I must have been around 8 when Molly who was two years my senior, came up to me at the playground and told me, "Do you know what the biggest insult in the world is? It's bastard! And once you call someone that, you obviously win because they can't call you anything that is worse than bastard.". And since I was the kind of little girl who would crawl up to her dad every evening to bore him out of his skull with daily accounts of everything that happened in her life (especially anything that had to do with poop because poop was always bae.), I promptly told my prim and proper military dad about the latest addition to my vocabulary. Now you should know that for a while it was quite possible for me to believe that my dad was like God and wouldn't poop, fart, burp etc. It was impossible for me to conceive of him as someone who had any kind of gastrointestinal activity. I remember asking him at some point if God pooped and he said, "Of course God poops. Everyone poops.". That was, in a way, my affirmation that even my prim and proper dad who always smelled of cologne and cigars also pooped everyday. Coming back to my story, he was too classy to have an 8 year old who knew the word bastard and as expected, he was outraged about something I was quite proud of, myself. I couldn't understand why he thought my latest discovery was outrageous. I told him that Molly's father had taught her this new word. Now, she may or may not have mentioned that to me but who cares! Dad just told me that I wasn't supposed to use that word in public. In fact, I shouldn't use the word ever because only bad children say such things and I was a good child. I don't remember what happened to Molly or her father after that (because dad was pretty upset). Dun know and dun care.
School is a great place to learn. And I was always quick to catch on. My school added words like heck, hell, damn, damn it, God damn it, shit, fuck, fuckity fuck fuck fuck, bitch, crap, retard, barf, fuck, poop and more fuck to my vocabulary. And whenever I exclaimed with the words "shit" or "heck", my mother would gasp in horror and tell me that my parents weren't raising me to become one of those kids. Who those kids were, I will never know. She'd give me a speech on how she didn't even know the meaning of the word "shit" till she was in college (wut?) and imply that it was a pity that I wasn't born into more ignorant times (!). By now, I had learned to filter out my vocabulary in front of my parents and most adults in general.
By the time I was in my early teens, I would have lengthy conversations with my other best friend (let's just call him Bum and yes, Punchy is not my only friend ) and bitch with him about all the people we didn't like. But whenever I got into the spirit of things and referred to someone as "patti" (literal translation: dog), which is the most harmless Malayalam swear word there is, he would immediately turn into a high-handed pseudo-British posh fuck and say, "No Words!!" with his stupid nose high up in the air. He's a badass journalist today and swears more than any living person I know. I couldn't be more proud of him. But back in day when he was still "the good son" who took the lessons taught by his parents too seriously, I just wanted to slap that smirk off his snobbish face.
Then came college where some of the lazy staff members came up with the ingenious idea of assigning topics to the students and making them take seminars. So, in essence, the student turned into the teacher and we'd all have to learn from fellow clueless classmates and their half-arsed seminars instead of getting our money's worth from experienced faculty members with their shiny PhD's. And one time, I got into the spirit of things (again) and accidentally used the phrase, "what the hell!" in my presentation. Nothing big ensued but I noticed from the corner of my eye, the collective nodding of heads in disapproval. Well, if you disapprove of the one phrase I used during a presentation (that I DID NOT half-arse), then you should just come up here and do your job and teach this portion instead of making your students teach themselves.
All these words were always like the forbidden fruit to me and since I was forbidden from using them, I ended up using them on a daily basis. I almost never get bored by myself because my mind never sleeps and I have very lengthy conversations with myself (possibly because I was an only child and moved into a neighbourhood devoid of any children my age when I was merely 10, and had to make do with writing a diary and having all those conversations with myself). And I began to notice that these forbidden words found a home in my diaries and occupied my mental discourse with myself. Slowly it became so ingrained in my daily casual vocabulary that my friends would worry for me if I were to speak 5 clean sentences in one go. Of course, I never let any of those words creep into my conversations with my parents or teachers or older family members. They never made their way into (most) academic writing or presentations. In fact, I could pretend to be so "clean" that if some of my teachers were to read the things I write on the blog, they wouldn't believe it was written by me (I think. Maybe I didn't do such a great job at hiding it. They could very well go, "Oh finally she's being her true self!").
So when I write, it's like I'm talking to myself or to my closest friends. And when my closest friends later tell me that they felt like weren't reading something I wrote but like I was talking to them in flesh, I feel like I have done them justice. It would be extremely unfair to the kind people who take the time off to read everything I write, if I were to be pretentious and kept this space "clean". So if you find my language offensive and think that I should "mind my language" on a public platform like this one, then please go get yourself a sense of humour, for fuck's sake!.