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Weekly Pullouts » Haryana Tribune

Posted at: May 12, 2018, 12:50 AM; last updated: May 12, 2018, 12:50 AM (IST)

No dread, Haryanvis are game for challenges

No dread, Haryanvis are game for challenges

Balbir Singh

Haryanvis are staunch optimists, so much so that in the meanest conditions of survival they will not aver their plight, not to talk of demanding some kind of help or cursing divine powers for their lot. 

They give maximum premium to individual physical prowess and the proof of this fact can be witnessed in the number of international and national medals they win in sports every year. For a weak person, physical or mental, it is very hard to earn genuine honour and prestige in our state. To maintain their physical strength and stamina, they play regularly, work hard in the fields (nowadays, they rather shun physical labour due to availability of machines), prefer healthy diet like fruits, milk, ghee, etc. and avoid fried material, tea, alcohol, etc. (again, nowadays, they are turning to alcohol rather too much). They have robust and optimistic outlook on life and do not fall prey to ennui and anxiety and waste away their stamina. Like Hemingway hero they do not think too much, rather their whole emphasis is on laughter and they never miss an opportunity to guffaw.   

They are very particular to mention the good health of their own and the weakness of others when visible. Whenever you ask a Haryanvi about his health, he would invariably reply, “Jama tana tan hoon, bhai” (I am totally fit, brother). If they feel some kind of weakness in other's physique, they never miss an opportunity to point it out: “Arei, tu to jama-a dhola pargya” (your colour has turned totally white nowadays). Or in an extreme case they say: “Gaat ka jama-e dhikhar bana liya tane tou” (you have been reduced to a skeleton, without any flesh). If the person responds mildly, he will say: “Thodha taap sa awai tha” (I have been suffering from a mild fever). But if the target feels the satire too much, he might respond in a stringent manner: “Bhai, ye to haad argei ar nahi te jama khatam tha” (the bones of my body have proved to be a shield. Otherwise, I would have been undone). In such a situation a man came out with the repartee: “Han, kaamjor to hogya, bhai, par un te to achha hoon jo mar liye” (I agree that I have turned weaker but at least I am better than those who have died. I am still alive, at least).

In this respect, they do no spare even close friends and relatives. The other day I was having lunch with arelative and his newly-wed son-in-law, who was a lanky young man. My senior relative was criticising the weakness of one of his neighbours when he said pointing to his son-in-law: “Vo to mahare in chaudhary sahib te bi jyada boda tha” (he was weaker than even our son-in-law. “Boda”" is a very derogatory word, particularly in reference to a son-in-law. It means totally weak; physically, financially, socially and mentally.

There is a joke about it. Mr Daila in a half-pant was walking down the road of a village eating raw grams (chana) when a known person saw him. The man noticed his decrepit condition and asked about his welfare. Daila threw some grams in his mouth and said: “Bhai, yaran ke tou do hi showk hain. Badhiya khana ar badhiya paharna. Jama kache kat rei sain” (We have only two hobbies in life: to wear fine dresses and to eat delicacies and both these hobbies are fulfilled at present time. I am on the seventh heaven.)

Naturally, a guy with a tummy is not liked by anyone, particularly damsels in Haryana. (In a folksong a newly wedded woman complains metaphorically to her mother that her “Petala jeth” (brother-in-law with a tummy) cannot handle her youth. 

The Haryanvis are not convinced just by the appearance of a man, howsoever shapely body he has. They are impressed with a young man who has strength, power and stamina.

(The writer is retired Principal of Government College, Israna)

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