July 30, 2010

Bollywood - A West-Side Story

My second article in The NRI was published today @ http://www.the-nri.com/index.php/2010/07/bollywood-a-west-side-story/. Did I mention that I have a fortnightly column there?

I was actually offered this column because people at the magazine were impressed by my post on Film Far(c)e Awards earlier this year. This was supposed to be the first post in the magazine. So I thought it would be a good idea to start the column by blaming the NRIs for some of the things that are bad in this world! Here it goes...

July 25, 2010

The First Annual Facebook Awards

Lame people all around the world say Facebook is a blessing and I’ll unconditionally agree to it. It’s not because I can stay connected with people I don’t care about or because I get to watch/see/read interesting stuff. Facebook is a blessing because it allows me to do a lot of fun social experiments to eventually prove that all girls are stupid and guys are even worse!

Ladies and Gentlemen, without much further ado, gtoosphere presents -

Award for Worst Friend Suggestion

We all know Facebook automatically suggests friends, I have no idea how it does that. Whatever the algorithm is, it sucks. In most cases, I have no mutual friends with the suggested person! I seriously wonder why Facebook keeps on suggesting random females from all over the country. May be Facebook wants to promote harmless stalking. May be that is the reason Facebook is so popular in the first place! And yes,  Studd Laundiya is the icing on the cake ;)

Award for Most Responsible Citizen of India

Not every hero has a dragon to slay or a Disney princess to rescue. Not every hero needs one because today, we celebrate the new super hero on the block. He goes by the name “Ordinary Man”. He is like Batman after budget cuts! While Batman needs a Bat-mobile and millions of dollars’ worth of gadgets to fight crime, Ordinary Man needs only a cell phone. Whenever someone’s in trouble, Ordinary Man calls the cops from his cell phone and then he tweets about it! So criminals all over the country, beware because Ordinary Man has over thousand followers via two twitter accounts!

Award for girl with lowest self esteem

This is the first time in the history of humanity that such an award was even discussed. The nominees for this award are all those girls who put celebrity faces as profile pictures. I wonder why girls continue do that? It is not like when guys see a profile like this they think, Hey here is a girl that looks exactly like Katrina Kaif! All guys have already figured out that this girl is either too ugly to look at or has such a low self-esteem that she needs clinical attention. I sincerely hope that this will discourage you from that practice. 

Even though there are a lot of Katrinas, Kareenas and Priyankas in facebook but the award goes to all the girls who have Genelia D’ Souza’s pic as a profile picture. Now you might ask why Genelia D’Souza?

In the 2006 Telugu movie Bommarillu, Genelia plays the female lead Hasini. The movie was a smash hit; the average Telugu guy fell in love with Hasini and hence the average Telugu wanted to be like Hasini, which is fine except that Hasini is childish, dumb and immature bordering on mental retardation!

Award for Most Original and Wittiest Football Comment

First of all, I would like to thank BigFishMag for this one. I am a fan of Big Fish Mag and I saw this in their Facebook page. I just couldn’t resist giving this award for this really original and creative guy. Dude Manas, you absolutely deserve it. And remember, creativity is the art of hiding your sources.

P.S: This is an open ended post, So suggest new categories or similar stories and I will add it :)

IndiBloggers: This post is on IndiVine at http://www.indiblogger.in/indipost.php?post=26726

July 19, 2010

Part 2 of Baverse/Bewars - A complete History and Etymology

Satwik Continues...

Actor Ravi Teja from the movie Venky
where he plays a character that is often
looked  upon as a  personification of the
word bewars in Telugu pop-culture!
A lot of you have followed the part 1 of this article with great zest and enthusiasm. I should thank you for that. The response from Telugu people in the form of comments however, has been only average which reinforces my belief that Telugu people are too “bewars” to even care about it :p

In the previous article, however funny it might be, we were forced to rule out the possibility of bewars having an English origin. We were sort of lost in the wilderness for a short while after that but then, my aforementioned cousin g2 found some interesting evidence of the word having an Urdu origin in the Telugu Wikipedia in an article named “List of Urdu words adopted into the Telugu language.

Urdu or Kannada?

Among a number of Telugu words that were adopted from Urdu is a word బేవారసుBevaarasu”. None of us had a Telugu dictionary that enabled us learn the meaning of this word. Upon further read-through, I found that the word Bewarsi was Kannada for Bastard along with the word Boli Maga. I intimated this information to my cousin without delay.

My cousin g2, a more conscientious person no doubt, was at this point continuing his search. He replied informing me that in some parts of Andhra, the word in use was indeed bewarsi! The reader would do well to know that Andhra and Karnataka have shared very close ties since the time of the Vijayanagar Dynasty’s rule from the early 15th century AD. My shrewd readers would have obviously observed that this development indicated the fallibility of Wikipedia since it had indicated that the word’s origins lay in Urdu and this proof of Kannada origin! This is a huge blow for Wiki-worshippers like me!

No Wiki No Wiki No!

Blasphemy! How can wiki be wrong? I was thinking to myself. Slowly, I came out of denial to find everything I believed in crashing down in a matter of minutes just because one stupid word! I started to hate the word bewars, my new job, everything around me, my life and my very existence. I was like a dumb American kid who just realized Santa does not exist! I was contemplating suicide but I decided to check my mail one last time before taking the extreme step and there was mail from g2 which, I hate to admit, saved my life.

The mail read as follows:

The Mail

Dear esteemed cousin,
Congratulations on finding the Kannada root for our dear Telugu word, Bewars. Although the Kannada root essentially answers all the sneaking doubts we have had over the last two days, I must tell you, I was not convinced about it. With the limited evidence we have, we cannot rule out the possibility of that both Kannada and Telugu words have a common Urdu origin because a significant part of Karnataka was under the Nizam’s influence too.
My friend, Sharjeel Imam.
(A pipe would have looked
more intellectual but we'll
settle for a Cuban :p)
So I could not help but cogitate at one level further. And I am happy to announce that I have satisfactorily and rightfully arrived at the complete etymology of the word and for this I must thank my esteemed friend, Mr. Sharjeel Imam who patiently guided me with his thorough knowledge of Urdu, Persian and Arabic languages even though it is of little personal interest to him.
I am outlining the complete etymology that I have arrived at through the series of steps.
1. Waaris in both Arabic and Persian means the rightful heir of property. (The Telugu word “varasudu” also came from the same Arabic root!)
2. A word in Arabic can be negated by adding the prefix La-
3. So, Lawaaris in Arabic would mean one who does not have a rightful heir i.e. stray. A lawaaris kid would mean "a bastard". It is interesting to note that lawaaris in Hindi means bastard! (an indication that we are on the right track)
4. In Persian, a root word can be negated by adding the prefix be- (examples bebas, bekaar etc.)
5. So in Persian, a word for bastard would be Bewaaris (which is also an Urdu word for bastard).
6. So the Urdu word Bewaaris became bevarsi in Kannada and bewars in Telugu.
7. So technically the word bewars in Telugu means bastard!
Thus I presenting my findings marking the end of an excellent and fruitful journey. It has been an honor researching with you. I hope to be a part of more such wonderful endeavors.
Your brilliant friend and cousin,
Jayanth Tadinada alias g2 (of gtoosphere fame)

We had assumed that the word, due to its regional popularity and brilliant sonic capabilities had its origins in Urdu. And Lo! That is the answer! Wikipedia was right… Our faith is restored! Dear God, please thank g2 on my behalf for he saved my life – yet again!


My friends, thus with great enthusiasm, I thus announce the etymological roots of Bewars! It has been a short and arduous journey, but a fruitful one nonetheless! This brilliant word, my dear readers, offers another mystery. While most words borrowed from other languages are subject to hyper standardization; for instance, In German, the word ‘uber’ means super, but in English we use it as a superlative to ‘super’; The word Bewars upon entry into Telugu has been subject to a slight sobriety that has undermined its offensive nature rendering itself to the wonderful and varied usage that we see around ourselves today! (Or in other words, it is very PG-13 unlike the Urdu word it comes from!)

I shall sign off in the words of the inimitable Arthur Conan Doyle, as spoken by Sherlock Holmes, no less: "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth".

Satwik Gade

P.S: Fellow Telugu people, now that you know the etymology of this historical word; it is your moral duty to Share, tweet, re-share, re-tweet until every Telugu person on the face of this planet knows!

P.P.S: @Satwik, you asked me to "feel free" to edit the post. So technically it's your fault that you're suicidal :p -- g2

Note: We urge our Telugu readers to suggest more such intriguing words so we can find out their etymologies in a similar fashion :)

July 16, 2010

Baverse/ Bewars - A complete History and Etymology: part 1

Spoiler Alert

If you are from or lived briefly in Andhra Pradesh (or Karnataka) or at least slightly acquainted with Telugu (or Kannada) language you’ll find this very funny and informative. If not, you’ll find it very amusing!

What is Baverse?

A lot many people who don’t speak Telugu ask me the meaning of the word baverse all the time! Well it is not easy to explain a word like baverse because for me, it is not just a word. It’s an idea; it’s a way of life! Even as a kid, I have always been curious about its etymology. But no one knew where the word came from. I googled a lot but I just couldn’t find it anywhere!

The tipping point came a few days back when my cousin Satwik put his gtalk status message as Satwik Gade is a Certfied bewars! I suggested him that we do some research to find out the etymology of the word. I am proud to say we have cracked it and the results of our research will be published in this blog over the next two entries. The story of how the research unfolded in Satwik’s words:

Satwik Says...

“In spite of being the only two Telugu boys in NIFT, New Delhi, Anirudh Rao and I had very few conversations in our Native tongue. Our conversations comprised English sentences with throwaway references to all things Telugu uttered in the appropriate slang. On one such occasion, although I now forget the context, Rao exclaimed, “If we do that, they will surely know we are completely Bewars.” Now, being a person with an acute interest in etymologies – I own about six copies of The Dictionary of Word Origins in both Telugu and English at various stages of updation - I asked him if he might know where the word Bewars comes from.

If you are Telugu or have lived in Andhra you would surely have heard this word from your friends or not very well wishers at a very nascent stage of mental maturity and would have grasped it and used it and reused it time and again (the way the word feels against your tongue is just short of orgasmic) without once thinking about its origin. Being a man of the above description, Rao of course had no idea and being a senior he made humorous reference of bad taste about my nerdiness and left it at that.

Three years later, I posted a message on Buzz, updating my status to a ‘Certified Bewars’. g2, my friend and cousin suggested that the word bewars have a wiki page of its own. Being in complete agreement with him, I started to research the word bewars and this article is the result of this work in progress.

Initial Leads

The word’s popularity seems to be centered in no particular area in Andhra. However, it is used with particular zest in Hyderabad, so I had been, on earlier occasions, quick to assume that its origin lay in the Urdu language, not least because all Urdu words sit beautifully on the tongue and sound equally enchanting. But I soon found out upon, appropriate research in Lucknow and Allahabad; that the word does not belong in Urdu. Similar searches ruled out most of North India altogether. So once again, I returned to the point of origin which is Hyderabad.

In my Hyderabad office, on a lean day, work-wise, I sat at my desk and decided to take the cyber route to end this mystery. The reader might be thrilled to know that BEWARS is the abbreviation of the British Excavation and Archeological Research Society. Here, I received a bit of encourage when my brain allowed me to assume that the word might have had origins in the Indian opinion of British Archaeology. Of course this was all conjecture and thus I had to persist. So, the reader will, then, come across a few casual references to the word by various Telugu gentlemen around the world. Most of them are in appropriately bad taste and a few are worse where the respectful author deems it fit to call a colleague of mere acquaintance, a Bewars Lanja!

Upon still further search, I realized that it is a popular surname in Britain and America. Now, it is probable that a person of a distinguishable personality is seen often to lend his nomenclature to the personality itself. A proper noun example being: “That teacher is a Hitler” or “Stop monkeying around!” I decided to leave no stone unturned and check if any member of the Bevars/Bewars family had any connection, dubious or otherwise with India.

Dead End

Firstly, the answer is unfortunately, no. Secondly, the earliest reference to this name lies in the website www.ancestry.co.uk wherein I found that in 1820, a British couple, Antonie and Mary Bewars left for New York on a ship from a port in Germany. Upon further search I found http://boards.ancestry.com/thread.aspx?mv=flat&m=1&p=surnames.bevars where members of the Bevars family are attempting to contact other members of the Bevars family. A few excerpts from the page are given below for the amusements of readers who fully understand the meaning of bewars.

Juilee134: There are a few Bevars in the Lawrence county, in cemeteries.
L. J Clark: Hi, did you know there are very few bevars? We might be family.
Julie: Thank you, I am real bad at this stuff, but I keep trying. At one time my Bevars was Beavers, and then nothing.

Ad Bevars: "I don’t really know too much about my family history, other than (that) I was always told that the family was black foot Native American. It’s just so exciting to find more bevars people out there. We are few and far in between!"

Clearly Ad Bevars has never been to Andhra! Also another interesting person worth mentioning at this juncture is one Mr. Duffer Bevars ( the reader might be interested to know that an appropriate cyber slang here would be ROTFLMAO) who conducts his profession in matters relating to software engineering.

New Leads

After much amusement and online grave digging across of England and New York, we were forced to abandon the theory that the word is of British origin. Just when we have almost given up hope, a quick look into the urban dictionary has given us a new lead, that the word Bevarsi (which is very close to Bewars) is a Kannada slang word used by slum people in Karnataka. And at the same time g2 dug into the Telugu Wikipedia to find an article which listed all the Urdu words borrowed into the Telugu language and found another exciting lead there. With the two possible leads in less than an hour’s time, both of us initially came to the conclusion that the word is of Kannada origin but destiny had different plans with a new twist...!”

To be continued... in the mean time, share this with your Telugu friends :)

July 11, 2010

Breaking News -- seriously

Like I have mentioned before in one of my earlier posts, I have an offer from The NRI magazine to be one of their contributors and my first article has been published today. The article combines two of my favorite areas - the news media and stand up comedy and is named Breaking News: India Needs a Comic Relief. I insist you check it out here --> http://www.the-nri.com/index.php/2010/07/why-does-indian-media-not-offer-serious-reporting-of-news/

P.S: I know this might freak you out a little bit but trust me, gtoosphere will be updated with the same tempo :D

July 10, 2010

Octopus, Parrot and Humanity

Proud Moments of Human Evolution. Part-1

I am convinced about evolution. Darwin might not have seen this through but I am sure that there is no way we humans can be the end result of any divine or intelligent design going by the recent news events! I know that's not great proof, but the past week of sports reporting has led me to believe that stating wild conjecture as fact is now considered acceptable journalism these days and I am only a blogger, not even a journalist!

So according to the media, in the last one week; Paul the Octopus emerged the new Spanish hero. The Spaniards want to rechristen it as Pablo and adopt it. A few angry Germans want to eat it. Now that the Octopus has predicted a Spanish victory for the world-cup final, the Spanish Prime Minister wants to send troops to protect the octopus! Mani – an equally successful psychic parakeet in Singapore has predicted a Dutch victory. The world cup final is now between Paul Octopus and Mani Parrot.

Attention whores from around the world are coming into the limelight by displaying their psychic pets which can “accurately” predict the world champions in football. I am sure no one believes it and yet everyone is excited about it. I wonder why PETA is not offended yet. They, as honorable members of the prestigious League-of-Easily-Offended should be offended by now! May be there is a grander plan. May be PETA secretly convinced Larissa Requelme to run naked in Paraguay. May be she’ll have a PETA tattoo instead of Axe. May be... *dirty thoughts censored*- (=|:-P)

I bet that if you repeat the experiment with the same Octopus and the same food, North Korea will win the world cup. Do you know why? Because a hungry Octopus doesn’t give a shit about humans! I bet it does not even have the sophistication to see the colors on the flags. It just crawls into the nearest box and eats whatever feels like shrimp. It’s just a handsomely packaged Rudi Goldberg-ish coin tossing experiment with the same odds!

But we don’t get it. Despite being on top of the food chain, human beings just don’t get it. We continue to get excited over a hungry octopus eating shrimp! It’s ridiculous and it’s embarrassing. The whole cast of Lion King is ROFL-ing at the human race. So is Mutley the mutt! I think humanity is stuck with a childish fascination to be swept away by some magic Octopus which will solve all our problems and bestow everlasting happiness upon us. Also humanity wants to fix the oil spill and stop Global Warming!

On a serious note, this may be my last post as a common manas one among you; because in two days’ time, I am going to be rich and famous. I have a coin. It’s no ordinary coin, it’s a magic coin. I just tossed it and… it’s TAILS. Hence The Netherlands will win the world cup! The media must be already on its way to report the awesomely magical coin and the amazing ME for tossing it and predicting every match in the world cup with 100% accuracy! So the time has come to bid goodbye and say this to you from the bottom of my heart, “Screw IIT, Screw you guys I am going home and later I’ll holiday in Casa Bonita!

I was expecting a standing ovation but I will settle for this :p

P.S: This post is based on the ideas and observations of Flawsophy who is too busy this weekend to write about this, so I took over. You should check out his blog here --> http://flawsophy.blogspot.com/

P. P. S: IndiBloggers, if you like this (I am sure you will), vote for this post on Indivine here --> http://www.indiblogger.in/indipost.php?post=25031

July 4, 2010

The (Bad) Times of India and the Final Solution

Population Control: The Final Solution

The Indian male is like a global average of all men of all races, ethnicities, regions or any other parameter you can think of. The average Indian male is brown, average height, average intelligence, average build, and also unfortunately average well you know :-T which is why a lot of them are from time to time, can get a little insecure. In the movies (especially the South Indian ones), it’s relatively easy for the hero. He can just kill a hundred people or control an angry bull with his bare hands (or both at the same time depending on the script) and the heroine half his age will fall for his rugged “manliness” and bushy moustache!

But the average HIM (Horny Indian Male) in Shivpuri district, Madhya Pradesh doesn’t have the luxuries of a South Indian film star. So as a symbol of manhood he fathers children, lots of them. Shivpuri district has about 5.1 children per couple, probably the highest in India! The bureaucrats there, who were supposed to keep the population explosion in check, were having a hard time educating HIM about the inconvenience of having too many kids around. And just when they thought they were losing the battle, they have come up with a brilliant solution.

I may have accused the bureaucrats of being problem solvers of the worst kind in the recent past but this time, no sarcasm intended, they have done a really good job. What they have done is that they are offering firearms permits in exchange for vasectomy surgery. In other words, the government is giving guns as a symbol of masculinity to insecure men with average size things if they choose to become sterile! Can you think of a better population control strategy? Pure brilliance!

The (Bad) Times of India

Remember when I wrote that the Times of India does not want us to read the news? As a next step to prevent us from reading the news, The Times of India has stopped reporting the news. I recently chanced upon an article that sprawled across half a page. If it is half a page, I thought it must be important news. I realized how naïve I was because the article was about Adnan Sami’s dogs.

Apparently, Adnan Sami got married for the third time and has been in Germany with his wife for the last couple of months. His poor dogs have been missing him and have been barking a lot lately. So the pissed off neighbors tipped off TOI journalist Vicky Lalwani, one of India’s best EJs (epic journalist) about the situation and soon he was on his investigation trail looking for clues.

EJ Vicky interrogated the watchman of the building first. The watchman was a tough nut to crack; he wouldn’t give away anything except for a series of blank stares. But EJ Vicky at his usual vicious best grilled him for half an hour and the watchman finally broke down and confessed, “It would be best if you speak to his servant Ram — he has been with Adnan for a long time

Wasting no time waiting for the elevator, Vicky ran up dozens of flights of stairs and soon confronted Ram. This time he meant business -

Not convinced with the web of lies and ugly cover-ups everyone has been making, EJ Vicky smelled something fishy out there. To set things straight, he called Adnan’s close friend who, for the sake of convenience, "shall not be named". The friend-who-shall-not-be-named probably told EJ Vicky to go get a life. So Vicky concludes that Adnan might actually be in Pakistan spending time with his family and now hopes that he would return soon for the sake of the canines.

The funniest thing about the whole article was that I did not even have to exaggerate anything! People who read Times of India deserve this shit --> http://bit.ly/do5Cuc

P.S: This article is dedicated to all those brave and courageous people like EJ Vicky who are the fourth pillar of democracy working night and day often keeping their lives on the line so that “we, the people” can know the answers to questions of national importance like “Why do dogs bark?” in the comfort of our homes every morning.

@Indibloggers: Promote the post on IndiVine here --> http://www.indiblogger.in/indipost.php?post=24280