To the uninitiated, Surat is a town in the Indian state of Gujarat and its inhabitants are known as Suratis.
Surat is synonymous with good food… and it’s beautiful language, so full of the choicest of expletives! No sentence is deemed to be complete without a curse word! And it comes so naturally and flows so mellifluously, as if they’ve suckled it with mother’s milk!
Alas, although I was norn in Surat, my mother did not spend the required time soon after my birth, instead opting to return to Bombay and thus depriving me of the opportunity to be weaned on abuses! And so here I am today, a half-baked Surati, reasonably well versed in expletives but with an incomplete vocabulary, unable to deliver them with panache and to no telling effect!
Suratis are generally a fun-loving people, but at the slightest provocation, a verbal duel (never fisticuffs) commences between opponents and the bystanders or onlookers – and there are always plenty – have a grandstand view for free! It seems as if the mythological, mighty Saraswati River were smoothly flowing from their mouths in the form of expletives. In fact, local idiom does refer to a river flowing from the mouth when one is abusing. Some of the “lyrics” are sheer genius and music to ears of “connoisseurs”!
Sadly, this original tribe of true-blue Suratis is dwindling. One reason is certainly migration in search of better prospects. But more importantly, the modern day lifestyle means more and more moters are weaning away their offspring as early as they can, using milk supplements. How can any child learn this great art from supplements?
I strongly feel that this art form be recorded and preserved for posterity, otherwise the coming generations will not forgive us! These records are a Surati heritage, deserving a special place in the National Archives! Imagine the otherwise poor Indian sportsmen participating in a world championship in cursing, having bootcamped in Surat and fed on a Surati diet – they’d be world champs, without doubt!
Now, if after reading this, you feel like experiecning Surat first-hand, please be my guests. Only a small word of caution for when you land: please ensure arguments are had with only a certified, genuine Surati, because some of the uncouth migrants, unknowing of the verbal tradition, resort to their hands to deliver the crushing blow!
Actually, call me beforehand. I’ll be there to welcome you with a few of my choicest!