Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ulloo, an owl

It may be the favourite mount of Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity, but the only thing more derogatory than being called an “ulloo”, is being called an “ulloo ka pattha”/ son of an owl. An “ulloo” is a person who is not just foolish, he is totally devoid of any intelligence. 
It is a curious dichotomy – in school you are taught the English simile ‘as wise as an owl’, but the reality that you live in indicates that an “ulloo” is anything but that. Like many other things, I suppose the status of an owl’s intelligence is complicated.
There are words, and there are words. Some words can be easily translated, others need to be described.  In April, I’ll attempt to capture the Soul of 26 'Indian' words in a  drabble of exactly 100 words.


Damyanti said...

Ulloo---the favorite swear word used by my teachers long years ago!

Also, I used another of your pictures, for the letter 'S'. Thank you.

Chuck said...

I would have never thought in any language that an owl would be associated with foolishness or low intellect. Interesting once again, Rayna.

SueAnn Lommler said...

I will have to remember this word....I have met some like this.

Margot Kinberg said...

Natasha - How fascinating that different cultures have such very different perspectives on the owl. I am learning so very much from you for which thanks :-).


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