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Talking taboos

Here are some topics you should never ever approach nowadays, among friends, schoolmates, in-laws, social media screechers, under-9s and over-10s, etc

Here are some topics you should never ever approach nowadays, among friends, schoolmates, in-laws, social media screechers, under-9s and over-10s, etc   | Photo Credit: Deepak Harichandan

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If you have nothing good to say, mind where and to whom you are saying it

Starting any amiable coffee adda with ‘The trouble with these politicians…’ is hurtling towards more trouble. Soon, you will all have forgotten the politicians who caused the initial trouble because you will be heaping abuses on each other’s ingrown toenails and inbred bloodlines. ‘Your ancestors were pimps’ and ‘All people from your state have gas problems!’ The café owner will try to break up your mini-riot to be told he is an over-charging bloodsucker who is robbing onions from the poor.

Immoral of the story: Here are some topics you should never ever approach nowadays, among friends, schoolmates, in-laws, social media screechers, under-9s and over-10s, etc.

Food

Boilingly dangerous topic because, as we have seen, one man’s food is another man’s reason to thrash him. Speak if you dare, only of vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, taste-free, etc, food, but never of water, because water wars are being fought the world over — how dare you make light of it, just because you have a drop to drink, you privileged snob!

Books

You think books are happy, snuggle-in-a-cosy-chair topics? Ha! Books get burnt by those who never read them, but are happy to burn those who do. Books are evil spawns of minds who use pages to spread e.coli. The more illiterate you are, the safer you will be.

Friends

Time was when friends could all disagree and then share a bottle (not water, that’s taboo, remember?). Now, if you don’t agree with someone, you’re trolled, trivialised and flung off the friend list. No, if you’re talking friends, it had better be that safe, soppy TV series (unless someone thinks Monica has negative body image).

Weather

You’re kidding, right? If you say it is too hot or cold, you’re starting a global warming pow-wow. If you comment on the rain, you’re accusing the government of allowing waist-high floods every year — really, you blame them for everything. And if you lament on no rain, you’re leading up to drought, farmer loans — you’ve got a hidden political agenda for everything, haven’t you?

What can you talk about then? God knows what! Err... Whose god, or are you implying there’s no god?

Anything you say will offend someone. Therefore, I recommend you go about liking (without needing to listen to), agreeing with, sticking your thumb up (not the finger, remember) at everyone you meet. You’ll soon be hailed as a peace-loving saintly sort, the doormat everyone loves to have around. Did you say doormat? It had better be jute.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 1:46:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/talking-taboos/article30297433.ece

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