Wednesday, 10 August 2011

The nomenclature bizness

The Bard said, what's in a name?  Ask the lady strutting her stuff when she says, "The name is Sheila". Or you may ask even the Munnis, Basantis, Jalebi bai's or even the Dongs and Mogambos of yesteryears. Its in the name, dammit!

How else do you get your identity? When your mom wanted to whack you for damaging a piece of the household furniture or for feeding an entire tiffin box's contents to a street dog, how did she yell at you? By your name na? Or when the school headmistress wanted to recognise your talent and say a few kind words in your praise, how did she begin? With your name, right? So there it is.

Oh..then there are some generic names, like "last benchers". That is how one of my revered school teacher preferred to refer to anyone occupying those seats. The name says it all, you see? It made her job easy(lesser names to pronounce?) and spared the occupants from embarrassment, I realise. Symbiotic.

During the first few weeks of college life, we were collectively referred to as "freshers". On several occasions I was asked, "You are fresher?" Pitifully I had to nod my head in agreement(while inside a faint voice answered No, am Sutapa). We were even given pseudo names based on our predominant attributes and were barred from using our real names. By the end of the "Introduction fortnight", I had almost forgotten my real name having grown used to introducing myself  as "Swadeshi" day in and day out.

And then there are names that can make or break. If you are a Kalmadi, you may want to opt out of "Suresh"or even "Maria" if you are a Susairaj. But a Rahul may have different repercussions depending on whether you end it with a Mahajan or Gandhi. Wot say? You must have heard about the naming game being played recently. Oh, I mean the games that the likes of "Raja of 2G" play when they are caught and cornered.

Lastly there are names I believe that have stuck to each one of us in some inexplicable way, which do the job of blissfully transporting us to a netherland like Humpty Dumpty, Little Miss Muffet, Mary who had a little lamb or even Jack and Jill who went up the hill? Have you met any of them lately? Not me, I hear they are not around anymore. :(


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