post,) and add links where none is needed (please refer to the previous sentence.)
Now a Punjabi “Sher” da Puttar.
2. “Thookan nal papad nai tale jande.”
It translates to, “you can’t use your saliva to fry…well, french-fries.”(You wouldn’t know what a papad is and my English vocabulary squeaked when I demanded a translation…so french-fries will have to do.) I admit that this particular saying sounds yucky, but it’s actually steeped in Punjabi culinary wisdom.
What it really means for the blogger is:
You can’t create anything of value by just talking (blogging) about it.
I have a feeling that a future-viewing seer of Punjabi origin must’ve foreseen blogs full of malarkey crowding the blogging horizon. I won’t be surprised if they had seen me in their crystal ball. There’ve been times when Mom and even wifey have been critical of my blogging endeavors. And trust me, Mom has actually said these exact words to me!
“Puttar, Thookan nal papad nai tale jande!”
We bloggers, we are merchants of words, and yes, at times we try to make french-fries in a pan full of … (deleted so that you don’t puke on this post,) but there are others who do the same, and they make pots of money doing just this – talking, selling people french-fries of a certain kind – they are the politicians, the motivational speakers, and even the hate-mongers.
By comparison a blogger, honestly, is a pure soul. A trader of words, feelings, and emotions; a blogger doesn’t manipulate, you see.
And finally, the wisest of them all is:
3. Tete paanv pasariye, jeti laambi saur!
It can be translated to: Don’t spread your legs (literal translations can really change the meaning. No. I didn’t mean what you just visualized,) beyond the sheet that covers you.
Mom tells me that in the days of the yore, when people didn’t have mosquito-repellants and they slept outdoors, allowing their feet to pop out of the sheet that covered them, would have subjected themselves to mosquito-bites, and hence the saying.
I think otherwise. I think it was directed toward the blogger of today.
What it actually means for the blogger of today is:
Don’t live (blog) beyond your means (energy-levels) – don’t create more blogs than you can handle, don’t start yourself on a schedule of three posts a day, or you’ll be bitten by the bug of anxiety.
I think that our ancestors were wise people. They could look into the future. They could see their future generations slumped in their chairs, their fingers tracing random patterns on an odd contraption, and their eyes anchored to a light-board in front of them.
You see? They actually said it all for the bloggers of today. Now it’s up to us to pay heed.
The Three Learnings:
- Don’t be verbose, write real pithy stuff. (Anand’s Malarkey is an excellent non-example of it.)
- Don’t just blog, do something useful too. (For instance, Anand could stop writing this post, prepare some tea for wifey, and wipe that dour expression off her face.)
- Don’t plan to blog more than you really can. (And so I must stop now!)
Translations for the Non-Indian/Non-Hindi speaking visitor:
Sher da puttar translates to Son of a Lion (and for Punjabis, it further translates to Son of a Punjabi, because they believe that all Punjabis are Lions and not humans.) However, I’ve used the other (Urdu) meaning of Sher in this post, which is: a couplet or a short verse that rhymes.
What I am left wondering is – whether in your country or state too, you had such wise crystal gazers? Share your favorite saying/proverb in the comments. I’ll look forward to more wisdom 😀
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