Is it possible to find a single soul in this world who is completely in awe of his own name? Find me one, my hats off to him.. most people will claim they don’t know how or why they got the name, ‘Ask my parents’ is the most repeated response. It’s not strange, considering most names, even simple ones can be construed as something totally different when translated into some strange language like Swahili, for instance, so, what should the poor parents do? Name the kid a number 45678, just to be completely safe? Or sit with a dictionary and translate each name into 100 other tongues to be sure, don’t think the parents of Hardik* or any of the HAroons* ever did that, did they?
And so the naming saga continues. Even the folks with seemingly innocuous names don’t seem to be too happy about them.Ask one Mr Alok Agarwal*( who happens to become Alex,Agro, Alag or Alu courtesy rechristening at various points in time, by hapless individuals struggling to twist their tongues around his common name ), for when some people could really read his name fully and correctly, as at the immigration points, was greeted with a stern warning” Doubtful case, do not proceed” . So considering that there are at least a 1000 Alok Agarwal’s in this part of the world alone, the perils of too common a name begin to surface too soon.Not to forget the many Osamas* habiting the other worlds. What can the poor chappies do, now that they are stuck with a combination that seemed innocent then, but is now proving to be so deadly that it is greeted with the greatest of trepidation?
Maybe they could change a couple of things, like the spelling somewhat. The clever newspaper ads are doing this all the time, I regularly see ( and actually read , yes , I do, not surprising considering I hope to get a Ph.D. on names and naming practices ) notices on the lines of “I” “Mrs. Krishna” am now to be called “Mrs. Krishnaa”. Yes, we got the “an”additional point, but it may not help much if other vile Krishna’s did the same.
Other possibilities spring to mind. How about adding a Kumar, to make an “Alok Kumar Agarwal’AKA “AKA”. Again that may not exactly work, as there may be a sizeable number of such AKAs floating around, much more than desired. An inclusion of Junior /Senior’ is possible, but again, it may seem too exotic to find an “ Alok junior Agarwal”, and hence impossible to ignore, and may, therefore, elicit unwanted questions about lineage etc. Who wants to open those Pandoras boxes now …
So, finally one last try, why not borrow a leaf from the female books and add a double- barrel to the name, both for effect and exclusivity. Since the probability of finding an “Alok Agarwal- Mohanrao” may be close to one in a zillion, it brings the advantage of sailing past all the immigration/police/customs what have you checkpoints, faster than you can say the name, tongue- in -cheek. And if the name itself were an issue, you could always display the marriage certificate, as the female members of the species do, uncomplainingly. We are in the 21st century, after all, and a woman is,( in theory or on paper at least) equal to a man. So by corollary, a man could be equal to the woman as well.
Happy birthday, Mr AAM**
* Names changed to protect identity
Haroon- means I lose ( Hindi)
**AAM in Hindi means mango also means common