Saturday, July 24, 2010

What's there is a name?

When Shakespeare asked this, little did he realise that ages later we would have a variety of replies - rather retort - to his question.

Remember Amir Khan as the adorable 'Ranchordas Shamaldas Chanchad' in 3 Idiots. Of course his character is strong but so is the recall value of his name in the film. And again, this week's release Khatta Meetha starring Akshay Kumar has a very uncommon name to his character - Sachin Tichkule. In all the promos, he stands out shouting his name, which acts like a brand value for the film.

Decades ago, we had Amitabh Bachchan as Vijay in almost all his films and Salman Khan as the chocolate boy Prem in at least a dozen of his films.

Today our name works like a trademark of sorts. Whatever name we carry will be our trademark for entire lives. Hence, new-age parents spend hours on internet to find a unique name for their child. Similarly in popular culture including films, TV serials, advt, comics or novels the names of characters help in brand/product recall. Would you every forget Lalitaji from Surf Advt or Ba and Mihir after watching Kyuki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. Same is the case with Ranchordas Shamaldas Chanchad and Sachin Tichkule.

When I was growing up in the 90's most of my classmates and cousins were named Pooja, Shweta, Poonam, Payal, Ruchika, Megha, Kriti, Ashish, Rachna, Arun, Abhishek etc. But today my nephew’s classmates bear names like Navya, Siona, Agni, Geet, Vitul, Shreshth, Pariket, Himaghna etc

And it doesn’t end here. The pets too are named differently. Gone are names like Tommy, Jacky, Tiger  for doggies, New-Age pooches flaunt glamorous names like Jake, Goldie (my neighbour’s pet), Snoopy (that's a friends pet) even Rachel. And hey my fish have snooty names too, I call the orange shoal Blossoms and the black one Patice.

Actually, it’s all a part of the society being more conscious of their image - how we look, how people speak about us etc. This includes right dressing, right mannerisms, right schooling... and bearing the right name is actually the first step in this process.

So here goes to our new-age sensibilities and new-age names.

6 comments:

Pals_The Writer said...

Interesting post! You have a sharp
mind to observe the intricate details of life. Keep up. Just correct the name: It's 'Aamir' Khan. ;-)

Yojana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yojana said...

Thank you, thank you madam. Will correct it :)

aarkay said...

Of course there is much to and in a name. It is a modern day fad to have uncommon names. The names like Nachiketa and Angad are lift straightway from mythology- sometimes the bearer not knowing the meaning or the significance nof his/her name.We play havoc with the names by adopting odd spellings in the name of well being on the suggestion of some numerologists or some other experts. Long back , Ram, Lal , Chand etc were a staple suffix to most of the names meant for a male child .Devi or Vati was invariably suffixed to the name of a girl. Our cows and oxen were named like Rato , Kajli, Banu, Kajlu , Gora etc etc.
A very nice write up !

aarkay said...

Of course there is much to and in a name. It is a modern day fad to have uncommon names. The names like Nachiketa and Angad are lifted straightway from mythology- sometimes the bearer not knowing the meaning or the significance of his/her name.We play havoc with the names by adopting odd spellings in the name of well being on the suggestion of some numerologists or some other experts. Long back , Ram, Lal , Chand etc were a staple suffix to most of the names meant for a male child .Devi or Vati was invariably suffixed to the name of a girl. Our cows and oxen were named like Rato , Kajli, Banu, Kajlu , Gora etc etc.
A very nice write up !

NITYIN said...

Talking of names, I too was not happy with my name while growing up back in the 80s. First there were hardly any boys in the class/school with the name Nitin. Secondly my name was grossly pronounced as Nitan!!. Now Nitin and Nitan makes hell of a difference.. Those were the days when cricket had started influencing our young minds and Dilip Vengsarkar was my favorite batsman, I too changed my name to Dilip which later was struck down by my parents. :-)

Now with kids, my daughter is named Kaveri and son Divit. Always wanted to name daughter on a river's name. Girls should be free flowing like a river and Divit is named after his grand dad which means Amar (Immortal)

BTW, a vamp in a TV serial was named Kaveri then. I do not watch TV so was not aware but faced a lot of opposition when naming my girl. Fortunately my wife stood by me in my moment of 'crisis'.

There is a lot to names and it's sure not an easy task!