August 18, 2010

Jab Se Hui Hai Shaadi

Returning from Tughlaqabad along the Mehrauli – Badarpur road, Toshi and I moved to the pace of Delhi traffic and soon found ourselves behind a Vikram as most 3-Wheeler passenger auto rickshaws ferrying passengers about town are known as in some regions north of India.

On the back, the Vikram sported in Hindi a common refrain around marriage that men will sometimes good humouredly tease their wives with, raising laughs in gatherings and eliciting matching verse from other men and before you can say ‘Hello’ a full fledged mehfil is likely underway as each married gent tries to outdo the other. If they’re lucky the womenfolk will join in notwithstanding the potshots that men aim at them with their verses, mostly good-naturedly. Sometimes not.

While he advertised “Eco Friendly Service” prominently on the back, the two pierced hearts lent urgency to the lines between them, a sentiment that likely elicited smiles, even if weary at the thought, in those following behind him.

Jab Se Hui Hai Shaadi
Aasu Baha Raha Hun,
Aafat Galey Padi Hai
Vikram Chala Raha Hun

(In English)

Since the Time I Got Married
I’ve been Shedding Tears,
A Millstone hangs by my Neck
And I ride a Vikram Now.

The last two lines actually intend: “A Millstone (read ‘wife’ as in ‘she’s a trouble because she’s demanding’), reducing me to driving a Vikram (read ‘to satisfy her demands’ as in ‘living a good life’)”, in essence lamenting the state she’s brought him to. Driving a Vikram for a living is a hard life.

Museebat in Hindi translates to 'Trouble'. If you were to find yourself in traditional neighbourhoods where the lingo is not tempered by urban political correctness, retaining shades of rural ethos, don’t bat an eyelid if the elderly gentleman you’ve known for long welcomes you warmly into his home while calling out to his wife of many years: “Museebat, dekho kaun aaya hai.” (Museebat, see who’s here.)

Note: The lines on the back of the Vikram are drawn from the opening lyrics of the song Jab Se Hui Hai Shaadi from the 1990 Sanjay Dutt – Madhuri Dixit starrer ‘Thanedaar’, except for the last line Vikram Chala Raha Hun which the rickshaw driver modified to reflect his vocation.

The original song shows a harassed and ‘tattered’ Sanjay Dutt lamenting having to do all the chores since the time he got married while his wife, Madhuri Dixit, merrily pampers herself, living the good life at his expense!

Such is life (with a museebat wife)!

Note: Vikram is the brand name of the 3-Wheeler product range manufactured by Scooters India Ltd. based out of Lucknow and formerly known for their 2-Wheelers - Vijai Super and Lambretta. Vikram 750D, Vikram 600G, Vikram 450D, Vikram 410G, and Vikram EV are among their key models in the 3-Wheeler range.


Kay said...

one thing I have not done yet, but feel I must is visit India...

for now, you can teach me :)

excellent! Thank you for sharing!

Anil P said...

Kay: Sure, you must visit India. While it'll test you in certain ways, it'll reward in others.

Letting go with the flow out here is poetry in its own way, of another kind, of a different pace.

Thank you.

Riot Kitty said...

Wow, I hope Mr. RK doesn't feel that way about me (laughing!)

A said...

I have been married too long....awesome post :)

Srinivas said...

wah...wah what a punch line.

Anu said...

how interesting!

radha said...

The messages on autorickshaws are hilarious. Quite ironical, considering the fact that they drive as if they are in a foul mood, difficult to imagine they would have such a great sense of humour.

Niamh B said...

We use the phrase "trouble of the house" in Ireland as well, but for any member of the family - ie kids etc

Lucy said...

Reminds me of the cockney rhyming slang 'trouble-and-strife' for 'wife'. This tongue-in-cheek way men have of bemoaning their married lot is as old as the hills, I think. Though it might seem offensive, I think often it masks a degree of contentment and balance in the world...

Anil P said...

Riot Kitty: If he'd he would have told you by now, so I'm sure all is well :-)

A: Thank you.

Srinivas: Thank you.

Anu: Thanks.

Radha: Oh, some of them are outright hilarious, and can be quite the rambling sort, or Gapodi as one might say in Hindi.

I find North Indian rickshaw drivers to be quite the talkative sort, not so much those from Bihar as say, from Uttar Pradesh, especially the Brahmins among them, very likely Gapodi Number One (read Dubeyji, Choubeyji, Mishraji among others.

Many of the Brahmin richshaw drivers will most likely be chewing paan and possess a wonderful felicity with language, idioms, and metaphors even, keeping up the banter for the entire duration of the journey.

Rickshaw drivers have their 'foul-mood' days as well, and at times it's easy to spot the cultural underpinning behind their demeanour, and ability to respond to stress.

Niamh B: "Trouble Of The House" is quite the ultimate compliment to kids :-)

Lucy: Oh yes, it's Old As The Hills, so maybe something must be true about the bemoaning if it cuts across geographies so :-)

Much of it is tongue-in-cheek like you rightly said.

The Girl from Cherry Blossom Street said...

Oh, a Millstone can't be that bad! :-)
Surely, we can appreciate this type of humor! ;-)

Anil P said...

TGF Cherry Blossom Street: I'm sure a 'Millstone' is not that bad, might actually keep the neck steady :-)

I used 'Millstone' as a kind of metaphor for, Aafat would translate better to 'A Big Problem'.

All in good humour. :-)

TALON said...

lol! I wonder do the women share some similar songs? I wonder if my hubby would join in on this! (if he did, I don't know if I'd take it as a joke or not - lol)

kochuthresiamma p .j said...

Millstone not bad? o come on-when u want to drown a person, millstone round the neck is recommended so that the corpse will not surface.
Oh for the day when men become the butt of jokes at parties and social gathering:-).
wonder why it rankles when sanjay dutt, for a change, does what a woman does all the time!

PN Subramanian said...

Enjoyed reading your post.A detailed research was conducted few tears ago about the different kinds of writings one finds on the back of vehicles. Thanks.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Anil:)

Very hilarious post.I enjoyed the video.

If a man wants to survive living with the modern woman who is independent, he has to shed his inhibitions and become part househusband like housewife especially if the woman is working.

Even a supreme court judge remarked in a case that the husband should listen to whatever the wife says if the marriage is to succeed.

Recently a young well employed young man from Kerals married a highly educated girl hoping that she will sit at home and cook his food,clean the house etc..She refused to do any such thing and got a job as a lecturer in a college and enrolled herself in a Phd.programme.Now the marriage is almost finised in less than one and half years.

I enjoyed this interesting post and video.

Best wishes:)

tawny. said...


thanks so much for stopping by my blog!

i visited india for 3 weeks a few years ago.
it was an incredible experience that i'm truly grateful i was able to have. i'd love to go back sometime! :)

Anil P said...

Talon: I'm sure women share similar songs :-)

Kochuthresiamma p.j: I think men already are butt of enough jokes :-)

PN Subramanian: Thank you. Ther're just too many varieties of notations used.

Joseph Pulikotil: Thank you.

Times have changed, haven't they? :-)

The Supreme Court judge must be speaking from experience :-)

In just one and half years, that's just so sad.

Tawny: Many years ago? Well, then it's time for another sojourn to India :-)

Tangled up in blue... said...

Hahaha! Americans may have their bumper stickers but nothing beats some good old-fashioned rickshaw humour. :D

Anonymous said...

The authoritative answer

Erratic Thoughts said...

:D This is absolutely hilarious...People do have a way to send messages out in open in their own way with such wit, more so the readers connect with them in an odd way:)..just two line and it describes his predicament...

I really liked this post, video is cherry-on-the-cake:)

Anil P said...

Tangled: They sure do. Most times, it is the rickshaw driver himself, or possibly the folks at the roadside garages where the rickshaw driver will get his rickshaw painted or repaired, come up with the lines you see on the back. Truckers are more likely to have the lines on the back of their trucks as compared to rickshaw drivers.

Anon: About?

E Thoughts: Thanks. The best part is it leaves a smile on faces that follow behind. And the road turns that much less forbidding.

Gauri Gharpure said...

that was fun! just dropped in to say hello..

Dr.Antony said...

"A man in love is incomplete until he is married. Then he’s finished".

Love may be blind but marriage is an eye-opener. Oh yes, we hear a lot of these cliches especially when the wedding bells are just about to start tolling. And it’s usually the woman who’s at the receiving end of all these jokes. How unfair is the world?

Indian Bazaars said...

Great post!

Anil P said...

Gauri Gharpure: Thanks, Gauri. :-)

Dr. Anthony: Yes, I remember that quote.

Much of it is in good humour, nothing worrying per se.

Indian Bazaars: Thank you.

Niranjana (Brown Paper) said...

A lot of natural gas went into the making of that ditty, I gather...

Rachit Aggarwal said...

I have read so many posts of yours. Your blog is truly engrossing.

Hats off!!