The noun Mandach in Kashmiri is Hayaor Sharm in Urdu, and shame in English. Its Kashmiri adjective is Bemandach or Behaya with equivalent & interchangeably-used adjectives Besharam or Behaya in Urdu & shameless in English.
Kashmiri Haya is derivation from Urdu Haya. Sometimes Be-Mandach shows the pretense of being modest but when occasion arises acting without regard and respect for one-self & others.
There are several proverbs & stories in written & spoken Kashmiri folklore in regard to Bemandach or Behaya or Besharam people.
There are stories that in Afghan rule, a person was put on an ass with face towards its tail & in the evening he asked for the ass from the government servants.
During Afghan rule, the story is that, punishment for nonpayment of debt to the government was effected by placing the debtor on an ass which was driven in the daytime through the bazaar.
Hence the idiom, Kharas Khasith Ti Bu’uth Path Kun Kirith, Kalchan Mongnukh Kharh Pherith.
Then, there is another version of the anecdote. Once a Pandit / Bataa was given this punishment but he was such a shameless fellow that after he was punished in this way, he asked the government servants for the ass itself in the evening.
Yet another idiom, Mirzeh Razun Gade Arah, with a connected story that in Afghan period a debtor named Mirza Raza was paraded through the bazaars with a necklace of fish around his neck for his failure to pay government debt.
On completion of the punishment, he went to his home & ate the fish. Idioms apparently refer to a stupid shameless fellows, Bemandach or Behyah.
One more idiom is, Beh’yahas Chi Sath Buth Chandas, shameless has seven faces in his pocket which he changes repeatedly like colours.
Brazen faced, brazenly bold! Then, there is Mand’chihan Laanzch Tim Khiwaan Nich Nich which is another related idiom about shameless people which means that eunuchs should have been ashamed of themselves but they dance & eat.
Hir Khewan Guss, Kir Mair Mair, is yet another beautiful proverb which literally connotes that a myna while eating excrement shakes her neck in a pleasant manner. A shameless fellow who is least bothered about his/her bad actions & words. He/she takes pride in it.
In today’s world of politics, many of the politicians have lost their shame. They have become cheap turncoats for personal gains. They are greed-driven people. The general picture of politicians in today’s world is not and has never been rosy.
For temporal benefits, many change their loyalties & betray their constituencies, their own people, their own parties. Some are given grand reception on their joining the new party & bestowed with weighty praises for change of the party & core principles of original party; of course, it all comes for a price only.
Many a time these political turncoats are removed like hair from the butter once the political purposes or the agendas of the new party through them are fulfilled or for the reason of deviating from the policies of the newly joined party or for no reason at all.
The political turncoats are disgraceful politicians who even if insulted, rebuked, disgraced, jailed, implicated in false cases, do not mind it, nor do they learn any lesson from their mistakes of betraying their own original party, its principled-stand on politics & their own people, constituency. Still for “temporal benefits” they repeat their shameful acts.
It is the desire that incites for a wrongdoing but it is shame that prevents one from doing it. But for a person lacking shame, it hardly matters. Shameless people are obstinate on their [mis]deeds & their obstinacy has been compared to brow of brass which is strong steel, mettle, of which their faces are made of.
I know of a bank where a foul-mouthed & ill-tempered chairman in a meeting abused an officer calling him Beghairat. The Beghairat kept mum & called at the residence of the chairman next day with a bouquet of flowers, paying salam & saying, “Sir, your speech in yesterday’s meeting was excellent”. It put the boss in good mood & invoked official-favours from the boss thereafter for the Beghairat. A real shameless fellow, indeed!
I will now share an old Kashmir idiom & phrase with its background to shed polemic light on the things touched upon here & it answers the curiosity why still some shameless people including unprincipled-politicians stoop so low in their life, are so loyal to the bosses who disgrace & humiliate them.
It is said that in olden days there was a dog who day by day visited “ill-famed house” in the city. Each time the dog visited that house, he was beaten by the ill-famed women of the house & he would return dejected. But the beating by them did not discourage the dog.
He still kept on going to that house. Then, one day, the other dogs asked him why was he visiting time after time the place where he was only beaten. In simple language, insulted & rebuked only.
He replied: I do not go there for what I get to eat, but because sometimes, when the bawd of the ill-famed house is angry with the other “ill-famed-women”, she says, turning to me, “This dog shall be your husband.
That is the reason of my enduring all this abuse”. It is the background of the phrase Kanjr Kuttah or Kanjr Kutt”, a souteneur, pimp!
This very old Kashmiri proverb is very beautiful, real and practical depiction of the greedy, ill-character, chair hungry and chameleon type people & politicians of our world. Last couplet summarises it all. But here the point is why, what force dragged dog again & again to the insulting & humiliating “house”.
It was not mere morsels of food that were thrown at him. It was shameless greed that kept him going.
The dog endured the pain, humiliation & disgrace, as he was promised of something which was only a wishful dream of the dog, marriage with an ill-famed-woman, which was not going to happen, but still desire kept him going to that ill-famed-house.
Simple lust! So, something like marriage between a greedy lewd dog & an ill-famed woman which is wild & absurd on its face. But great allegory to explain characterless people & politicians of the world, who despite humiliations never get rid of their greedy pursuits & ambitions of life.
Bottom-line: The Livonians say, “In the land of the naked people are ashamed of clothes.”
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.