Tuesday, November 20, 2012

you will understand when you grow up...

The first time, I heard somebody use a swear word, I could not understand the meaning of it. I must have been all of ten years old. A bunch of sixth/ seventh standard kids were fighting and they yelled "bastard". Since the conversation was on very heated terms, I thought he meant something derogatory, but did not know what it meant. I asked my mom what it meant and got scolded for being around people who used such words. I asked my dad and he said that I was not old enough to understand the explanations. Since there was no google with auto-correct options to look it up, I searched a dictionary - for quite sometime. (I did not know the spelling either...) The word would not go away.

Later, when I finally learnt that a bustard was "a big terrestrial bird" and that a bastard was "a child born out of wedlock", I was able to understand what it meant. But, by then, I also knew that it was supposed to be a slur on some body's mother and according to the tam culture, insulting a person's mother was worse than insulting the person himself. Like damning somebody even before they are born!

So, what is it about the word bastard, that people use it as a derogatory term? I might find the parents irresponsible for bringing a child that they knew they would not be able to care for. In most cases, I might find fault with the father for either being irresponsible or for abandoning the woman without sharing parenting responsibilities. Why in the world is it used as a swear word? Why is there such a mania for people to know their roots so exactly? Why is it a fault if we are unable to establish our complete parentage? Why would a single parent child be looked upon more favorably than a bastard child?

What is it about marriage that gives sanctity to birth? And I am left with just more questions than ever...

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