Hindi/Sanskrit(?): Goluma Ekdama Tajidevum! Chuptum Makkama Jhaptum

septitchy

New Member
Chinese
Hello everyone,

I came across a sentence in Rohinton Mistry's novel "A Fine Balance", in which some villagers of lower caste were insulting a Brahmin behind his back.
I'm not sure what language this is, but judging by the story it should be mock Sanskrit using Hindi words concerning buggery and copulation.
The novel is written in English, and in the German and French versions the sentence is kept untranslated. However, the Chinese publishing regulations generally don't allow translators to leave text just like that. There should at least be a footnote explaining the general idea. So as the translator I would really appreciate your thoughts and explanations. Thanks in advance!

The quotation is as followed. The sentence in question is marked in red:

“He [the Brahmin being laughed at] gave me this ointment for the children,” said Dukhi. They passed the tin around, examining, sniffing the contents.
“Looks like boot polish to me,” said Chhotu. “He must apply it to his head every morning. That’s why it shines like the sun.”
“Aray bhaiya, you are confusing his head with his arsehole. That’s where he applies the polish – that’s where the sun shines from, according to his caste brothers. That’s why the shit-eaters all try to lick their way into it.”
“I have a shlokha of advice for all of them,” said Dayaram, and recited in mock Sanskrit, imitating the exalted cadences of a pujari reading scriptures: “Goluma Ekdama Tajidevum! Chuptum Makkama Jhaptum!
The men roared at the references to buggery and copulation. Dukhi threw the tin in the river. Leaving his friends to speculate about what exactly, if anything, lay below the rolls of fat that constituted Pandit Lalluram’s belly, he went home.
 
  • littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    "ek dam" means "completely", but the rest of the words, even allowing for some modifications, don't make any sense to me at all (and I am unable to find any references to buggery and copulation in these made-up words).
     

    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    ^ Perhaps: [___] गोलुं <- गोल, एकदम=एकदम, ताजी <- ताज़ी (f.) <- ताज़ा, देवुँ <- देऊँ <- दूँ ?
     

    Gope

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    I don’t think we shall reach somewhere by speculation.
    If I were the translator, I’d pose the question directly to the author. This is what I used to do whenever I had a problem translating a living author. :)
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I don’t think we shall reach somewhere by speculation.
    If I were the translator, I’d pose the question directly to the author. This is what I used to do whenever I had a problem translating a living author. :)
    Well, if the author has replied to you, you must hold a very important prominent somewhere! This has n't happened to me yet!:)
     
    Last edited:

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    "Goluma Ekdama Tajidevum! Chuptum Makkama Jhaptum!”

    If these words indeed carry a naughty meaning, then applying some, perhaps far-fetched imagination, can this be the "sanskritized" form of.....the following?

    jaalimaa, ek dam taajii devo!
    chupRuuN makkhan (se aur) jhaptuuN! Or

    zaalimaa, ek dam taazii do!
    (to phir maiN use) chupRuuN makkhan (se aur us par) jhapTuuN!

    Taking some further liberties with the translation..and filling in the gaps (if you pardon the pun)

    My dear! Present me your virgin back alley
    So I butter it up and pounce on the valley
     
    Last edited:

    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    gol ekdam taajii devuN - "round and fresh," that's similar to a fruitpeddler's voice. Congratulations on solving the second part of the puzzle!
     

    Gope

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    Well, if the author has replied to you, you must hold a very important prominent somewhere! This has n't happened to me yet!:)
    The only time an author did not reply to me was when I, a nondescript but native speaker of Tamil, pointed out his absurd interpretation of a Tamil passage in his ‘biography ‘ of Tamil. Question of ego, perhaps. But friend septitchy could still try and write to Mistry, I thought.
    But Qureshpor SaaHib’s post #6 seems to even a sceptic like me to have admirably succeeded in cracking the puzzle. So I admit I was wrong!:D
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    gol ekdam taajii devuN - "round and fresh," that's similar to a fruitpeddler's voice. Congratulations on solving the second part of the puzzle!
    marrish SaaHib, the word "gol" did occur to me as you have mentioned in your # 3.

    "Goluma Ekdama Tajidevum! Chuptum Makkama Jhaptum!”

    As for the second part, it could be a very far-fetched guess. The problem is how to connect...

    gol ek dam taazii duuN........to "Chuptum Makkama Jhaptum". Is Chuptum really connected with "chupaRnaa"? Is "Makkam" really makkhan? And the final is probably linked to "jhapaTnaa".

    Now, if the "low-caste" individual is addressing the Brahmin, then by "devum", "de" or "do" has to be implied. And if my conjecture is correct about the words in the second part, then the amended transliteration and translation could be..

    gol ek dam taazii [ x ] do (to) chupRuuN makkhan (se) (aur) jhapTuuN.....

    Give me round and completely fresh [ x ] (so) I lubricate (it with) butter (and) pounce (on it).
     
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