Tuesday, July 19, 2005

What's in a name?

When parents choses a name for their child do they ever wonder whether the bawling, kicking individual in question will ever live up to the name they are about to bestow? Past experiences indicate that they do not.

I have met numerous Vidyas who are incapable of addition, Sushmithas who were forever grim and Shaktis who would go running off the playground screaming and crying when 'attacked' by grasshoppers.

Now I'm not blaming parents or children. Parents can only hope that Geeta won't sound like a defunct garbage disposal machine when she sings and it's not little Vijays fault he gets bowled out as soon as he reaches the crease.

Perhaps parents whould wait a few years before naming their children. See how they turn out first. Children could be given serial numbers instead. So after AD892 has shown that he is sufficiently discerning his parents can name him Vivek.

I know, I know. How cruel to serialise children and not give them proper names that they can be cajoled, coddled and cosseted with. Well it's not like parents really call their children by their actual names until they're 3-4 years old. Till then it's usually a mix of Bujju, Gudiya, Kannu, BooBoo and other such terms of endearment. Sure the children will have a hard time adjusting and responding to their new names. Some may even suffer an identity crisis. But what's worse? That or having Vishwanath (Lord of the Universe) getting pulverised by Mridula for his lunch money?

My parents took the easy way out. They named me after a celestial dancer (I think they were watching way to many cabarets back then). So on looking up the meaning of my name all I found was, well "celestial dancer". So I really don't have any expectations to live up to, unless my lack of dexterity when it comes to hip thrusts has let my parents down.

Sorry Mom.


Anonymous said...

Tom Cruise Chellam is reminded of an article he wrote a couple of years back with a similar theme which he submitted to some silly paper for publication and the paper being silly could not appreciate and send it back to TCChellam

Manoj said...

After many a question about my name, I finally discovered what it meant in the 26th year of my existence.

Cupid, Kama, God of Love

With my luck with women, it was enough cause for instant humiliation and still persisting depression.

TomCruiseChellumm said...

TomCruiseChellumm has finally arrived
Expect the unexpected
from the land of avial and kallu

krishna rautela said...

i guess bongs do it better (i might be fanning their already superheated egos here ) they, i believe, give a dak naam (calling name) to the child and then at some auspicious time shubh naam (real name). ( Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri is saga based on one's struggle with name that wont go away )

TomCruiseChellumm said...

TomCruiseChellum had what Syt (ieShreeyut) Rautela calls both a dak name and a shubh nam. This shub nam had a pretty complicated and fairly unusual spelling with one letter which was a combination of a consonant with with another consonant (is that possible?) When TCC reached 5th class by which time he and his class was supposed to be masters of the Malayalam script, the teacher asked the entire class to write out TCChellumm's shubhnam and only 50% of them got it right
So much for Shubhnam
And a little more. The people from the cow belt ask "Apka shubhnam kya hai?". When they want to pose the same question to an English speaking person, they ask "What is your good name?"
Should they not ask "What is your auspicious name?", since as Syt Rautela points out, it is a name given on an auspicious day?
PS TCC's shubhnam is not being revealed here for what else confidenatiality?

TomCruiseChellumm said...

Why did Jumpa Lahiri struggle with her name? Did people call her Jumping Lahiri or something.
TCChellum's shubh nam (remember that with the mixed up consonants) was unique. It was so unique that people rarely forgot it and it turned out to be an asset to be happy about rather than a liability to stuggle with.Easy to recall, unique and not many people with the same name. In the Madras telephone directory (now Chennai) there are only two others with a simialr name!
I hope some one will pass this on to Jumpa so that her struggles will end and she can concentrate on writing