Sunday, September 12, 2010

What is in a name!

I was glancing at all those paintings the kids of my colleagues made when they came to "Bring your Children to work day". What caught my eyes were the names more than the paintings themselves. I think these days parents go to a great extent to be creative in naming their children to arrive at such awesome names like "Aadhvik" or "Amogh" and somemore that I forgot but had meant to note down.


Most of the Tamizhians do not have a family name. Our meek looking initials, when expanded become a nightmare. Infact, I remember shuddering during my ED class on the prospect of writing Uttara Madurai Ananthakrishnan in those 5mm specifications.I am pretty sure that it would have taken the entire A2 sheet.


We should admit that our grandparents were deeply religious and faithful to their grandparents with whom they shared their names. In the annals of my family history I can see the following going on in an infinite loop from times immemorial



My Father's name: Ananthakrishnan Srinivasan

His Father's name: Srinivasan Ananthakrishnan


Thankfully, I put a stop to this loop by just being a girl. My father's brother was cleverly named; after his maternal grandfather. He was called "Bakthavatsalam". Until I was 10, I was under the notion that he was very rich because his name was "Pathu-latcham". The girls were not spared. My maternal aunt was Vengadalakshmi which was a name that ran in the family. I recently found that she managed to change her name to a rather unfrilly, nonexotic " Vidhya".



I think our parents were too busy in planning our IIT-Stanford eductation that trivial things like names did not matter. They pulled up the first name that came up and stuck on to that, without perspiring over Menakha Gandhi's book of Indian baby names. In fact, I am called Sandhya at home because I was born when Sandhya Rajagopal was reading the evening news in DD. Quite a QED, you see.They stopped short of proceeding to put the same in my birth cetificate because of another uncle's intervening at that point to grant my given name.


My friend Bhageshvar, who beheld the name Bageshwar before being numerologically transformed, says that he was named thus, after an apple juice company in Shimla. Or some similar story involving apples and Shimla where his parents had gone on for a tour. Srivatsan prefers not to be bothered how his name originated and but is extremely thankful that they didn't add his Sub-caste's insignia to the end. I bet that his kid might be named Tesla, given the penchant. But let us wait and see, it might be Fourier or someone equally complex,in the real sense of the word!



Oh where has the age of Thirumalai Nambis, Varadharajans and Ramasubramanians vanished? In a few years from now, we will be calling kids in two letters; say "Ta", "Ra", "La", "Nu", "Mi", that sound quite like The Hindu Crossword clues.



Whatever might be the case, all names all equal, but no name is equal to Arul Mozhi Varman. People, go ahead and take it up. Not only it is a challenge by itself, but it willl seperate the Tamizhan from the Indian. Arul Mozhi Varman Ananthakrishnan. What melody, with alliteration and all!



:)

8 comments:

I AM~~ ME said...

love the last line, as equally as i love your name!

sindhuja

I AM~~ ME said...

love the last line, as equally as i love your name!

sindhuja

blogophobix said...

:) Post forces me to look back in horror at 'S.K.N'... Initials that cud've consigned me to a lifetime of misspelt marksheets and horrendously pronounced attendance calls in delhi...thank god/dad for the plain vanilla 'manoj'....

blogophobix said...

O...and S.K.N stands for ' Srivaikuntam Kasinivendan Nambi' by the way

ashwin ramachandran said...

' Until I was 10, I was under the notion that he was very rich because his name was "Pathu-latcham" ' - AWESOME :D

Shyam Kumar said...

In the annals of my family history I can see the following going on in an infinite loop from times immemorial


My Father's name: Ananthakrishnan Srinivasan
His Father's name: Srinivasan Ananthakrishnan

ROFL.

Sathish Mayil said...

My parents named me Sathish Kumar since Kumar was a part of my father's name. Until my Passport arrived I didn't realize the impact of it. For my name in it was 'Sathish Kumar Ashok Kumar'.

Now over here, almost everywhere I go over, people ask me why do I have four names. I need to expaling, starting from the fact that I am hailing from a place called Tamil Nadu where we don't have family names.

For avoiding the sake of going through the entire exercise, I make sure that part of the ID card showing the name is reversed. :)


Believe Periyar and self respect movement made Tamils remove the caste in their names, which used to be a family name kind of thing. But the bad part is we never invented a substitue and are facing the problem.

And Arul Mozhi Varman, that's cool.

எனக்கு பெண் குழ்ந்தை பிறந்தால் "குந்தவை நாச்சியார்" / "மதிவதனி" பெயர் வைக்கனும்னு ஆசை. பார்போம்....

I suggested it for my Sister's daughter, she stopped talking to me for a while :)

RamMmm said...

Your humor quotient increased, maybe, after (g).

But you missed out the folks in the land of your work. Everybody has a train of initials, respectfully starting with the place of their birth and all the dieties incorporated. Maybe the US embassy overhauled their visa application schema after the Chennai consul was opened to accommodate the expanded initials.

:-)