Tuesday, October 24, 2006


what’s in a name. asked shakespeare. if u call a rose a lily, it still remains a rose (misquote – but that’s the sum and substance of what this elizabethan ambani said – did u know shakespeare was a hugely successful entrepreneur?)

what’s in a name? why, everything. how else do u explain the fact that shobha de continues to write for TOI? a time was when she was highly readable – that’s a thing of the past. creative senility has definitely set in. if not for her name , would a high circulation daily publish the type of inane stuff she churns out now, which is not even fit for the page 3 where she has an occasional column which she fills with random droppings!

if there is nothing in a name, why do people in kerala pay to have their names included in family histories which, incidentally, is a fad that has sustained itself for more than twenty years now. initially historians were very particular about confirming lineage before including the names of families which claim some remote connection. today, georgekutty can do the trick. georgekutty, by the way, is a Malayalam slang for money, a term derived from the bust of king george which once appeared on currency coins.

why do a certain community in the konkan coast go on an expedition into their past to excavate their ancestors identities in order to add their caste name to the existing ones? in these parts, combinations like hazel huddlestone kamath, clement d’souza prabhu etc are very common.

if a name is of no consequence, why do jayalaithaas and a host pf other celebrities add or subtract letters to/from their names, in consultation with numerologists?

why did it take me more than a year to name my daughter, braving the dire consequences of each person in the house calling her his/her favourite name during the interim period? – the good news is that she is a tough one now, having been used to being called names early in life!!

aren’t we righteously ignited when someone tries to tarnish our name? isn’t there a good chance of us having a few of our teeth knocked off if we indulge in name-calling? dont we shed blood, sweat and tears to live up to our name? or our family’s? or our organisation’s? don’t we switch on to a deferential mode at the mention of a big name in the locality ? don’t police interrogators treat human suspects like punching bags to make them name names? if you are involved in some activity, good or bad, isn’t it exceedingly important that you know the name of the game? when we indulge in deliberately casual name dropping, don’t heads turn to take another look at us?

and don’t the nameless dead sink unceremoniously into oblivion? and isn’t the nameless benefactor deprived of the gratitude due to him?

hey, shakespeareji, want to eat your words? you’ll most certainly want to do that if you come to know of the kind of freudian interpretations your name is being subjected to?

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