Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Naming Game


When I see Dhirendra becoming Dhiren and Atindra becoming Atin, I realise that there are many who hate their names.I was happy to change a student's name from Devgiri to Mayank in the new session. He'll not have to carry the burden of an unwanted name throughout his life.

My sister is one of the victims.While enjoying a long drive in the lower Himalayas, once she told in a grave tone, " I wonder how could grandpa, a veteran astrologer with a sound knowledge of Sanskrit, give me a name as petty as Meena? Meenakshi would have suited me so well." I tried to console her by saying that it means, 'a colourful gem' or a fish (meen), which is not bad. Her disappointment multiplied manifolds when one of the kids in the car spotted a signboard on the way stating, 'Meena Bar.'

I have always been at ease with my name, though during most of my school and college life I was known by my different nick names. My games teacher who knew me for two years, stared me with wide eyes and asked, "You are Vandana, not Vandy?", while giving  the certificates for some event.

I was also convinced that I didn't have a very hap name as my friends had, like Anindita, Parul, Shalini etc. But I sympathised with  my Sikh female friends who had very masculine names as Upinder, Harjinder and even Rajender. On the other hand I loved Simran (before DDLJ), Mehar and Divjot Kaur.

As a child whenever I could get to watch a movie, I used to have this secret wish that the main character was my namesake. But it never happened, not even during the Doordarshan days. Then Youtube happened and I could watch all the movies I wanted to. I was so happy, for old time's sake, to see in one of  the super hits of Indian cinema, with Rajesh Khanna in the lead and gorgeous Sharmila Tagore sharing my name in Aradhana



14 comments:

Maitreyi Agarwal said...

beautifully written ma'am..
super like! :)

vandy said...

:) thanks Maitreyi.
U hv a nice name :)

Manish said...

Hmm - I can empathize. For the same reason, I have a grudge against my eldest Mama ji, and my sister has one against me.

Manish, after Amit, came as the most popular male name in north India during my formative years. In my school, we always had at least 4 Manish in our classroom at any time. If any Manish left the class, there always was a replacement.

At IIT-Kanpur, you might be aware that the roll numbers are allotted alphabetically. We all were made to sit according to our roll numbers for some introduction in L7. When we checked the names in our row - all were 'Manish.' There were a whopping 9 Manish out of 350 who came there in 1995 !

To tell you what, I now find even 'Manish Chauhan' or 'Manish Singh' very common :-)

I named my sister Anchal and Daisy as official and pet names, respectively. She is still sore at me for both. Since Anchal starts with 'A', she invariably got first or second roll number throughout her studies which meant she was the first one to give vivas etc.

With Daisy, she had a different problem. Firstly, most people couldn't pronounce her name properly, and secondly - it seems the name is very popular in naming pet bitches. There was one in our lane :-)

Vandana is a beautiful name. We use to have a nice prayer at our assembly starting with your name : http://www.aatmik-sandesh.com/as/downloads/guitarchords/vandana_karte_hei_hum.html .

vandy said...

Hi Manish,Thanks for leaving the comment here,as others send their comments on twitter,FB or g chat and this place remains deserted :(

Nine Manishes, haha
Both my Children are AB and mostly had the same roll number--5

u chose 2 lovly names for ur sis. U too must be very young when she was born.

prayer, I often hum it.
In the end I think all depends on the personality of the person.as the bard says what's in the name? :)

Manish said...

I was a little more than 7, when she decided to bless my life with her presence :-)

vandy said...

u hv a sweet sis and I can see how she dotes on u and Aryan :)

I feel bad for the ppl who don't have sisters.They never feel so many emotions.and I wonder if they r able to understand women in general.

Manish said...

Yes we are like typical siblings :-)

I agree with you mean. If children do not have a sister, it is an extra burden on the parents to sensitize them. Such kids miss a lot of bonding and love.

Sisters are special.

Manish said...

BTW, I am back to blogging. Hope to continue, God willing.

vandy said...

Great Manish! here I come. :)

R. Ramesh said...

vallah..good one yar...how u doing? long time..take care wishes

vandy said...

Shukriya, :)

R. Ramesh said...

buddy thanks yar..tc:)

R. Ramesh said...

thanks again:)

R. Ramesh said...

hi buddy..shukriya:)stay connected:)