Saturday, May 12, 2007

Tell me...

How do you translate lajja into English? Shame? Embarassment? Coyness? Shyness? They're all close, but not quite the thing.

Lajja is one of those things which, without intending to sound be discriminatory in any way, is probably a characteristic found in Asian women. I really doubt that any, say for example American woman would ever experience the feeling of lajja.

Legend has it that the demons Shambu and Nishambu were once given a boon that no man could kill them. As a result, as demons are prone to do, they went on a rampage and started killing pretty much everyone they came across. The Devas, as they are prone to do, went into a panic. Luckily for them, they managed to find a loophole. You see, the boon said no man could kill them. So what did the Gods do? They went to the Goddess Durga and asked her to do something about the situation.

That was when Goddess Kali was born from Durga's forehead as Kal Bhoi Nashini to save heaven and earth from the demons. After killing the demons, however, she lost control (and I have no idea why) and started killing anyone who came her way. So this time, the Gods went to her husband, Lord Shiv to ask him to stop her. He went and lay down in the forest she was walking in. While walking around in a rage, she stepped on his chest, and suddenly came to her senses. Realizing she had stepped on her husband, she stuck out her tongue in lajja.

So tell me, how do you translate lajja into English?

1 comment:

ZiggyStrauss said...

I can't think of anything. Shame + Humiliation + regret?

I didn't know that story though ;)