Kids Corner


The Riddle




The Punjabi language is rich with riddles.

Children are weaned into language through them - bujjhaarataa(n) - and then continue to revel in them for the rest of their lives.

But here is one which has obviously been imported into Punjab through the gift of Indianisms - Babu English! - and has baffled the brightest around the world.

What does it mean?


A threat to the future of society and all that is good and worthy in this wonderful world of ours?


Is this an environmental plea against plastic bags?

Or a tirade against bag-ladies? Or gents, for that matter?

A warning against desi carpet-baggers from Delhi and the Hindi-hinterland?

Yet another nefarious move to limit air-travel baggage?

A resurgence of the kidnappers of yore - lakkar-sunghaa's - who were notorious for carrying little kids away in large jute-bags swung over their shoulders?  

Your assistance in deciphering this latest riddle from Inja is eagerly sought ... and warmly awaited!


July 20, 2011



Conversation about this article

1: Jaimal Singh (Chandigarh, Punjab), July 20, 2011, 9:55 AM.

Bags under the eyes? The sign must be to promote botox clinics or plastic surgery, don't you think!

2: Loveleen (Patiala, Punjab), July 20, 2011, 9:58 AM.

I think this is a male conspiracy to do away with, or, at the very least, limit the size of women's handbags. True, they've been growing in size through the years, but then, what isn't?

3: Devinder Singh (India), July 20, 2011, 10:28 AM.

Motorcycles equipped with bag carrying boxes. Baggers or motorcycle gangs are a "threat to the future of society and all that is good and worthy in this wonderful world of ours". Bagger, sacker or bag boy, is also an unofficial title given to a courtesy clerk at a supermarket. The primary duties of a bagger revolve around putting groceries into a shopping bag and then into a shopping cart. The title "bag boy" was adopted for some time, until it was finally shortened to "bagger".

4: Harji Kaur (Ithaca, New York, U.S.A.), July 20, 2011, 10:51 AM.

Down with baggers, wherever they are! True, Devinder Singh ji, the world would indeed be a better place without those pesky young fellas hanging around grocery store cash-tills, so eager to help the customers bag their purchases! Their employers must have a secret agenda!

5: Kanwarjeet Singh (Franklin Park, New Jersey, U.S.A.), July 20, 2011, 11:03 PM.

Perhaps it is the Punjabi sense of humour to get the message across! How many of us would have remembered this sign if it said 'beggars'?

6: Baljit Singh Pelia (Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.), July 21, 2011, 2:00 AM.

Of course, it refers to the police and government officials and politicians who are bagging away people's hard earned money and everything else that was good and great in our dearest Punjab.

7: Aryeh Leib (Israel), July 21, 2011, 3:44 AM.

By all means, do encourage them. Don't just throw them a coin in passing. Speak to their hearts, invite them for langar, relate to them as fellow human beings. If not, Ludhiana will become known as a city whose heartlessness fairly "baggers" description!

8: Mona (United Kingdom), July 22, 2011, 9:02 AM.

I saw these signs in Ludhiana last summer, except they said "beggers", not baggers. Perhaps this sign had a typo.

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