Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Name Game

One of the biggest efforts in human history is to 'name' - the act of giving an individual his title or term for the rest of the world to call him or her by that name. William Shakespeare may have brushed aside the significance of this act by rendering those famous words "What's In a Name"? But as they say in Hindi "Naam Mein Hi Sab Kuch Rakkha Hain". After reading those reports of the political leaders in Tamil Nadu naming the babies during their campaign trails, it really amazes me whether these people have names on their fingertips? Are the parents satisfied at the end of the day, by this act of "no labour"? May be this aspect should be debated, which could be done on later date. However, this whole aspect called "name game" needs greater attention.
Apart from naming the new born, this also extends to newly built homes, newly started commercial establishments, and also newly bought vehicles. The spark, that made me compose this blog is also one such act. Last year, we built our own house, thus transcending from the "Ever Wandering" culture to one of firm "Anchorage". So, the event of house-warming and all that followed had to guided by providing a firm anchor in the form of a proper name to transform the "House" into something called a "Home"!! So, my mother entrusted me with the task of choosing a suitable name - she had already chosen a few includingher favourite, "Nandanam". But then there were some smarter people around near our home who had already chosen that name. So, as we cannot be seen as "copycats" and with self-pride raging in my heart, I took over the task. But then I have this habit - never know whether it is good or bad - of postponing things. So, I adopted a gradualist approach. But then my mother did not leave it like that. For her this was the most imporatnt task of the land. So, reluctantly I was forced to commence the "Operation Name Find". Then the question arises where do, I embark upon this voyage??
For a start I pick up the "Shabdataaravali" in Malayalam and start the search. Oh, I forgot to mention something. This is a voluminous encyclopedia, which in afct, combines two standard Oxford reference dictionaries!! So, I turn over the pages and pore over those innumerable names - and their meaning too!! I also tired to remember all those movies, which had a 'literay' touch to their names. I lay back on the bed staring at the ceiling, wracking my brain for that one elusive name. After days of these tiresome efforts, I come up with my conclusion. "Mayookham" is the choice and it means "light", which would deliver us from darkness. Mom looks at it and seems no that happy, because she kept saying that her original choice was much better. But still my spirits were up and as they reached a cresecndo, my sister came up with her own proposal - "Niharika". It means "droplet of snow". Soon mom also wants the same name. How quickly she changed her mind!! Were my efforts going down the drain?? No, they are not as my dad ratifies my choice, overruling that of my sister. Finally. I'm happy. As the name is inscribed in black font on a brass plate and fixed on the wall near the gate, my task seems accompllished and I feel a sense of "deja vu". It stoill remains fixed there, bearing all the rain and shine.
Later that year, a movie by the same name also releases. though its didn't do well in the box office. At least my inteelectual property rights do not stand questioned!! However, I just wonder how difficult the task would be for parents of the newborn kids to seek names for them. Even my name, according to choice of my grandpa was Anurag, but then my mom had other ideas...........

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