Ive always wondered on the impact of names on our lives. It’s the one thing that we own, literally and completely, but for all practical purposes have absolutely no control over. It’s the one thing which breaks or makes a conversation while you try to make an impression. Names can spell doom or pleasantly surrpise you. I had to once make a call to Goundamani Dandapani. I was in not a particularly pleasant mood, and had to get this over with. Imagine my shock when a pleasant deep throated “Mani here” streams back at me! Since I’d already steeled myself to ask for Mr. Goundamani” out blurted the phrase – “May I speak with Mr. Goundamani?” And then, what do I hear, but a steady guttural laughter – a little higher bass and I’d call it a guffaw – and ending with a chuckle, “good lord, it’s been ages since I heard that one”
It’s HIS name for chrissakes.
I know the good man has changed his name just like the Sam did from what his parents lovingly christened him with a Samudresan, or how Krishnaswamy became a Chris, and a Saraswati calls hersefl Sara.
I sure can understand the plight of folks who do not want to be identified for their origins? Why? Are we really embarassed about our origins, names?
The other day I met a lady who picked up a couple of outfits for her daughter. The 6 year old was performing on stage, and the mom was suitably charged with excitement. She told me her daughter was called “ilena” . My usual smiling self was momentarily frozen to a jawdrop. I asked her to repeat once more and to confirm again, she spelt it for me. Hmm… ilena, ileana, elena, lena – from the rudimentary knowledge I have of names and the roots, they all seem to have deep origins from East Europe. Where did this sweet lady with long unkept braid, a dowdy salwar, hardly “modern” in the way the world judges you, come up with that? Her last name was a very authentic telugu brahm last name.
A twice removed cousin married a girl raised in Rajasthan. My joy and enjoyment of the area and its products stops with Bandhani and mirror-work chania cholis and of course the lac jewelry. The travel in the area is a whole new joy. They named their kids – Chiraag and Siraaj.
With another very typical telugu last name, when the boys were called together, it was a mouthful. I felt sorry for their very local pre-school teacher.
It’s not so much as picking a non-traditional or unexpected name that bothers me, but more to do with how they fit with your identity. The first name last name are a team. While the former identifies you, the other identifies where you are from. Is it wrong to ask for them to gel together? as in not looking like you were making a hybrid of a guinea pig and a zebra. As comical as it may look or seem, the result is quite frankly ridiculous.
At the end of it, I suppose it’s really none of anybody’s business what parents name their own.
Came across this post and found it hilarious.
Blossom babykutty is priceless…