Saturday, June 17, 2006

In the Name of the Father... Part II


Bengali names are among the most maligned topics on the Blogosphere (read this, for example!)... coming very close to the top-position holders viz. George W. Bush and food in engineering college hostels!
Hence, the entire act of naming a Bengali kid is so fraught with calamities that it veers between comedy and melodrama much too rapidly for the involved parties to have stable blood pressure. In any case, since at least one of the involved parties is holding the unnamed tyke within herself, there are - at least - a few dimensions more than what can be handled by human beings not featured in any of the X Men movies.

Firstly and lastly, Bengalis are suckers for tradition and symmetry. The first one is aptly demonstrated by Buddha-babu's glorious return to power. The second one needs some effort to prove...

So, all (okay, most!) Bengali siblings have rhyming prefixes or suffixes.
For example, my childhood football buddies included Arunabha & Arunasish and Subhojit & Bikramjit. (That these wonderfully rhyme-named scions of Bong-dom were nicknamed Goltu, Natu, Bishu and Bikki respectively is a completely different matter!).
Cricket trivia: India's most successful cricket captain has a brother called Snehasish. And their pet-names are Raj & Maharaj!

I have stopped counting the number of friends I have whose entire dynasties are named with the same letter of the alphabet.
When did I stop counting? When I was about four... and I realised that the ascending line of my dynasty went something like Diptakirti, Debapriya, Durgesh, Dwarakanath ad Divinium!

Which brings us to the original problem of finding a suitable name for the ten-fingered tadpole, scheduled to make an appearance in mid-September.
Attentive readers (and/or Mensa members) would recall that the basic premise is a name starting with D.
Well, my wife's blog nickname is The Pope and her blog is titled "I told you so...". Hence, she usually does not even question assumptions, she just rejects them!

I enter into gentle persuasion with her to convince her on the virtues of following family traditions. Considering that my entire family are iconoclastic mavericks, this is not an easy task.
Also, my own name comes up in the annual list of Top 100 Tongue Twisters without fail. So, the stereotype "D Names are unpronounceable" is rather difficult to break.

Then, to make matters worse - when she grudgingly accepts the basic premise and picks up the Penguin Book of Hindi Names, a slew of Duryodhana, Duhsashan, Dhritarashtra leap out at her. She screams, runs away and seeks refuge in Arjun, Rahul and Dhruv (hey, that's a D!).
(Note for future buyers of the book: It lists ALL Hindu names, not necessarily the ones you would want for your children. And considering, the entire Kaurava clan was D-ed, the probability of hitting one of the 100 siblings in the 17 pages of D is alarmingly high!)

Gradually, we arrive at broad clauses of the treaty:
1. K.I.S.S.
This is my wife's Theory of Competitive Examinations. This propounds that with the increasing degree of reservations, an upper-caste kid needs all the time it can get in a competitive exam and that means it needs to face as less time as possible in writing his own name!
Since I am convinced that's how Manas Das overtook me in JEE, I have to accept this meekly.

2. The name has to be unique. Or, at least close to it.
This is derived from my Kid-in-a-Playground Theory of Naming Children... which is to name children such that one scream of the name in a crowded area can isolate the desired brat uniquely.
The entire Yash Chopra pantheon of Raj-Rahul-Prem-Akaash gets eliminated by this.
And is suitably amenable to Theory 1 because there is no way on earth you shout Tridibendranarayan in one breath without needing asthma medication!

3. And of course, the name has to start with D.
This has been a rather difficult clause to incorporate as the entire African World Cup contingent has decided to arrive with names like Didier Drogba, Dindane and Dekalanga! Over and above the arguments presented above.

At the end of the confabulations (Wonder what it means? Sounds confusing, though!) we have not come any closer to zeroing on a name than we were thirty earlier. Only, more confused!

At the end of it, I think we will just pay Manhattan credit cards a royalty and use the name Dinku!

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