Sir’ji and the art of apple-polishing management

By | February 21, 2018

Most of us know what Hinglish is, right? It is an admixture of English and Hindi. Supposedly, more than 350 million people in the Indian subcontinent speak Hinglish. Sir’ji is one of those Hinglish words. The root word, as you must have guessed it by now, is ‘sir‘, which is a noun. The dictionary definition of ‘sir‘ is:

Sir (n)

  1. Used as an honorific before the given name or the full name of baronets and knights.
  2. Used as a salutation in a letter: Dear Sir or Madam.
  3. A formal or polite term of address for a man
  4. Used as a form of polite address for a man: Don’t forget your hat, sir.
  5. A gentleman of high social status (archaic)

The last time I checked, we do not have any baronets or knights in India. Therefore, using the word sir as an honorific before the name or the full name of baronets and knights of India is out of question. Furthermore, even the online dictionary mentions that associating the word sir with someone of high social status is archaic. Therefore, the word sir should either be used as a form of polite address for a man or be used as a salutation in a letter. However, don’t tell this “rule” to millions and millions of my countrymen. For them the word sir and its variant sir’ji are synonymous with people of high social standing, the rich, the powerful and the famous.

“Respect my authoritay”

Many Indians have given the word a different status and a meaning altogether. The words sir/sir’ji are often used for the singular purpose of flattering our overlords; they are used as a conduit for a**-kissing. And many Indians have turned a**-kissing, apple-polishing, fawning, sycophancy, and subservience into an art form. Many of my country(wo)men have perfected the art of using the word sir/sir’ji to demonstrate abject submissiveness to our rulers.

They use the word as a crutch to display servile behaviour towards authority and people of power. Many use the word in their daily discourse as an instrument to display blind obedience and obsequiousness to the predators that be. It is one thing to be polite or formal towards a fellow-man. It is another thing to grovel to authority as if you are slave or a bonded labour. The word sir/sir’ji is a bootlicking Indian’s best friend; a lickspittles delight!

The art of sir’ji-ing

Every moron holding an office is a sir to my countrymen. Every incompetent babu in a government office is a saar (a derivative of sir).

Kiss somebody’s hiney to get something done, say “Sir, please sir…” first.

Bribing someone? Please be sure to say, “Sir’ji, thank you so much for your kind help, sir.” before sliding over a ₹2000 note across the table, surreptitiously.

Paying your bills, say “Sir’ji…” first.

Paying your taxes? Same thing, anoint the officer with a few sirs first.

If you would like to dodge a traffic ticket, try pleading with a corrupt traffic cop by saying, “Police officer, sir’ji… .

If you would like to ingratiate yourself with your boss or a corrupt good for nothing politician, you cannot go wrong by sprinkling a few sirs/sir’jis in your servile flattery of him/her. In India, it seems many people cannot even take their last breath without uttering the word sir.

Most importantly, the toadies don’t say sir/sir’ji to politely address a person. First, they spice their voice with inflection, tone and intonation to give it the signature of a good apple-polisher. Then, they buttress the word sir/sir’ji with servility and subservience to give it more oomph. Finally, they genuflect, pucker their lips and ask, “Sir, where may I kiss your esteemed tush, sir’ji!

So, what are some of the different ways sir and sir’ji are used in India. I offer you a few examples below.

Example one:

“Sir, sir, sir, sir, sir… no sir, no sir… never sir, never sir… yes sir, yes sir, yes sir…. right away, sir…”

You will hear such a response from kowtowing morons, when their obnoxious ass**** of a boss asks them to do something. Very prevalent in most government offices in India, which are very hierarchical.

Example two:

The following pleads are commonly exercised by an underling while interacting with the nincompoops working in a government office.

Sir’ji, please …

Yes, sir’ji; no problem, sir’ji …

Sir’ji sir, could you help, sir’ji …

Saheb/Sahib sir … ”

Shriman sir’ji … 

Sir sahib/saheb … 

“Sir’ji madam’ji … “

“Madam’ji sir’ji … “

“Sir, madam, please … “

“Sir, madam’ji, please … “

Example three:


Sir… sir… sir…
Designed by Freepik

The next set of appeals are reserved for those pond scums who throw their weight around just to show how powerful they are. In other words, idiots who suffer from the Smallus dickus syndrome, and there are plenty of them suffering from this syndrome in my country.

“Officer sir’ji …”

“DM (District Magistrate) sir’ji …”

“SP sir’ji …”

“MP sir’ji …”

“MLA sir’ji … “

“Constable sir … “

“Inspector sir …”

Example four

Finally, the last set of responses are heard almost everyday, in all walks of life.

“Advocate sir’ji … “

“Professor sir … “

“Teacher sir … “

“Haan’ji sir”

“Haan’ji sir’ji”

“Driver sir”

“Air hostess sir”

“Doctor sir …”

“Hello sir’ji!”

“Are you okay, sir’ji”?

“Sir’ji, one glass of water, please, sir!”

“TC (ticket checker) sir”

Geographical distribution


Sir’ji… sir….
Designed by Freepik

In North, West and Central India, it is Sir or Sir’ji. However, in South India it is Sar or Saar! In East India it is Shar! Same word, different pronunciations.

Holy mother of God, if there is a word in the English language that needs to be designated as the national word of India, then, it has to be the word sir’ji. I wouldn’t be surprised if, soon, sir’ji is added as a new word to the Oxford English Dictionary.

Sir’ji (n)

  • Used as a form of polite address to display extreme obsequiousness or servile mentality. Used only in India, just like the word updation.


Talking about salutations and honorifics, what’s up with the usage of double, triple, quadruple, quintuple, even sextuple ‘sri’ as an honorific before the assumed name of various business-Godmen1. Why isn’t one ‘sri’ enough; why do they need multiple ‘sri’? Actually, why do they even need a ‘sri’ or various combinations of ‘shri/sri/shree/sree’ as a prefix to their pseudonym or their phony name at all? Are those business-Godmen1 so insecure with themselves and worried about their reputation that they have to prop themselves up with sri/shri/shree/sree(x), where x is a number of their choice? Furthermore, if they have become a (wo)man of God i.e., a sadhu or a sannyasi or a sannyasini, aren’t they supposed to renounce life and all that it means? Isn’t sannyasa marked by renouncing material attachments, bias, and prejudices? Aren’t they supposed to give up earthly attachments, titles, office of profit, fame, and fortune, and focus on pennance, moksha, liberation, peace and spiritual life? So, what’s up with those fancy naming conventions? Fakery much?


Oh, and one more thing, how come these various business-Godmen1 seem to never get old? Their skin is always glowing. Their eyes are always sparkling when they are in the company of women disciples. The long flowing hair and the beard they sport are devoid of any greyness. It is as if somebody has very painstakingly colored their hair and beard to make them look young. Most of the multiple-sri are above 50, yet their appearance seems to have been photoshopped/airbrushed to look like a 30-year-old. Don’t tell me that they have been able to beat the aging process? And if they have indeed done so, shouldn’t they be selling their secrets to the world and make oodles of moolah? After all they are always peddling something or the other on the idiot box and looking for ways to make a quick buck or two. So, what gives?

  1. Business-Godman (n): Omygdala defines business-Godman as someone who pretends to be a Godman, but is actually a businessman. They are in the business of hoodwinking people for dinero, all in the name of God, Yoga, good living or some other bullshit. Whatever they do, say or pretend to be, their ultimate objective is to finagle some boodle from you. They want to purloin your hard-earned dough, while preaching some esoteric philosophical principles of life. You will often find them peddling a product such as hair oil, fairness crème, vegetable oil, noodles, sanitary napkins, toothpaste, etc., on TV, which they will claim to have discovered during their search for the truth. They may also want more shekels from you for stating something very obvious, for e.g., the science and art behind living a decent life. Go figure!
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