Last night, I was in a mood to laugh it out. I chose to listen to Pregnancy by Rupali Tyagi (a stand-up comedy) during my walk. I remembered something listening to her. I wondered why did that chunk of my past not make it to little happy notes yet 😊 So here it is.
Years ago, I worked with (people usually prefer to say under) a person who had an attitude that was very evident due to his long stay in the US of America. If not anything, his usage of the words ‘fuck’, ‘I heard you, ‘I am with you’ and a short-tied pony was an obvious part of his personality. These traits were an inevitable part of his situations of stress, happiness, or pain. In short, it was part of him. I had no problems with it. Like others, I used to smile/laugh at his word usage while I was not part of his team. Then when I started working with him, I had very awkward times initially. For a good job done, one gets to hear “Fuck, this is cool.” During a troubleshooting situation, one gets to listen “Fuck you, man. Get that fixed.” When one tried to explain the fucking situation, one gets to listen to “I heard you, I am with you.” People say “sangath se rangath” and with experience, I say that’s very true. Over time, whenever I saw a problem “fuck” was the word that popped out of my mouth. It all happened without a conscious effort and my realization of it.
That day, I returned home from work. I had to get some printouts for my elder daughter’s school work. She was then 3 years or so. I made a quick doc for printout and managed to catch the color print-out guy at his shop at around 10 pm. I sat with my daughter for her cut-paste work. That is when it struck that one of the printouts was missed. “Fuck”, the first word that came out. And my daughter questioned, “What is fuck?” Not very sure of the way to convey to her what it meant, and wanting to put her to bed asap, I said “That’s a word used to take out the anger.” We finished our work and then went to sleep on an all-good note.
Another day, I was with my daughter on something. I can't recollect exactly what were we with. However, I said no to certain things she asked for. She was annoyed and zoop came the word “fuck.” I was taken aback. On enquiring, I knew she learned it from me. I told her, I was wrong in using that word. When angry one should drink water or count 10 backward. She was convinced.
I had a bigger task. I had to unlearn my habit. “Google ki Jai”, always comes to my rescue. As I dug in, I learned that the only way to unlearn was to replace the learning with better learning. Now, what do I replace “fuck you man” with? “Bull shit?” I was thinking over it. Finally came up with the phrase “it’s human.” Believe me, it took several days to unlearn and was very hard. In the right situation, I did credit my boss for my daughter’s “fuck” usage. To which he reacted, “Fuck you man.”, and I iterated within “It’s human, it’s human” :D