People who live in glass houses…

People who live in glass houses…. 

Old proverb versions 

There is a famous proverb which goes thus :” People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” 

What is the literal meaning of this proverb ? This is actually a warning against hypocrisy. Before you go accusing someone of some wrong doing, make sure that you are not guilty as well because your accusation could come back and get you. 

Now you will wonder why this question today ? Well yesterday I saw the old movie “Waqt” (1965) The famous actor Raj Kumar had a lovely role in it.The senior readers like me, must be aware that  Raj Kumar had a unique style of dialogue delivery; very stylish in his own way and unmatchable which went on to become his trademark. Apart from his unique style of dialogue delivery, he was known for his show or scene stealing abilities. He has delivered some of very few memorable and famous dialogues in Bollywood. He is no more with us but will always be remembered for his roles and his deep voice.

Now, if you recall, one of Raj Kumar’s famous dialogue from the movie was :” Chinoy Seth..Jinke apne ghar sheeshe ke hon woh doosron par paththar nahi phenka karte..” 

I tried to put the above dialogue in a proper form :Chinoy Seth,sheeshey key gharon mein rehne waaley doosron par paththar nahin fenka kartey…” 

This set me thinking as to whether our perceptions change over a period of time.(It is now 45 years since that “Waqt” dialogue first became a rage)    

I asked some of my friends to come out with better and funnier versions. Here are some of their responses : 

1. People who live in glass houses should not throw parties !

2. People who live in glass houses must dress in the basement !

3. Glass breaks very easily. So they should make houses from plexiglass. People who live in plexi glass houses, will probably get away with throwing stones to their heart’s content.

4. A glass house may be beautiful to live in, but there are other transparent   materials that are stronger than glass.

5. A song from a Hindi movie goes thus :

    “Sheesha ho ya dil ho, Aakhir toot jaata hai !

     Lab tak aate aate haathon sey sagar chchoot jaata hai !

     Sheesha ho ya dil ho, Aakhir toot jaata hai ! “

     So it is clear that people should not live in glass houses.

6. The way it was explained to me by my late father, this means, don’t go  throwing stones at other people’s houses ,because if they retaliate in  kind, your house will be very easily destroyed too. The non-literal meaning, is that whatever you use against other people can easily be used against you, so be careful how you treat others in order to avoid  consequences.

Dear readers, I would love to have your take on this proverb-and the funnier, the better ! 

By the way, Raj Kumar’s other famous dialogue from “Waqt” was :”Yeh bachchon ke khelney kee cheez nahin,haath katt jaayey tau khoon bhi nikal aata hai.”  

I hope you remember what he was referring to when he said :”Yeh” ? A knife. But more of that- later!



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6 Responses to People who live in glass houses…

  1. J S Broca says:

    Dear Readers, I see that there have been no responses to this post even after 3 days of its posting.I would have even welcomed ‘stones’ of criticism on this piece.No responses at all indicate that either you did not get time to read this or you read it but it did not stir you enough to post a response.So I thought of adding some more to my post by way of my own response to the posting.Here are some more thoughts on the subject :

    1.People who live in glass houses have to answer the bell.

    2.People who live in glass houses dont have much of a sex life.

    3.Demetri Martin:(an American comedian, actor, artist, musician, writer and humorist,best known for his work as a standup comedian) says:
    “There’s a saying that goes “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” Okay. How about “Nobody should throw stones.” That’s crappy behavior. My policy is: “No stone throwing regardless of housing situation.” Don’t do it. There is one exception though. If you’re trapped in a glass house, and you have a stone, then throw it. What are you, an idiot? So maybe it’s “Only people in glass houses should throw stones, provided they are trapped in the house with a stone.” “It’s a little longer, but yeah…”

    New Delhi
    5th Sept 2010

  2. J S Broca says:

    Dear Readers,
    I discussed the proverb with an intelligent looking guy I met in the local library yesterday.To my utter surprise,he came out with following shocker !
    I feel there are many more issues to take into consideration while thinking of purchasing, or moving into a glass house. Most people think of simply purchasing and moving in, but there are subtle,unforeseen consequences that need to be thought out in detail before hand. The following is a list of potential issues, other than the obvious stone-throwing, that one needs to think about:

    People who live in glass houses should not:

    …play indoor cricket
    …attempt to grow anything of an illegal nature as they can easily be
    spotted by police vans passing through on patrol duty.
    …nail picture hooks into the walls
    …shower unless fully clothed
    …practice high pitched singing like in an opera(crossing the sound
    barrier or what ?)
    …use wallpaper (and what about toilet paper !)
    …perform unmentionable acts with the lights on
    …sand paper and paint the outside walls
    …manufacture icecream (I couldn’t understand why?)
    …flood the house and breed goldfish.(fishy isn’t it ?)

    Could you add some more points to the above list dear friends ? Do try !

    J S Broca
    New Delhi

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  6. nilouffer says:

    Those staying in glass houses should change residence and then throw stones at the glass house (so noone else gets into the mess they were in) What goes around comes around – simpler to say that.
    Sounds mad but good titivation for the mind; Jitooji, you have the art of keeping your audience glued to your writings. GBU

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