Writing on the Wall: The words that became talking points in 2013https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/writing-on-the-wall-the-words-that-became-talking-points-in-2013/

Writing on the Wall: The words that became talking points in 2013

Now that every city wants its AAP,will the underdog be the other challenger in 2014?


The mango man’s party,with a plebian jhadu for its symbol and an insensible cap perched on its leader’s head,is the unlikely phenomenon of the year— the only party in north India to have won a mandate without the jugglery of caste,to have scaled up urban outrage into votes and seats,and finally,after a long round of pehle aaps,a government in Delhi. Now that every city wants its AAP,will the underdog be the other challenger in 2014? Read Modi’s lips.


Verb,meaning to cut and tear flesh. Much favoured by flamboyant editors who only speak in polysyllables,and who decide their own punishment when caught with their pants down,to refer to how much they are going to hurt — make that be lacerated — by taking six months off from work. Other entries from the Thesaurus of Tarun Tejpal — “recuse”,“atonement”,“penance”,“banter” and “adamantine” — were all in the spirit of never letting inconvenient truths stand in the way of Latinate bombast. It all added immeasurably to the vocabulary of the purple-prose loving Righteous Indians. But,last checked,it still doesn’t have a better word for “sorry”.


Social mediaspeak for the earnest,not-so-young Gandhi scion,who lectured industry heads about beehive economies,tore up “nonsense” ordinances,believed “poverty is a state of the mind” and that Dalits needed “escape velocity” to better their lives. The term was coined by gleeful BJP spin doctors,but even Congress faithfuls are beginning to fear,after the recent assembly election results,that they have a Pappu leading the charge.



How did the Congress’s respond to Rahul being called names? It called one back,breaking out of its sluggishness on internet. Feku,jeering street lingo for one who believes in modifying the truth for effect,was well-aimed at the cult of Narendra Modi and its claims: from Innova rescue missions to Gujarat as a paradise of communal peace. By the end of the year,though,the message on its posters mocking Modi before a rally in Delhi seemed to be a grim portend for 2014. It said: “aaya aaya Feku aaya”.


If we had no way to even imagine what fuelled the RaGa gaffe generator,the mukhauta kept slipping in Narendra Modi’s speeches,to reveal a divisive leader. He alluded to puppies being run over by a car,when he was asked about the victims of the Gujarat riots. He referred to Rahul Gandhi as shehezaada as he had once mocked at Sonia Maino Gandhi,and the election commissioner who took him on in 2002,James Michael Lyngdoh,drawling out their Christian names at rallies. And he heard “burqas of secularism” flapping at the slightest whisper of criticism. Mitron,who wants to tell him that you need to make nice to make friends?


A district in Uttar Pradesh,where a sadhu dreamt of gold,and tamasha 24×7 ensued,cheered wildly by religious mavericks,a Union minister and an army of OB vans. Of the 1,000 tonnes of the yellow metal that Shobhan Sarkar had promised to be lying in the remains of a fort — as the answer to India’s fiscal mess — bewildered ASI diggers found not a speck. The gilt trip was called off,but Sarkar promised to go down fighting. His word will be as good as Unnao gold.

The new virgin

Bollywood actor Salman Khan,who after years of peccadiloes,indiscretions,break-ups and mash-ups,told Karan Johan on Koffee with Karan that he is “saving himself for his wife”.

Lungi dance

The earworm du jour from Chennai Express calls itself a tribute to Rajinikanth from SRK,though one wonders what the Thalaivaa thought of its silly stereotyping lines: Lungi ko uthana padega/Step karke dikhana padega. Heard in two-year-old birthday parties and corporate dos alike,Lungi dance also marks the reinstatement of Honey Singh in Bollywood. We’ll do a lungi dance only when a Hindi film gets on a real Madras Mail for once. n