Apne aap pe kulhadi maarna
“Hitting your foot with an axe”
Background information (Why does the informant know or like this piece? Where or who did they learn it from? What does it mean to them?):
Informant is an international student from India. Her grandmother first taught her but everyone uses it in their day to day talk.
Context (When or where would this be performed? Under what circumstance?):
It means that when you put yourself in trouble. You planned everything but in the end there was trouble. For example, Person A is manipulative and tells everyone that Person B is cheating in school to ruin his/her reputation. In the end, it turns out that Person B never cheated and everyone finds out. Person A’s plan backfires and is now known as a bad person. This is when you would say, “Apne aap pe kulhadi maarna”.
This is really similar to the American saying “shoot oneself in the foot”. The meaning is universal because the situation is a common occurrence in any society. The indian equivalent of a gun is an axe. It shows how different cultures are familiar with different weapons and might hint at what time period these proverbs started.