Thursday, July 7, 2011

Whats in a name?

Well, that depends on your name.

If your parents have named you Nirwa, then a lot.

So a lot of "new parents" are in search for a unique name for their precious child. Especially when you put up pictures of your "Prince" and "Princess" on Facebook, you must ensure that the name of your child is such that it garners comments like, "nice name!" from people you never wish you'd known.

I digress.

But not so long ago, when a little girl was born in a shady little dingy hospital in the lane of Ahmedabad, the overly joyous parents thought, let's give her a name which just rhymes with her sister's name. It doesn't really have to mean anything, but we'll indulge her by telling her that it is derived from some Sanskrit word. Of course, they said it with such conviction and confidence that the little girl believed them. In fact, she still believes them, and uses similar conviction and confidence to answer awkward questions by strangers, like, 'nice name, what does it mean?'.

But as they say, only those who've experienced it feel the pain.

Well, only when you are named Nirwa, do you understand the feeling when you get addressed as Mr. in all the mails. Its worse because your name is not even a unisex name, where you could give the benefit of doubt if the person has never heard your voice. (again, there are some girls who have manly voice and vice versa, so it'd be a lost case then.. ) So yes, I do get addressed as Mr. in a lot of mails.

And not just Mr. Nirav Mehta, but as Mr. NIRWA Mehta. I mean, really.

And then, there is the spelling. So, even when you read my name as Nirwa, see it in mail, or if you are writing it down, I spell it out for you.. so, despite all these efforts on my part, how hard is it for you to take down my correct spelling? It is NirWa and not NirVa. Ok?

I'd like to, however, mention that people are quite creative. Among other names that I've been given, some of them are..

NirMa (yea, you have no idea how hard it is being addressed as a detergent soap, i always want to sue my parents for that)

Niwas (hmm.. )

Nirwan (yea, i have no idea what it means, do they mean "nirvana"?)

Nirvana (no points for guessing that)

Niru (now, no offence meant, but I had an English teacher by that name, and never quite liked being called by the same name)

So yea, that's about it - these are the wrong names I've been addressed as.

But then, people who love me, call me Ninu, and they're allowed. :-)

So here is an advice - you may think that there's no big deal about names - but it's always nice to remember their names and address them with their correct names. Just because the other person is too polite to correct you everytime, doesn't mean you annoy the shit out of them. Also, if it's a joke, it just gets stale after sometime. It's not funny, and it's just annoying. I usually start ignoring you then.

Anyway, all that aside, it has finally rained in Ahmedabad. It rained as if God was making up for every hour the temperature here crossed 40 degrees.



Vish Santhakumar said...

Dudette (this way I don't sabotage your name :D), I can relate to this post very well. I have come across a lot of idiots who read my name (Vishnukanth) as "Vishwanath". So freaking irritating! And then there were the firangs, who started calling me "VISH-NO-CANT" :( That is when I decided to go monosyllabic!

As always very well written! I know I sound like a broken record but you are freakin' funny and awesome! Keep posting more of these! Cheers!!!

Jane-e-man said...

I can relate too...have spent half a lifetime explaining to people how to spell mine too. And coincidence...we have the same template! Great minds? :P

Nalin Mehra said...

MISS NIRWA...... ladki tu toh ekdum zabardast hai.. salutes.... waise mere saath bhi same problem hai name ka. ..Nalin is my name and ppl call me... anil, nanil, malin..... and wat not....