Is there an English equivalent of the Hindi phrase

Iss Desh mein (In this part of the world) ulti ganga bheti hey (Reverse flows the river ganga).

It is often shortened as "ulti ganga bheti"

Which means

A river wherever it may be located on earth should follow physical laws but in this part of the world at least the world revolves reversely which To go against the law of nature meaning Things which go against the law of nature or humanity are accepted.

Example would be

Even when good-to-use free calling services and accepted at both ends and all conditions are meeting, a quirky person fully aware of the fact would still go down 1 mile to a shop and make an overseas call to speak to the other party out of his eccentricity.

While the above example given is for a person but the Hindi phrase is used commonly to societal or group behavior of such kind yet loosely used for a person too.

Second and more apt example would be

Instead of talented and productive employees getting the reward, poor and powerful placed empty suits are being offered new positions and rewards during the ceremony.

This would be mockery so adversely affected talented employees would say "here the ganges follows in opposite" as in there rules of nature here are reverse

Gravity is not applicable in this part of the world

1 Answer 1


It's quite clear you've misunderstood the metaphor - the meaning of 'ulti ganga bahana' in English literally translates into 'an attempt to reverse the flow of (Ganges) a river'. It's a metaphor. The writer was trying to convey that people who undertake such attempts are foolish and their efforts are worthless.

In English, 'attempting the impossible' is a very close idiom to 'ulti ganga bahana'

  • I've edited my answer to OP's needs. Apr 18, 2018 at 9:24
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    Yes, I find the title slightly misleading. You've come close to the actual translation but without the context, I'm afraid, it won't help any native Hindi speaker understand what the question is about. I'll try editing the title for clarity's sake. Apr 18, 2018 at 9:49
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    Being reasonably long is not bad if it offers more clarity. Apr 18, 2018 at 10:37
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    I would argue the literal English translation provided by you wasn't going to help anyone. With a Hindi phrase in place, at least those know the language would straightaway make out the gist of the question. Apr 18, 2018 at 10:39
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    Mind you, I didn't just provide the Hindi phrase, the English translation was also added in the parenthesis. Apr 18, 2018 at 10:44

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