December 16, 2008

What's in a name?

I say it's all in the name.

I love my name and I can’t be happier that my parents have good taste.

Now that I have made my thank you speech, I would like to dedicate this post to everyone in this planet (and beyond) who’ve had the misfortune of having lived and who are living with the most dreadful names. This one’s for all you people.

I remember reading somewhere that you are what your name is. A name is so important in defining a person. And in most cases it is the one thing that you live with all your life.

In this post I shall talk about the people who I know in person, people who I have seen walking around in the schools and colleges where I have studied and a select few I have had to work with and a couple of people who I know off. I love you all I have the utmost respect for each one of you.

Jijo. J. Jajan – This poor mallu friend of mine had a name that was so bouncy and slippery and he was just like that. Short, stout and with greasy hair smelling of fish all the time. He was the target of all insults and ridicule throughout his school life (am sure he is still being poked fun at wherever he is right now). Imagine him in some exotic country where the alphabet ‘J’ is silent or pronounced as ‘H’- Hiho. H. Hahan. My god, Santa would probably like to adopt him as his personal assistant.

Jetty Jean Joy Kutty - Another mallu (what is it with some mallu’s and their names) person who studied in the college where I did my undergrad. She was very silent always. Initially I didn’t know why she was like that, but when I got introduced to her, I knew the secret. How can someone be an extrovert with a name like that? People always had this thing of shortening a person’s name and calling them while in school or college (even now?). Imagine how it would be to call her. Any which way you try and truncate the name; it either sounds corny, cheeky or just plain stupid.

Latha. K. Lund – I feel so bad for you girl. In fact I feel bad for your dad, Mr.Lund. But on second thoughts, I don’t feel bad for your dad. If he had to live all his life with a name like that, he should have had some sense to not add his name as your surname. And for a girl to have that as her surname is just plain SAD. In school the teachers always had this annoying ritual of calling people out with their full name and initials while the roll call to check the attendance. No wonder you always had a proxy person say ‘Present ma’m’ in the morning. Get married or move out to a country where people don’t understand Hindi.

Brooke Shields - She was my junior in college. Slim, dark and a very nice person no where close to her namesake celeb. I guess her dad must have had the hots for the actor and thought it a good idea to name his daughter that, so every time he called her, he got his share of joy.

Infant - I met this man a few years back and he was 39. And he introduced himself as Infant and I was like, Get out of here. You’re kidding me. Felt the whole time I was with him and people calling him by his name and all I could picture was this man of 39 sitting on his office desk with a feeding bottle and a bib. I couldn’t sleep for a good one week thanks to all the nightmares.

I met a friend from kerala. He told me the secret behind some of the most bizarre and weird names from malluland. A couple get married, say John gets married to Jincy (Yes, Jincy is a name and I didn’t make that up) and they have a kid. What do you know, it’s a boy. Now comes the part of naming the boy. They take the first two alphabets from the dad’s name and add the first two letters from the mom’s name and voila they have a new name: Joji. It doesn’t stop there. They need to add the name of their village, the name of their street and the name of their house. So in the end the boy’s name is: Joji Kutty Thillaberambil Vincent. And by the time he learns to spell his name he is a 40 yr old Infant.


A good friend’s grand dad when he was working in the US of A had a girlfriend who he just couldn’t forget. So what does the old man do, name his grand daughter that. And no wonder she is grand pa’s favorite. This helped her with a lot of pocket money and our best friend.

Some more names of people who I don’t know really well, but know off: Steffi Graf, Michael Jackson, Mother Mary (I know you are devoted and all that, but how can a new born be called Mother Mary), Rajnikanth and finally Madhuri Dixit (her dad’s surname is Pundit).

Now that I have spoken about all this. How could I not mention the various Baby Mami's and Puppy Mami's in an Iyer family. I remember this very old paati in my family who was still called Baby when she was 92. It is not an affectionate name, but their actual name that is Baby and Puppy. To top this there are the chaachi's and the chachu's. Lallu's and the paapa's. 

And after all the love, I just want to add this special note of hate to the guy who typed my name on my voter identity card. I don’t know how in the world he ended up typing that, maybe he sneezed while typing and just didn’t bother correcting it, or maybe he didn’t sleep the previous night and dozed off on the keyboard, or maybe he couldn’t type, maybe he was blind, maybe it was a new born who was given the duty to type names on voter identity cards. But whatever be the case he typed something that has made me think twice about taking the card and going to a voting booth and admitting I am in fact that person. Yes, the name of the card reads: dfhkuyhdi!!! (That little son of a…)

50 comments:

Ketaki said...

HYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAAHAHAHAHHAAAHAH!!!!!
You have got to be kidding me! Say it isn't so! I am pissed that they made me a ChandrasekarAN. Hahahahahahahaa

*wipes tears from eyes * That even sounds dirty! hahahaha

hehehe anyway, my best friend shares his surname with one of the ppl on ur list ;) I've got a post dedicated to him and link is available on my favourite posts list if you're interested :) [Rajiv]

The Not So Talkative Man said...

Oh man! A readable post on this blog after all those years. Fantastic post.

Ekta said...

ha ha :-) nice one Iyer!

spiritofillusions said...

made me laugh :) good one....

:)

individuel said...

I knew this girl called Conception.

And,Mallus do have strange names.

Chinku said...

Hey! found my way here from not so talkative man's g-talk status message... and I am a mallu with a godawfully decent name, I must say I feel badly for all the rest of my country cousins who got a raw deal... here is my list of weird names girls who went to college with me... Simple Eve, then there was Sunshine Joseph and of course Dawn (I forget what her last name was though) and Esmeralda (and no she looked nothng like that exotic gypsy of Notre Dame)

Zeph Keyes said...

u want weird? had a classmate in primary called perpetua, her mum was felicity (altho it could have been the other way around), my cousin's called Chili (i kid you not!), my own grandmum is called Constance, i have an aunt (plus know at least 2-3 more ppl) called Grace, and my nephew has the unfortunate name of Nirbhay Tyagi. He's all of 5 btw, the poor thing. U think their parents were hoping the virtues behind the names would rub off on them? and I prolly shouldnt even get started on last names, but will, anyway :D
I actually know/am related to ppl with the following last names: Foot (plural being foots, not feet, btw), Coyne, Carr, Hodge, Gore, Longfellow (who aren't even tall:D), Pledger, Keyes (:D), Davawala, Daruwala, Ginwala... u get the picture rt?
Another issue i have is with foreign sounding names... like Rivera (which is a place, not a person) and Mignon (pronounced Minyon)(no clue what that's even supposed to mean, French I suppose) I suppose parents do try to influence who their kids would become, but my theory still doesn't explain names like Dujohn (also someone i know)... maybe HIS folks just liked mustard. A LOT!

Zeph Keyes said...

Shite... sorry about the length of the comment. comes from commenting in the middle of work.. still in write, right, write mode :D

Divya said...

I love my name :)

arvindiyer said...

To Ketaki...
Well am not kidding. I was being 100% truthful for the first time in a post:) And yes I read the post bout your friend.. I pity him:)

arvindiyer said...

To The Not So Talkative Man..

Why thank you very much for the compliment. Finally am glad there was a post that made you read till the end;)

arvindiyer said...

To Ekta...

Thank you Madam:)

arvindiyer said...

TO Spirit of Illusions...

Laughing is good. And I hope the names mentioned in this post don't curse you:)

arvindiyer said...

To Individuel..

Conception? Now that is a very sad (different) name. And i would completely agree with you on the latter comment.

arvindiyer said...

To Chinku..

Well The Not So talkative man has spoken:) Thanks for dropping in. About the names of people you had chalked down, Simple EVE caught my fancy. And after writing this post is when I realized I know atleast another twenty names that I could add in this list.. Maybe a sequel someday:)

arvindiyer said...

TO Zeph Keyes...

I rest my case:) And yes its always a pleasure to read your comments (when in work or not):)

arvindiyer said...

TO Divya..

Congratulations. Welcome to earth.

adelen said...

There is now a new quit smoking drug available in the market. This latest breakthrough is known as Chantix. It is able to help smokers snub out their addiction by working on the brain.

varsha said...

hey..i had intended to be one of 'those'... but actually got on to read it..think its really funny..cheers:)

arvindiyer said...

To Adelen...

Thank you for dropping by. I suggest you take CHANTIX and shove it:)

To Varsha..

You mean , you were one of 'those' or did you mean my post was one of 'those'? Glad you liked it and welcome to my blog.

wingsofdeztiny said...

Wonderful! my tummy still aches and eyes are still watering. excellent.

arvindiyer said...

To Prashanth..

:) Thank you very much. Am glad I could help you out.

Pixilicious said...

thank you :)

varsha said...

i meant me..sometimes to humour my friends..by the way im wondering how could any serious thing be called chantix..:O

arvindiyer said...

To Pixilicious...

Oh, You're most welcome:)



To Varsha...
What's in a name?:)

varsha said...

hehe...ur yabsolutely right!

Sneha said...

okay this is my first time here, and i already loved your blog :P

hahahaaa ur kidding me with the lund :P ... really ??!!

arvind ... okay thats not a bad name but what does it mean? I hate names 'coz if you have even a normal one, you have this sort of pressure to live upto your name. (is it just me, or does everyone hate the name their born with? )

arvindiyer said...

To Sneha...

First up, welcome to my world:) And secondly thank you very much. Glad you like my blog. Arvind means LOTUS (in sanskrit) and I completely LOVE my name, and to answer your question, I don't think there is any pressure to live upto your name.. coz like I said, you would anyways end up living your life.. just like your name:) So Sneha is Love... friendship.. companionship and a lot more. You got some pressure there young lady:)

Nivedita said...

g'lord..this was hilarious..lund?! maybe the word originated from the surname over the years :D
in kerala theres this new fad of ending the name with 'esh'..my cousin knows this guy called dogesh!!
my name means dedicated to god..who does that to their kid?
did u hear abt the famous-somebody who named themselves peekaboo?

Zeph Keyes said...

While still on the subject of names, REALLY think u'd enjoy this post. especially the second half.
http://www.whatay.com/2008/12/17/one-weekend-much-drink-considerable-embarassment/

or just go to whatay.com

this guy is hilarious

arvindiyer said...

To Nivedita...

Well I don't know what is worse.. having a surname like LUND or that word becoming a term after:) But well every name mentioned in this blog is TRUE and are people I know:) Gift to God sounds dreamy.. what it does that mean for your kid.. did you ask? Well I don't know.. you tell me:)
And just out of curiosity.. peekaboo's brother is called Iseeyou?
Welcome to my blog.

arvindiyer said...

To Zeph Keyes..

Thank you:)

Imp said...

I absolutely luuurrrrvvvveeeee my name too. Have no idea what it means. Or even if it means anything whatsoever. But I love it :D

I once had a classmate whose name was Jincy Kapoor. :|

arvindiyer said...

To Imp..

I absolutely lurrrveeeeeee your name too:) Jincy kapoor is not a bad name actually... not bad compared to the other names in this post.

Ekta said...

New Year Wishes!

time for an update :-)

Anju said...

That was hilarious!! Love the blog!!

arvindiyer said...

To Ekta...

New Year wishes to you too.. and Updates have been done:)

arvindiyer said...

To Anju...

What Co-incidence.. I love this blog too:)

Anju said...

Being from Malluland, I think I have a few names to contribute.. I knew people with such weird names! Will drop them in sometime, have to know what you think of them!!

arvindiyer said...

To Anju

I always have something to say about mallu names. But then again why would you want to know what I think bout the names?

Anju said...

Because your take on them will make me laugh for sure :) Always something about Mallu names? Hmmm..

arvindiyer said...

To Anju

Ah, well my take on a lot of things is funny. That's why not many ppl like me. But I couldn't care less. And don't think too much between the lines. Let it be. Let it be!!

Shruthi said...

Hi dear.Its been a really long time since I laughed do much! Lovely post!

arvindiyer said...

To Shruthi

Well my pleasure. I would say, Making people smile since 1983 is the tagline of this blog:)

Nina said...

Loved ur post.. here's more! I once had a classmate called Virgin Bharathi!!! Yea dats right. What would you call her after "you know what"????

Closer to home, my bro-in-law's name is Jijo and my husband... well, he's Maijo [what were my in-laws thinking!! :( ]

I've also come across names like Poongodi, Tamizhselvi, Muthu Kumar, Antariksh, Mahaasana (no, it doesnt mean big ass) and many more!

Thank god for my simple name! In fact, thank you dad & mom!

Pratik Stephen said...

hahaha
I know someone who's name is Shaikh Mahboob!
lmao!

and the killer one... Lakshmi Kiran Khadalavada!
I couldn't help laughing on his face...erm name...
: )

arvindiyer said...

To Nina

Well Mother Mary and Virgin Bharathi, I think are doomed right from the time they were born. Really pity them.

Maijo eh? Well, there I rest my case about mallus and their special talent to name people:)

Welcome to my blog.

arvindiyer said...

To Pratik

There you go. Some more names to add to the list. Need to offer a special prayer ceremony for all their souls to rest in peace!!!

Rajeshwari Ganesan Iyer said...

Can I have your voter id card Arvind?

arvindiyer said...

To Rajeshwari

No. You may NOT!!! It's been burnt to ashes.