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Gimme a little kiss, will ya huh?
April 16, 2007 4:39 PM   Subscribe

Three million long-haul truckers traverse India's 8,000-kilometer highway network for months at a time. According to studies, more than two-thirds of those men are having frequent unprotected sex, and it's a big problem. Seena Taan Ke is a campaign that's underway to create AIDS/HIV awareness among the truckers, featuring Bollywood celebrities as well as Hollywood celebrity Richard Gere. It's a good thing for a good cause. Well, up until Richard got a little frisky onstage and planted some kisses on Big Brother winner/Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty. Crowds of Indians are now burning effigies of both Gere and Shetty in protest. "Such a public display is not part of Indian tradition." said the spokesman for Hindu nationalist party Bharatiya Janata. Well, so much for AIDS awareness for truckers.
posted by miss lynnster (73 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Side note: who would've thunk Richard Gere's middle name would be TIFFANY?
posted by miss lynnster at 4:40 PM on April 16, 2007


Modda madichi muddilo pettuko Richard Gere.
posted by orthogonality at 4:49 PM on April 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Is Shilpa Shetty working on the sly for a company that creates effigies?
posted by seanyboy at 4:52 PM on April 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wow, Shiv Sena is really getting mellow these days.
posted by DenOfSizer at 4:56 PM on April 16, 2007


That video is creepy. What was Gere thinking?
posted by wemayfreeze at 4:58 PM on April 16, 2007


Nothing like a bit of good old nativism to get the masses roiled!
posted by Firas at 5:05 PM on April 16, 2007


(my point being that the psychological subtext here is probably just as much good old anti-foreigner hysteria (specially with post-Imperial white man connotations) as it is the 'kiss'.)
posted by Firas at 5:11 PM on April 16, 2007


seanyboy writes "Is Shilpa Shetty working on the sly for a company that creates effigies?"

The implications are staggering. What global events of the past 100 years have been orchestrated from within the shadowy boardrooms of the effigy cartel?
posted by mr_roboto at 5:12 PM on April 16, 2007 [4 favorites]


It's pretty amazing that the subcontinent which brought us the Kama Sutra would wind up being such a bunch of prudes.
posted by mullingitover at 5:22 PM on April 16, 2007


Once again, Gere feigns love for a beautiful women to rid himself of that pesky gerbil rumor.
posted by vaportrail at 5:24 PM on April 16, 2007


Shilpa Shetty looks like a gerbil. It all makes sense.
posted by fire&wings at 5:32 PM on April 16, 2007


Can somebody here who is familiar with Indian culture explain the contradiction between producing (as mulling noted) the Karma Sutra and being royally offended by an on-stage kiss?

Is it just an indian version of the red state/blue state divide or what?
posted by Avenger at 5:44 PM on April 16, 2007


Nothing like a bit of good old nativism to get the masses roiled!

Kissing is a huge taboo in India, at least on film. It's never done in Indian movies, Never.

Shilpa Shetty is the one involved in the Big Brother Controversy. It's surprising they'd turn on her.

Can somebody here who is familiar with Indian culture explain the contradiction between producing (as mulling noted) the Karma Sutra and being royally offended by an on-stage kiss?

Different religious groups, I think
posted by delmoi at 5:53 PM on April 16, 2007


Oh man, the video is pretty bad. Was he drunk? He's practically molesting her. Even by american standards, that's way out of line.
posted by delmoi at 5:55 PM on April 16, 2007


What kind of event was this, specifically? It seems odd that Shetty is so dressed up while Gere is wearing a white t-shirt and open flannel.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 6:01 PM on April 16, 2007


That's a bit daft Avenger. England produced Fanny by Gaslight, Tristam Shandy, loads of bawdy songs and a shedload of Victorian moral tracts and latter-day TV clean-up campaigner Mary Whitehouse.
Billion-plus population, heirs to millennia-old cultural tradition, in diversity shocker!
Also, the BJP are a bunch of chutiye.
posted by Abiezer at 6:01 PM on April 16, 2007


Yeah, but here's what gets me... other than that it's being committed by a goofball white guy, how is that sophomoric kiss more out of line and more upsetting and against Indian tradition than ONE MILLION HORNY TRUCKERS SPREADING AIDS ACROSS THE COUNTRY? I mean, really? People aren't protesting the AIDS thing, but they're protesting this. Kind of interesting when you think about it.
posted by miss lynnster at 6:04 PM on April 16, 2007


It was an event where they were speaking to Indian truckers. So he dressed like he thought a trucker would dress, I guess. And she was probably dressed up the way she thought the truckers would like to see her.
posted by miss lynnster at 6:09 PM on April 16, 2007


Also, the BJP are a bunch of chutiye.
posted by Abiezer


Heh, now there's a word I haven't heard in a while. I miss having an Indian roommate. Sometimes.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 6:11 PM on April 16, 2007


delmoi, I happen to be Indian, I'll bet my liver on the fact that this wouldn't have been such an issue were the guy a Bollywood star. Er, although admittedly, people would be left horrified and/or scratching their heads.

Is it just an indian version of the red state/blue state divide or what?

No, mainstream Indian culture is pretty socially conservative, even to a doltish degree (I remember a little controversy when someone posted a list of unix-command sex jokes to the Indian student mailing list at UMass Boston; I replied to the complainer with a smug little retort to the effect of 'being college students we're hardly uninformed about the existence of sex' at which he came back, nastily, with "we must stay to the values our parents instilled in us!", as if the fact that your parents held certain values meant they'd automatically passed vetting, not to mention whether these were high-priority values as opposed to other ones they held, and also the assumption that my parents sat around trying to pump insularity-as-virtue into me like his apparently did.)

Of course there's the attendant hypocrisy of the media being quite sleazy but the 'girls on film' aren't how 'girls at home' are supposed to behave.

My point is that the siren-song of 'values' is really strong in its appeal, even unthinkingly grasped at as a characteristic worth holding on to when people feel challenged by Western cultural hegemony (this dynamic is hardly limited to India.)

Add to that basic patriarchical/heirarchical society (think bride-burning, dowry &c. still major issues) post-Colonial outsider-suspicion, the identity politics of Hindu nationalism, and a bunch of people with nothing better to do with their time, and you get aforementioned effigies.

Never overestimate the 'sense' behind a chanting mob.

There's Hindu conservatism, Muslim conservatism, Christian conservatism… there isn't much of a religious divide when it comes to this. If you want a major cultural divide when it comes to these matters it's probably the 'educated urbanites' vs. the masses.

The Kama Sutra was (literally) many, many ages ago, I'm not sure what happened in between. Also, just because sex is a major artistic/aesthetic symbol in a culture's writing, sculpture etc. it doesn't necessitate that the culture is any more open to 'public sexuality' between unmarried couples (I'm not making any claims about the culture that produced the Kama Sutra; I don't know what it was like.)
posted by Firas at 6:11 PM on April 16, 2007 [3 favorites]


Man. People'll get burned in effigy for sneezing these days.
posted by brundlefly at 6:14 PM on April 16, 2007


how is that sophomoric kiss more out of line and more upsetting and against Indian tradition than ONE MILLION HORNY TRUCKERS SPREADING AIDS ACROSS THE COUNTRY?

Well hun, when have moral-values firebreathers ever followed the rules of logic? It's all about mass psychology, never about common sense. (This issue of 'blowing stuff out of proportion' extends to all sorts of outrages, incidentally, eg. the prophet cartoons, etc. etc.)
posted by Firas at 6:14 PM on April 16, 2007


Can somebody here who is familiar with Indian culture explain the contradiction between producing (as mulling noted) the Karma Sutra and being royally offended by an on-stage kiss?

Briefly, and probably nowhere near authoritatively, I can tell you this much:

1) The Kama Sutra, despite its rise to global fame, is not on every bookshelf in India and never was. Also, at least as much of the full original text is given over to sort of religiously derived relationship advice as to the famous glossary of positions.

2) At least until independence from Britain in 1947, India was an overwhelmingly rural, traditional culture in which all social relationships (including matrimony) were strictly governed by the caste hierarchy. Most Indian women made it to marriage (as a majority still do) as virgins, and would've never been permitted to be alone with a man they weren't related to until that point. As far as I know, Indian villages were never much for Tantric orgies.

3) With the enormous social dislocation caused by urbanization and industrialization in recent years, the traditional social bonds have eroded considerably in the major cities, leading to a Western-influenced consumer culture among the middle and upper classes in which a slightly less rigid social and moral order reigns.

4) This abrupt change has been rich political fodder for reactionary Hindu fundamentalists, led by the Shiv Sena (who it appears organized these Gere effigy-burning riots and who are a few wings right of the John Birch Society in their political ideology). The "Hinduization" program undertaken the Shiv Sena (with the help of their mainstream political partners the BJP) has included the banishment of Raj-era placenames (Bombay thus becomes Mumbai), the destruction of a Muslim mosque in Ayodhya, and culture-war horseshit like the events in question.

5) All of this said, it's still required even of Bollywood stars (even the Muslim ones) that their public personas consist of happy marriages, monogamy and Hindustani family values. There's no kissing on-screen in Bollywood, only dancing provocatively in the rain in clingy saris. So this thing likely would've ruffled the feathers of even moderate conservatives, especially among older Indians.

(Caveat: I could be imprecise or otherwise overgeneralizing on any or all of these points. It's a big country.)
posted by gompa at 6:15 PM on April 16, 2007 [8 favorites]


Can somebody here who is familiar with Indian culture explain the contradiction between producing (as mulling noted) the Karma Sutra and being royally offended by an on-stage kiss?

Not different religious groups, as delmoi suggested. The Kama Sutra & other erotic artworks (eg the temples of Khajuraho) predate the current "Victorian" sexual attitudes of modern India. Many ancient temples are covered all over in carvings of naked, buxom and bootied dancers. These are often passed off as various kinds of heavenly beings, when in reality the distinction between these apsaras & the more prosaic "temple dancers" (who no longer inhabit secluded little rooms in the temple complexes) could be a little blurred.

It should be said that Hinduism is probably more traditionally open towards sex than other religions - each god has a consort, for example, and you come across all kinds of stories like the time Shiva & Parvati fucked for ten thousand million years etc. However, the attitude is more towards sex as an integral part of religion.

As I understand it, the Kama Sutra, as well as various tantric practices, are intended not so much as sexual instructions, but spiritual instructions - achieving unity with God through sexual unity with your partner.

Of course, nothing in the above suggests that these things should be done publically, or with casual partners. Hence, the Kama Sutra in private can coexist with a taboo on PDA (public display of affection) in public.

Aside from that, Richard Gere is a bahut bara bhenchod idiot. He's probably spent half his fucking life in Dharamsala on his Tibetan Buddhist trip, and he has zero excuse for this PDA. He cannot possibly be ignorant of the taboo, even if Dharamsala is a bit of a cocooned Tibetan Disneyland for westerners.

/pardesi take on sexuality within Hinduism. happy to be enlightened as to the truth.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:03 PM on April 16, 2007 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure why people are having such a hard time reconciling the Kama Sutra with what's going on here. It's a BOOK. A book does not represent the views of a billion people. That's like wondering why everyone in the world isn't walking around in a cape, silly glasses and trying to scar their forehead.

Or probably, more relevant, why all Christians aren't like that guy called Jesus, described in a thing called the Bilble.
posted by liquorice at 7:06 PM on April 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


liquorice: it's not only the book. It's also the fact that the book is religiously-inspired, and that this religious inspiration has manifested itself in a number of quite famous erotic examples in various arts, such as architecture, sculpture, literature & painting.

I think it makes perfect sense to wonder how these can have been produced by the same predominantly Hindu culture that is simultaneously so sexually conservative that holding hands, let alone kissing, in public is taboo, and fornication is tantamount to social death.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:18 PM on April 16, 2007


I guess so, but it still seems compatible to me. It's all well and good to be engaged in private orgies behind closed doors but it's certainly not something to be flaunted on the street, especially by unmarried couples.

But really, who cares? With all the trucker fucking and call centre sex, everybody seems to be getting it on!
posted by liquorice at 7:35 PM on April 16, 2007


It's a different part of the world, but Ted Conover's Trucking Through the AIDS Belt is highly recommended to anyone with an interest in AIDS prevention--or good writing.
posted by Rangeboy at 7:35 PM on April 16, 2007


Ralph Fiennes recently flew to India to preach to ignorant Indian peeps about the dangers of unprotected sex.

Gotta love it!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:04 PM on April 16, 2007


Orthogonality: I think you've just created history. Those words... let's just say, not the first thing that comes to my mind when I think 'Metafilter'. :-D

Contrary to popular belief, on-screen kissing was never considered censor-worthy in Indian movies. Meaning, search and you will find kissing in many Indian movies, old and new; just not in 'mainstream' movies, and that too because the movie-makers were prudish.

The pursuit of Kaamam (erotic desire) is one of the four great goals (chaturvida palam) of the ideal Advaitic life. It is thus comparable to such worthy goals as the pursuits of ardham (wealth), dharmam (knowledge, right conduct) and moksham (spiritual liberation).

When a priest in a temple prays for your luck, stability, victory, fearlessness and health ('kshema, sthairya, vijaya, abhaya aarogyam'), he specifically means luck, stability, victory, fearlessness and health in the pursuit of dharmam, ardham, kaamam and moksham.

The Kama Sutra is religion-oriented in that it is an encyclopediac treatise that helps in reaching one of the four Advaitic goals. It isn't religious, in that there are others as well; you can easily skip this and use another self-help guide if you wish. (There's a community in Bastar region in central India where they have an interesting sex-ed process for teenagers; the Muria and their Ghotul, to be precise)
posted by the cydonian at 8:04 PM on April 16, 2007 [3 favorites]


While it was true for many years that there was no kissing onscreen in Hindi movies, that is changing. Raja Hindustani (1996) featured an (OMGWTFBBQ hot-like-the-sun) kiss, and recent movies Dhoom 2, Mangal Pandey, Murder... well, you might say that an onscreen kiss is no longer a big deal.

My understanding (and I am not Indian, only a movie fan) is that the kissing thing came out of two uniquely Indian cultural aspects -- the ubiquity of going to the movies as a family activity, and the blurring of the actors' public and private lives.

Even in villages without running water or electricity (there are travelling projection vans with generators!), all generations of a family watch the movie, whatever movie happens to come to the village. Naturally this would require that any movie hoping to reach a broad audience would be the equivalent of G-rated, leaving aside the more conservative sexual views rural Indians are likely to have.

Moreover, Hindi actors are seen as entertainers more than artists -- rather like Americans view our rockstars as opposed to our actors. Actors cheerfully discuss their love lives and families, who they like and who they hate in the industry, and the wives and boyfriends of popular actors are celebrities in their own right. That being the case, audiences see the actress kissing the actor as people, not merely as the characters they are portraying. Kissing someone you do not love, on the mouth, in public -- when everyone knows you are married to Suzanne! -- has been just not cool.

Though whenever anyone brings up the kissing cliche, it should be noted that there can be sexy hotness without kissing. In the 40's and 50's when Hollywood had married couples sleeping in twin beds, Madhubala and Dilip Kumar, Nargis and Raj Kapoor were burning up the screen with a remarkably frank sensuality and chemistry not matched since.

That said, Gere was unbelievably stupid. I thought his shtick was cultural sensitivity -- whoops!
posted by Methylviolet at 8:14 PM on April 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


When you have real problems to deal with, sometimes it's much easier to be reactionary about something offensive instead.

Wait, which country are we talking about again?
posted by davejay at 8:35 PM on April 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


First Fiennes, then Gere. Now a memo to Liz Hurley: Don't be so quick to flip off the new in-laws! (Didn't she ever see the Pinteresque Seinfeld episode titled "The Betrayal"?)
posted by rob511 at 8:52 PM on April 16, 2007


Firas, gompa, the cydonian & Methylviolet: great stuff! If only we could have a thread every day in which people address a specific Hindustani issue from one or another of its many overlapping factors.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:22 PM on April 16, 2007


Orthogonality: I think you've just created history. Those words... let's just say, not the first thing that comes to my mind when I think 'Metafilter'. :-D

Metafilter: Modda madichi muddilo pettuko
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:27 PM on April 16, 2007


Now, see -- I'm sure you knew what a great big sister-fucker was -- but for those who don't speak Telugu, Orthogonality invites Richard Gere to fold and twist his dick and put it his ass, an invitation UbuRoivas extends to all. FYI.
posted by Methylviolet at 9:41 PM on April 16, 2007


Uhh, thanks?
posted by miss lynnster at 10:14 PM on April 16, 2007


I'm ashamed of my bungled attempt to be clever in Hindi - I meant to insult Shiv Shena, not the BJP. I'm sure the largest political party in India will breathe a sigh of relief at this news.
posted by Abiezer at 10:16 PM on April 16, 2007


Abiezer: I wouldn't apologize. The BJP are a bunch of Hindu extremist/nationalist chutiye. The Shiv Senaks are just considerably worse. Also not sure why you term the BJP the largest political party in India? I thought that was Congress.

That said, I'm not sure why Richard Gere and Parmeshwar Godrej thought that Gere's speaking to truckers who likely do not watch English films would cause any change in their sexual habits. Having Shilpa there makes a little more sense, but not after Gere mauls and molests her.

Is that Gere's message: Rape is cool. Just use a condom!?
posted by Azaadistani at 12:15 AM on April 17, 2007


Parmeshwar Godrej confused art with life, and thought that the doctor-in-the-slums character from City of Joy would be perfect to preach a medical message to the poor truckers.

The only problem in his otherwise flawless plan was that he also confused Richard Gere with that other talentless 80s 'hearthrob', Patrick Swayze.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:24 AM on April 17, 2007


teaching the brown peoples how to fuck: the new white man's burden
posted by matteo at 12:26 AM on April 17, 2007


matteo - what I wanted to say!

Er, but lacked the balls. Indian peeps seemed nicer.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 2:00 AM on April 17, 2007


Well hun, when have moral-values firebreathers ever followed the rules of logic? It's all about mass psychology, never about common sense...

Well firas, I hate to be an illogical moral values firebreather, but in America, "hun" is the word a waitress uses to puncutate her sentences. As in "can I warm that up for you hun?"

It is not the proper way to address a woman.
posted by three blind mice at 2:25 AM on April 17, 2007


I know :) I only deploy that particular pronoun very occasionally with close friends, it sort of slipped in an attempt at camaradie. Sorry about that miss lynster.
posted by Firas at 2:34 AM on April 17, 2007


Azaadistani - splendid, attempting to correct one error I commit another. Must stop pretending to know things I don't. I was aware the BJP were seen as nationalists, but wasn't sure exactly how out there they are. Tend to only read about Indian party politics when there's a national election.
posted by Abiezer at 4:02 AM on April 17, 2007


You are a scholar and a gentleman firas.
posted by three blind mice at 5:30 AM on April 17, 2007


How realistic and detailed were the effigies? Did they include a furry gerbil struggling for freedom from Gere's black hole?
posted by schleppo at 5:44 AM on April 17, 2007


Long-haul truckers having unprotected sex and spreading AIDS thereby -- isn't this how AIDS got communicated through some African countries? And is this happening in SE Asia too?
posted by pax digita at 7:18 AM on April 17, 2007


No worries. I didn't get the vibe that you were saying it in a "Hey there little missy. You're ok for a stupid broad." kinda way.

Lordy people just won't let go of that whole stupid gerbil story, will they? Sylvester Stallone (second story) must be very proud of himself... that story has endured the test of time better than Rocky.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:37 AM on April 17, 2007


Firas, gompa, the cydonian & Methylviolet: great stuff! If only we could have a thread every day in which people address a specific Hindustani issue from one or another of its many overlapping factors.

I like this idea. I'm not much for crafting FPPs, but I'd surely participate in, say, a thread or so a week. Call it Subcontinental Mondays or some such.
posted by gompa at 8:28 AM on April 17, 2007


Parmeshwar Godrej confused art with life, and thought that the doctor-in-the-slums character from City of Joy would be perfect to preach a medical message to the poor truckers.

The only problem in his otherwise flawless plan was that he also confused Richard Gere with that other talentless 80s 'hearthrob', Patrick Swayze.


UbuRoivas, while Parmeshwar may look like a tranny, she is in fact a woman.
posted by Azaadistani at 8:54 AM on April 17, 2007


There are some excellent and informative comments in this thread. Thanks, folks.
posted by Bugbread at 9:26 AM on April 17, 2007


Oh gosh, I had to stop the video before he actually planted his lips on her face. What exactly was the man whispering in Gere's ear: "Please do something incredibly gross and stupid"?
posted by Deathalicious at 10:22 AM on April 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wow, youtube actually flagged the video for adult viewing since I posted it.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:28 AM on April 17, 2007


Leave it to Billy Bush to break it down.
posted by miss lynnster at 12:21 PM on April 17, 2007


On truckers and soldiers as "super-spreaders" of STDs in poor countries, see Paul Farmer, AIDS AND ACCUSATION. They are mobile, they have disposable income, and the majority of the people they encounter are quite desperate. It's a risky cocktail and inequality gives it the shake.
posted by homerica at 6:25 PM on April 17, 2007


Methylviolet: Curious, but how did you know what those words meant? :-) [I'm assuming you aren't Telugu by heritage, so.]

For the record, though, I'm actually more prudish about Telugu epithets than English/Urdu/Creole/Hokkien ones. Rather bleh about bad language in general, but I actually cringe when it comes to Telugu cusswords. Something growing up in the Deccan, being fairly formal in Telugu, and not having a street-cred for Telugu the way Urdu or Ind-glish had.

In short, different place and time, I'd have cringed over Orthogonality's post. Here though, it was just outrageously funny precisely because it was so unexpected.

And then UbiRovias topped it, for all the wrong reasons. :-D
posted by the cydonian at 7:11 PM on April 17, 2007


Heck, I couldn't even recognize that Orthogonality's post was Telugu and its my mother tounge. My parents don't swear at all. The worst thing that my mother ever said gADida(donkey). I guess thats what I get for being an ABCD. I second the motion for subcontinental Mondays(or some other day).
posted by roguewraith at 8:06 PM on April 17, 2007


hm, i don't speak telugu, but i'm ok with googlugu, as Methylviolet might be.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:47 PM on April 17, 2007


You slander me, Ubu. I have painstakingly learned that vital phrase in many of the world's major languages. And allow me to observe that teri maa ki gaand ki baal mein jalaay hue, maarey hue chupkili ki unday.
posted by Methylviolet at 9:11 PM on April 17, 2007


hey! i slander you & you slander my mother's arse?

i can see now that you've clearly studied the ancient indian art of batshitinsane overreaction.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:19 PM on April 17, 2007


They said that to Shiva. He just... looked at 'em.
*Rimshot.*
posted by Methylviolet at 10:59 PM on April 17, 2007


And that, ladies and gents, is why I love MetaFilter.
posted by Firas at 11:39 PM on April 17, 2007


Well I'll be a thupaki lenodu lapaakinethukuta! It's really not that difficult to swear in Telugu or ANY dialect if you just know where to look. [VERY VERY NSFW]
posted by miss lynnster at 9:45 AM on April 18, 2007


hey! you stumbled upon my pet name for you!

what are the chances of that?
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:35 PM on April 18, 2007


Wow, that's such a coincidence, UbuRoivas! I mean, that was my nickname in high school too! I don't know why but so damn many people call me "a eunuch looking for a whore" in Tegulu. What are the odds?
posted by miss lynnster at 7:12 PM on April 18, 2007


Maybe it's rhyming slang. You know, Lynnster -- STIR -- you can stir things with a Kitchenaid miXOR -- eunuch-looking-for-a-WHORE. Oh, but wait -- they call you that in Telugu. So it doesn't actually rhyme. Hmmm. Maybe it's kind of a compliment -- people see you as this romantic, Don Quixote figure, ever searching. And you really don't have testicles, so that fits. But why would you look for a whore? Maybe because you're really sex-positive? I don't know. Or maybe that's in reference to a movie, where the guy (who's a eunuch) is looking for his long-lost mother and all he knows is that she's a whore who lives in Hyderabad, so he's sure he's going to find her right away -- and you always find stuff right away -- a-a-and your high school friends saw this movie, and they thought the item girl looked just like you (only Indian) so that's why they called you that.

I think that must be it.
posted by Methylviolet at 10:11 PM on April 18, 2007


wait - the item girl is playing a eunuch with a whore for a mother? sounds like my kind of movie! a bit like monkey, but with less religion & more whoring, and a much more buxom tripitaka! and did i hear correctly that lynnsterji didi is the spitting image of this curvaceous indian tripitaka? only not indian?

i'll have to find a nice bootleg dvd of this masterpiece, along with a bucket of bhel puri, some bottles of thums up & bagpiper gold & invite myself over for a viewing!
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:55 PM on April 18, 2007


The YouTube video has been pulled by user.

But this thread is so interesting I don't care. I feel more cultured just knowing you folks to speak to.
posted by ottereroticist at 12:35 AM on April 19, 2007


Here's the video.
posted by miss lynnster at 1:10 AM on April 19, 2007


Roguewraith: The beauty in swearing in your mother tongue is that you can _feel_ it even if you don't know the words, as the following exposition would hopefully demonstrate.

Miss Lynnster: Ah yes, that google hit. It is mucho NSFW indeed, as I learnt yesterday much to my detriment, after UbiRoivas suggested that a childhood's worth of an education in alternate phrases could be replicated through a google search.

Explaining to my boss that I was only researching swear-words in my mother tongue wasn't, ahhh, that well received, sadly.

The interesting bit about the phrase you copy-pasted wasn't just that there was a lot of meaning lost in transliteration, nor that it was too dialectal for me to understand, but that it is so lyrical in the first place.

You see, it does take quite a bit to connect "a guy without a rifle ('tupaaki')" to 'eunuch', and quite another to connect this guy-without-a-gun searching for a 'lapaaki' (apparently provincial slang for a 'beautiful woman', thus 'whore').

Yes, that's right; "tupaaki leno'Du lapaakini vetukuTa" is literally, "the guy without a rifle is searching for a whore". It initially stopped at the rifle, before I stopped thinking literally, and started thinking figuratively.

That again, isn't the main point I'm making here. Rather, permit me to draw attention to the the sing-along meter in saying the words, 'tupaaki' and 'lapaaki', and the rather colourful, if coarse, imagery involved in imagining why a _eunuch_ would find it necessary to search for a whore. More illustrative if I phrase it as a limerick:-
Once a guy without a tupaaki,
He was searching for a lapaaki.
My mother tongue, ladies and gentlemen, you can find lyrical beauty even when you swear in it.

(An exercise for the reader: 'tupaaki' is obviously medieval in origin, perhaps from classical Indo-Persian. Tried googling for the original Persian word, but just got results in the Farsi script, which I can't read. Any help?)
posted by the cydonian at 1:42 AM on April 19, 2007


There once was a guy from Chittoor
Who went off in search for a whore
Since he had no rifle
The whores had to stifle
Their laughs at his state in the raw
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:30 PM on April 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


India may arrest Gere and Shetty over kiss.
posted by billysumday at 6:30 AM on April 26, 2007


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