Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Everything's in a name

My friends are all in a different boat. A boat that is way heavier and wobbly. Yes, they are all pregnant and I am in no hurry to jump aboard just yet. First it was the boyfriends, then the weddings and now this! Next it will be the babies I tell you…mark my words!

As excited as I am, luckily for me, they have spared me all the preggy talks. One of them blogs all about it, another calls me when she wakes up at 4 am and the others feel that they have acquired superior status and I should be the one calling. So overall it’s been cool. The grossest thing I have heard is that in some communities they cook the placenta for a feast to celebrate the birth of a new born. I suggested that she ask the doc for her placenta ‘to-go’ and later heat it in the microwave back at home. I think I am scarred for life; are you guys ok?

Since I have nothing better to do, I find out what they want us to call their offspring and then make fun of the names. I have noticed one thing common among all these pending moms. They get super defensive regarding their baby’s names. There is an inherent difference between the American way of naming and the Indian way of naming their kids. After spending months and going through two divorces regarding the right moniker, the American couple decided to name their bundle of joy (hold your breath)- John. And everybody goes, ’Bravo! That’s such a lovely name.’ Oh please! I mean just how hard was that? Looking around, I may need my extra toes to count the number of Johns smiling at me right now.

Whereas the Indian couples here have a greater challenge. Their baby needs a unique, modern name. Even Menaka Gandhi or the Sanskrit dictionary shouldn’t have figured it out. Travel all over the world, to the remote igloos of Antarctica, none other should have such a name…not even that Eskimo. At the same time, the name should mean something nice in any obscure Indian language. On top of that, you need to make sure the Americans don’t screw up this one-of-a-kind name, which even Indians are probably not sure how to pronounce. So they think real hard and make their pregnant lives miserable and finally come up with – Chakthashu.

It satisfies all their criteria- No other couple could have thought of something as insane as that. I have no clue what it means, but the Americans for sure pronounce this really well and with glee - ‘Chuck the shoe’.

Gone are the days of Ramesh and Suresh. Dinesh and Ganesh are looked upon with disdain. Anu, Priya, Deepa or for that matter modern names of our times like Nikita and Richa have been swept under the carpet. Absurd and uncanny is the way to go. My cousin is threatening to name her kid Lipi (meaning ‘writing’ in Sanskrit). I just wish for the little one’s sake she doesn’t have any lip issues. I brought up my concern and my cousin started crying. Just like that! I can only imagine the stress she had to go through to get here. At least my niece will know I tried saving her.

It’s not even worth this trauma when you come to think of it. Very few kids are completely satisfied with their name. I wasn’t one of them for sure. Maybe I will take back all I said when I am in that boat and will end up naming my kid some shit- I mean Samchit!

75 comments:

thennavan said...

Some...man (wink, wink)

:-)

alpha said...

ooruke theriyum! Moo...coondan (wink wink) and whats with the shammatu photo? The one with sun-glasses didn't get you hitched?

VC said...

Forget Samchit. If you reeeeally want to do some damage, use Abikshit. Throw in a middle name of Dikshit, for good measure! And remember to pronounce it slowly, when introducing him!

B o o said...

Dead on, Alpha - oh! You-know-it-all-wise-woman!

BTW, adding a clove of garlic to the placenta while cooking adds a "pleasant" taste it seems! (kelvi gyaanam dhaan!) Hubby almost fainted when I took a small piece of the dried belly button for keepsake! :) (U can go ahead and post "Everything's in a belly button" now!!!)

anantha said...

Boo: Whoa whoa...

Alpha: I can't wait to see Gabby's comment on this post! :)) Btw, whats with you married women pulling the legs from us single guys? Us single guys gotta start a sangathan for ourselves I guess.. :p

vc: :))

phatichar said...

hehehehe... :)

Happy New Year, Alpha!

Zoheb said...

One of my friends was named Shantilal. Bechara aaj bhi dukaan pe baitha hai. And I saw one Mallu talk show where the kids were given really modern names like electron and proton. If you want funny names Mallu land is the way to go. Expect some path breaking stuff from your bro and bro ki biwi. Alpha should name her kid 1/alpha or something....

:-) said...

Ha! I laughed so hard. Samchit is absolute pun.A friend of mine named his daughter 'Yasaswi'. Its exactly that unique, hidden meaning stuff. The funniest part is every time I meet the kid I ask her 'Sweetie whats your name?' she says 'tattattwi'.

Hardu said...

he he he.. That was a funny post. But I am all for "new" names. I have a "not so common" name and am happy about it. :)

Anonymous said...

it's ok i've been called monika for the better half of my life and my sister is often called molly... know who i am yet?

ps. placenta cooking? and i just had to read this before lunch

GratisGab said...

Ah! That's what happens when you get on the marriage boat in some BC-kalam ...gives you way too much time to think about placentas and seasonings...and become perfect bait for people with boyfriend/wedding problems. "Let's go to Alpha Aunty, she can't be having any boyfriend problems of her own!" they say!

On this one, we will laugh later lady, and it will be a much wiser guffaw :)

PS: Don't wait 24 hrs before converting chats to blog posts huh? Somebody was having one light day I tell you!

Twilight Fairy said...

hmm... and u? kuch al-jazeera types al-pha? upar se alpha-dwitiya is definitely some sting operation look alike :D

alpha said...

vc: Lol!!! jeesus..got to be really careful in future.

boo: bluuuuccckkkk!!!! I am NOT eating today.

anti: read the post three times and didn't find any thing on single men...unless you are pregnant!

phatichar: :) thankiee!

zo: Mallu names are hilarious..I am not using them as prototype for my analysis here. Absurd and uncanny is NOT the word for them. Proton? OMG!

:-): Isn't Yasaswi a guy's name? And what double meaning..kinda slow...

hardu: thanks..all input I got from my preggy friends..will take no credit for this.:)

anon: You are a mallu I know..but apart from that..me not really sure who exactly you be...Am I supposed to know a monika and molly?

gabby: aha! You pregnant people have sharp memory...what can I say! Luckily you didnt give out your baby's name...Not Abhikshit no?

Fairy: lol...It's not fair to blame me for that..talk to my parents!

pingoo said...

No one has the right to screw up another person's name... but sadly thats what happens...its either the thaatha..or paati or some sage from Rishikesh who names the kid as "vaya puri" (now what does that really mean, u ask ?? I dunno ...but thats the name my cousin goes by)

What should his girl friend say when her friend quips - Oh your Puri is so sweet ! ..For him, the first few days of college life is like nothing but walking on a bed of red hot coal. Well, thats how it is but I can assure you that Puri will be the most sensible thaatha when it comes to naming his Puri !

alpha said...

pings: That's worse than my thatha's name- Kaya Subbu. Maybe that rishi was trying to tell your cousin's parents that his mouth was full of pooris and he will come up with a name later.

I know, when you look at such names, it doesn't occur to blame the parents..you just feel like teasing the poor kid who had no say in the matter. My three year old nephew is named Krishnacharan by his devoted parents...but the kid introduces himself as Dhruv. He started protesting early!

thennavan said...

Alpha, "shammatu" illai "chamaththu" tsk tsk :-)

alpha said...

thennavan: poda..I'm not looking for a bride for you any more! I'll give all your girls to Anti.

thennavan said...

Alpha, p(l)eace, I need your udhavi :-)

alpha said...

Thens: No way! Un vayasu ennai, en unborn kolandai Udhavi vayasu ennai?

thennavan said...

Now you have me totally confused :-) (can you translate that for me?) :-)

alpha said...

I'm so glad I have to translate pure Tamil to you. hehe. Anyway, it was a PJ so forget it..please.

anantha said...

Alpha: Seriously, that one went over my head too. You need to stop those PJs of yours... :))

alpha said...

anti: aargh! insult! I meant if I name my daughter Udhavi ..now read the Pj again. You must admit it wasn't all that bad! If you still didn't get it, I'm sorry to say you are deservingly single.

VC said...

alpha: your mistake. should have been 'yenna'. not 'ennai'. your pj translates to 'your age oil? my unborn baby Udhavi age oil?'. Huh??? :-)

alpha said...

Phew..hilarious..At least you understand me VC! Can I hire you as my Tamil translator?

VC said...

with YOUR tamil! sorry, lady! u can't pay me enough! :)

alpha said...

that's sad... I am doomed. shud have stuck to Pjs in Arabic.
You know my spoken Tamil is better than my written Tamil and it's improving daily.

anantha said...

VC: LOL...

Alpha: Sorry, I was seriously trying to link oil, help, baby, age. For sometime I was wondering if you were talking about the Volcker report. :D
Btw, Pjs in Arabic..."ei dhi dhi ya al hili" types?

:-) said...

Hey, whats a PJ?

B o o said...

Note the Caps U in "Udhavi" people? Alpha, I agree. They are deservingly single! BTW, why is it that men are so slow in reading Tanglish? Hubby will eat plain Idlis without molagapodi but wont read one Tanglish mail! :)

anantha said...

Ahhhh.. now I get it...Boo, your comment was the clincher... Danke...

Rhyncus said...

Long and mysterious names are abundant in Bong-land. They'll name a kid Sabyasachi or Saptarishi and then cutely round the vowels. Exquisite. But as far as naming babies goes, there's a simple principle. Ask your preggy friends to stand in a quiet, open area and yell out the prospective name twenty times to check if it feels/sounds right. Because that's what they are going to be doing the next fifteen years anyway.

WA said...

LOL at Samchit & and even more at Chaktashu :))

Anti ingeyumaaa? I seen you being bullied everywhere I go:) Idha nerathuradhukaavaavudhu get married soon :))

WA said...

PS: Same doubt as the person before, ladies what is a PJ? figured out it is something to with joke, but still trying to figure out the rest :(

Swathi said...

that was hilarious....

Leela said...

There are no Arabic PJ's (Poor Joke, for those who asked) There are only Priceless ones :-)

And adding to the collection of unfortunate names, a colleague called his daughter, Timiha. Sanskrit, for smile or something. His neighbour's dog is called Timmy. You can imagine the confusion when you apply Rhyncus's strategy...

m said...

samchit- is my code word for all the crap i have to deal with from now on........on a serious note- i almost encouraged you to get on the baby wagon when i wished you for the new year- but i stopped myself- enough around you to get you thinking........finally get competition.....from a well trained off spring.

p.s. i still guffaw at your amannakamasin.....

Anonymous said...

John? How about DeShawn and LaToya and Shantel. I gues the equivalents are mallu names... Jijo, Liju, Jiju etc.

alpha said...

Anti: Have you ever wondered why I dont write my posts in Tamil? For my sanity and yours. Anyway, it wasn't difficult to decipher OK..if people could figure out your windy song, this was way too easy.

Boo: thanks!! I need a few more supporters like you. Actually I think you are just fine for Anti and gang. I empathise with your hubby..I am not a proponent of written Tamil or written Arabic for that matter.

Rhyncus: I hope you are implying that they will be shouting at their kids in their own noisy homes and not in an open quite asylum yelling out names for 15 years straight.

wicked Angel: Don't write in Tamil here..there are Tamil nazis to pounce on you..See, I understood what you said..you can't be too sure of Thennavan or VC.

PJ is Pajamas. Nightie in Tamil.

Swati: thanks for dropping by.

Lee: She mustve thought, why waste energy calling the dog and the kid twice. On the same Timmy note, a guy named his kid Tommy and his dog Ramakrishnan.

m: Aha! Ammanakimasin sounds like an ideal name...it's unique, it means something in Bihari. now need to ask a bunch of my American friends to pronounce it to make sure.

anon: You live in a black neighborhood in Malluland kya?

Hardu said...

How is one supposed to pronounce a name like Czaee? (It has been listed as an Indian name!). Also just imagine the nick name for a person called Lulu - Lu (loo)? :P(also listed as an Indian name)

alpha said...

Hardu: Wonder why you are doing so much reserach on names. I better warn your family members. Yeah make sure it's not Lulu..though we had a telugu professor called Potty. So I guess everything works.

Hardu said...

Alpha: I was searching for names, so that I can make sure that I don't keep any of these for my child (whenever I have one). ;)

Gosh! Potty? You guys must have given him a bad time surely. :)

WA said...

Of course I knew PJs meant Pajamas but couldn't figure what it meant in the context you were talking about earlier, now I know its a poor joke. Thanks

And sure no more tamil comments in your blog :)

Zoheb said...

Oye, Potty is a legitimate Mallu name.

VC said...

NO TAMIL FOR YOU! NEXT!

30in2005 said...

All my friends on a whole other boat as well. I just blogged about baby names a few days ago myself and the ones people choosing (mind-numbing!). As for pregnant women talking about Placenta - what is up with that - is it a code word for look at me I'm pregnant??!!! Ooooh smug mums everywhere....

alpha said...

hardu: yeah we gave potty a hardu time.

zo: admit it! confess! Your actually name is potty and your blog name is zoheb.

300in2005: deary, change your name to 40in2015 and you don't need to worry for another 9 years.

regarding names, imagine and sakdeep and hardik marrying each other.

:-) said...

ooow. Thats one hot marriage. Just FYI, Hardik is not that uncommon. Sakdeep is a rarity.

B o o said...

Alpha - as long as we are still talking about names, its ok!

:-) - :-)

Quizman said...

LOL, Alpha. As usual, you're the best!

Tams have quaint names - Stalin, Gagarin etc. But what takes the cake is the name of the Chennai mayor.

alpha said...

boo, was the comment for smiley?

smiley, as long as we are talking about names ok! Keep dirty mind to your blog as you even have ratings now. Mine's PG 13.

quizie: Karate..lol..wonder what his parents were thinking..maybe a big Bruce Lee fan.
Do you remember professor Potty in MIT? Don't recall if he was there during your time.

anantha said...

Quizman: Yes, Tams are as funny as Mallus when it comes to name. The politically motivated Tams from down South are the funniest. I had a friend whose name was Neil Armstrong and another whose name was Kennedy!

Alpha: Total galeej panra!!!!

Rhyncus said...

I'm told houses with kids are not very different from asylums, but what do I know. As for Lulu, it's the name of a fairly large hypermarket chain in this region. And yes, the mainman is a Mallu.

Leela said...

Rhyncus: Which Mallu? I was told it was owned by Jayalalitha.

Rhyncus said...

M.A.Yusuf Ali is the helmsman of the Emke Group which owns Lulu. What you heard is probably an insidious rumour aimed at negating the achievements of the GlobalMallu, otherwise known as the PhenoMenon.

Anonymous said...

You are 32, what is keeping you from having a baby?

alpha said...

Phyncus and Lee, History of Lulu is being discussed with much enthu. Let me kow if it is jayalalitha..I cud get you guys some discount.

anon- 32??!!You are the meanest person I have ever not known. never heard of anyone round up ages to 32..even 30 is farfetched ok! Someone please kill him! Must be a her with a baby.jealous old woman!bah! secondly, email me separately and we'll discuss my reproductive system.

ass2006 said...

Hi, a nice blog you have here. You will surely get an bookmark :) Forum

lenscrafter said...

alpha, 'chuck the shoe' had me in splits. good blog !

alpha said...

ass2006- I thought u were extinct! Anti will kill me.

lenscrafter- Thanks!!!

anantha said...

Alpha: hmmm.. *presses a button under his air bed to open his secret stash of "tools". Chooses one and proceeds to slowly oil the moving parts.*
Mavale.. watch your back.. :p

anantha said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hi, First time here & thorougly enjoyed every word of almost all the posts. You have a way with words!:-))
Glad to see that the 'cook' from your bro's wedding has commented here - we live in interesting times :-)
-Vasu

alpha said...

Anti: All these tools and oil has got Vasu all confused that you were the cook for my brother's wedding.

Vasu: thanks a million. And yeah, Anti can only cook up bad song lyrics.

Mustang said...

I'll stick to Gangaprasad, Jamuna devi, Vithaleshwar, Kumari Godavari ...the name has to be dashing!

Samchit doesn't have the pun(ch) to it! How boring!

Quizman said...

alpha: Professor Potty? LOL. Never heard of him.

alpha said...

musty: i'll make sure you rkid is names one of the lovely choices you have. I am fine with those names.

quizman: You missed out!

Anonymous said...

Noooo Alpha! I was not confused with aNTi's words.. I was referring to 'Lenscrafter'... (hmm:-(, what does one do when a bad PJ (apparently) is not recognised? *sulks*)
Vasu

B o o said...

Alpha: Lenscrafter - Lens - Lunch -Cook. Shall we give THE award to Vasu now? And here we are bitching about guys not noticing the caps U in Udhavi! :)

Vasu, plese tell me this is what you meant!

Anonymous said...

Boo:-) Thank you, That's exactly what I meant! (no offence though, Mr./Ms. Lenscrafter!)
-Vasu

anantha said...

Boo: You have a thing with PJs. Mebbe you should become a consultant with Alpha here. We put all PJs here, Alpha goes blank and *bam* there you are, explaining it to her... Make sure you get paid well though :p

alpha said...

venu, boo: lololol! That was funny Vasu, You are completely my types. Regret not catching it earlier. Thanks Boo.

Anti: Not just me who goes blank..You do too. Boo is good at this. She shud get the award.

B o o said...

3 votes for me! Why was nt I nominated for the Indibloggies under "Best PJ cracking Blogger" category! Mebbe next year! ;)

Pallavi said...

Tell me about it :) am in the same boat.. LOL.. have friends all around.. with babies and having to deal with different dialogs about their states.. :) LOL its fun...

kuttichuvaru said...

actually, the way desi last names (esp. south Indian) are murdered by Americans, God help evryone!!! n now, if even the first names become this complicated, life is gonna be hell!!!