Arré Checklist: What Your Gaali Says About You


Arré Checklist: What Your Gaali Says About You

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

There are many ways to deal with stress. Some people turn to yoga, some turn to alcohol, but if you’re anything like comedy superstar Kapil Sharma, you reach into your extensive back catalogue of gaalis and let it rip.

There’s been extensive research on how cursing helps mask pain and can be cathartic, so perhaps when Kapil Sharma says he’s depressed in one sentence and calls a journalist a bhenchod in the next one, it could be argued that he’s just trying to cope with his troubles. Which is all fine and good, but in moments of stress, the gaalis we reach for are telling the world more about us than we intend to.

For the next time you feel like calling someone an asshole or dropping the f- bomb, here’s a handy guide to what your gaali will reveal about you.

BHENCHOD, for The Son of the Soil

There’s no better place to start our journey than with Kapil Sharma himself. The comedian is a perfect example of the son-of-the-soil curser, the living embodiment of the idiom “you can take the boy out of Punjab, but you can’t take the Punjab out of the boy.” Such a curser might appear successful, suave, and be the most respected person in their field, but the minute they feel the first stirrings of anger, they forgo the global and go straight for the local gaalis. Their aura of respectability is nothing but a thin veneer over the foul-mouthed truck driver beneath.

Star Examples: Kapil Sharma (obviously), Virat Kohli

ARSEHOLE, for The Colonial Bootlicker

On the opposite end of the spectrum from the Son of the Soil is the Colonial Bootlicker. They’re inclined to resort to the Queen’s English when expressing their rage. Their unfortunate proclivity for anglicised epithets leaves them flabbergasted, confounded, and befuddled when engaging in confrontations with the pliers of auto rickshaws, but as consolation, at least they understood this sentence. This is the person who turns up their nose at films directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali even though they’re besotted with Deepika Padukone because ugh, Bollywood.

Star Examples: Shashi Tharoor, this writer

JERK, for The Censor Board Chairman

The Censor Board Chairman is a curious curser. The thrill of cursing lies in violating societal taboos, but this person lacks the commitment to follow through with their curses. “Fuck” becomes “fish”, and “damn” becomes “dang”, and what could have been cool becomes lame. These people are likely to take the fun out of everything, with similar acts of self-censorship like turning the lights off during sex, denying themselves a second helping of dessert, and buying a fish instead of a dog.

Star Examples: Alok Nath, Karan Johar

CUCK, for The Keyboard Warrior

Some people aren’t capable of delivering curses personally. They require the protection of a computer screen between them and the target of their curses. The insults generally lack creativity, and are taken straight off the assembly line of the online troll factories – libtard, sanghi, sickular, bhakt, etc. They also lack the ability to believe anything published online is not part of a sinister political agenda.

Star Examples: Arré commenters