Proverb – India

“Sir ché swa hooked ah pani?”
“What the hell is in your head?”

Jesjit first heard this from his grandmother when he was about 10 years old and living in India.  His grandmother, a very kind and loving woman, is sometimes “honest and straightforward” as Jesjit describes her.  He said that sometimes when he was little, he would cause trouble with his older brother and sister.  Whenever his grandmother would see him making trouble, she would yell this proverb at them.  Apparently it is an old Indian expression, which can be used as a way of asking in a somewhat condescending tone, “what the hell is wrong with you? What are you thinking?!”  Jesjit recalls one particular instance in which he was wrestling with his older sister when he pushed her up against a wall and accidentally left her with a rather large bruise.  His grandmother tended to his sister and then looked at Jesjit and said this proverb with contempt.  Although his grandmother did use this proverb, Jesjit would like to emphasize that his grandmother was and is a very caring and respectful lady who expresses herself freely to her family because she loves them.

This expression represents a typical proverb.  Though it may not be considered as rhetorical or insightful as some other expressions, it fits certain situations nicely and is used by a number of individuals.  Jesjit recalls that his friends sometimes said it to one another when they wanted to question one another’s judgment or speech.  Even though some may interpret the saying as somewhat disrespectful and inappropriate it is generally used in a familiar way amongst friends and family so those who use it make sure that it isn’t taken the wrong way, which it rarely is because it is commonly recognized as an expression not a personal attack or offense.