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Are you a Pataka?

  • JWB Post
  •  October 21, 2014


Of course, Diwali is about crackers, aka Patakas.

I searched the word ‘pataka’ on google first before writing this blog. It says ‘Pataka’ is a Punjabi slang used to describe a hot girl. Well, don’t know about Punjabis, it is now a commonly used word across our nation. For my convenient, google also poured in some examples:

1 ) ‘Wow man, those are some nice patakey.’

2 ) ‘Wow man, check that pataka walking this way.’

Sexist Google?

And when I searched what does BOMB mean (Pataka’s internationally acclaimed version), the answer looked similar. It means a very attractive woman. Oh then, how sweet of Yo Yo Honey Singh to acknowledge a woman’s beauty by saying ‘Bomb lagdi mainu’.

To be called a pataka or bomb is offensive or a compliment? I threw this cracker-question on my 31 girlfriends between the age group 20-30. I asked them ‘Has anyone ever called you Pataka?’ Thanks to whatsapp, I quickly got answers to my survey. 29 of them said they have been called pataka at least once.

Then I hit my next question asking them if that was a street harassment or their male friends have used this word. I got a little shocking answer. 25 of them said their friends have called them pataka while the rest 4 admitted being ‘honored’ as pataka by friends as well as on streets.

I hereby, realized that this word is being highly used as a compliment to explain a girl’s beauty & sexuality. 99% of them accepted that being called a ‘bombshell’ or ‘pataka’ by friends is a healthy compliment for them.

I know of a perfume named ‘Bitch’, though it is no more available in markets. The company explains it as seductive, warm, sensual and daring for women with attitude. Further they say ‘There is a little bit of bitch in every woman’.

Females call their close friends bitch and also ‘biatch’. “You know, I thought you were going to be a bitch before I met you.’’ Most of the time women consider these words friendly.

So why do we react when random people ‘compliment’ us on streets and call us pataka? Why we give them a stern look and call them ‘bastards’?

How do we differentiate between words that are offensive for us and whom do we give the privilege to use them?


– Lavanya Bahuguna

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