March 11, 2013

Gulti as Charged

It has come to my attention that some Telugu people do not like being referred to as “gults”


I don’t know. I am just stating the popular feeling. They seem to be angry about it. Not exactly angry, maybe they find it distasteful.

Go on...

Some people also find it a little insulting. A few even go as far as raising an objection to the use of the word while others merely disapprove of it.

Thankfully no one found it to be “controversial” yet, none of the “sentiments were hurt” by the “insensitive” word and you are lucky that no one took "offense"

I still don't see what the big deal is. It’s just a silly word. Gult/Gulti (originally Golti) is a word invented by Tamilians to (sometimes condescendingly) refer to Telugu people. I learned the word in my first year of college and we have all been using it ever since.

Your foul-mouthed College is different from society. You are part of "Jana Jeevana Sravanti" now

Now, I understand why some people don’t like the G-word. I have personally seen it being used in a very insulting and disdainful way but what is the point of attacking the word? If you replace the word ‘gult’ with the word ‘splork’, it would still be equally offensive!

Yes, but still...

Words by themselves are harmless be it gult, rape, nigger or whatever. It is always the context that makes them offensive. If people have the time, they should be attacking the narrow-minded, chauvinistic, cow-belt supremacist asshole who uses the word with such contempt

Okay, if it is not a big deal then why are you so hell bent on using it?

I am not hell bent or anything. It’s just that I like the word. Gult is such a nice word. It’s a beautiful word. It has only two syllables, ends with a vowel sound, naturally fits into the English grammar, we can use it to universally refer to any Telugu speaking fellow from Srikakulam to San Fransisco and it rhymes with cult. What more do you want from a word?

Give me a worthy replacement and I’ll stop using the G-word

Why don’t you use the normal word for Telugu people?

What "normal" word for Telugu people? There are words like Mallu, Tamilian, Bengali, Gujarati, and Marathi etc for those linguistic groups. Even Kannada people have a nice word like Kannadiga going for them but there is no word for Telugu people as a whole.

How about Telugus?

It's not a very convenient word. It's like referring to North Indians as Hindis or Bihari Muslims as Urdus - doesn't make much sense. If we start calling ourselves Telugus, then Amits will start pronouncing it tel-goose (तेलगूस ) which sounds like something you'd order in an expensive Gourmet restaurant.

Example: I would like to have a Roasted Tel-goose with chickpeas and cider gravy please.

Haha... making fun of North Indian accents should be more mainstream. "People from Bhimavaram are Tel-goose from 'waste' Godavari district!"

Besides, the word is not at all compatible for use with the English language. Suppose I want to mention that a particular gult fellow speaks horrible Telugu, I have to say something like,

"This Telugu's Telugu is horrible" -- the first Telugu refers to the person and the Telugu following it refers to the language. See it is ambiguous and confusing as opposed to "This gult's Telugu is horrible" which is simple, clear and direct.

G-word: 1 – 0: Telugus

Okay, how about Andhraites? People from Chennai are called Chennaites. I don’t know if they like the word but given that Bal Thackeray has ruined the word Madrasi for everybody, we’re not left with many options.

Nah! The word Andhraite is geographically binding. What about Telugu people who do not belong to the state of Andhra Pradesh, those settled in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Orissa etc. for generations? Should we call them Andhraites too, even if they have nothing to do Andhra?

It's just a convention that people can adopt

Let's assume all the gults from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Orissa, New Delhi, New Jersey, Atlanta, Texas, California, West Indies, Fiji islands and Zambia adopt the word Andhraites, Telangana people are still going object to it. Why would they let you call them Andhraites when they are Telanganites?

These T party fellows...

If a separate Telangana happens, we'll have to use two words then -- Andhraites and Telanganites. This is going to cause mayhem among the Non-Resident Gult community that they will insist on calling Avakai-Americans on the lines of African-Americans just to avoid the confusion!

Your ability to see the worst in everything continues to amaze me.

Thank you. Even if Telanganites and Avakai-Americans wholeheartedly accept the word Andhraite, I’d still refuse to use it for the simple reason that Andhraite sounds like some cheap Aluminium ore, something Vedanta Inc. would want to dig! For example, "Southern Orissa has a lot of Andhraites while the northern districts are rich in Bauxite".

Some people in Bangalore sometimes use the word Telgite which I think is even worse!

Haemetite, Magnetite, Andhraite, Bauxite, Cryolite, Telgite, Araldite, Pidilite... *purr*

Okay, that's enough!

What about the Last Syllable Nomenclature your father uses?

Yes he has developed his own system of stereotyping people. He calls Gults as Gu-bacchas. North Indians as Di-bacchas, and Americans as Ish-bacchas etc. But that doesn't go well with English. It is meant for non-serious conversations in Telugu/Bengali only.

Another common way of naming linguistic groups is by suffixing the noun with –ese like Chinese, Japanese etc. That would make you Telugese.

Seriously? Are we still doing this?

Sigh... there is no universal word for the Telugu speaking diaspora!

No, there is a word -- The G-word. Whether you like it or not, Gulti is the best word we have to universally refer to the Telugu speaking diaspora.

To be honest, I am little disappointed that you people are still arguing about these silly words. I mean, how can we have Gultisthan without the Gulti?

March 2, 2013

Guide to Upper Middleclass Parenting part 2: The School Years

The second part of the post on Upper Middleclass Parenting. Read the complete post here:
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