Moments of Truth

That every day we face. And being honest about it!

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Location: Monroe Twp, New Jersey, United States

TeeBee for many, Manthru for some, Sunny for a few, Myna for selected, Suresh for record. Hailing from Thrissur of Kerala and now lives (read survives) in Monroe Twp, NJ with wife and daughter.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

What's in a name?

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. "
-William Shakespeare

Suresh is a common name in India. I always wondered why did my parents chose this name when there were at least two other immediate relatives with the same name. Probably I found it incomplete that you are seeing it now as Suresh Thundathil Bhaskaran. That makes sense. Isn't it?

There was a time in Kerala where children were named after the first few letters of their parents. I had read an article once on what it could be if this theory was followed for the children of Lohithakshan and Rinu or Pushpangadhan and Kalyani. Some of the combinations would surely make you laugh!

Suresh, I believe, means Easan (Lord) of Surans (Devas). There is a conflict in who actually is the Lord (well, at least for me). Is it Indran (King of Devas) or Siva or Vishnu? I was told that it is Siva, the destructor in the trinity of Gods (Vow! Its there in Hinduism too). Interestingly, my brother's name is Girish (Lord of Hills) which again is Siva. So what was the point in choosing two Sivas in the same house?

I have been nick named Unni (means small) which again is popular in Kerala's homes. Some of my friends started calling me Dinkan (after the super power cartoon character in one of the monthly publishings for the kids). The reason could be that I was there for them whenever they needed me, which was the most celebrated virtue of the character. I remember an incident when I traced the character to hold my name and address in a box (drawn) for my composition notebook. It was widely accepted that the notebooks had to be clean and neat without any unwanted writings but surprisingly my class teacher did allow it and that was a welcome gesture from her part which I remember even now (obviously).

Some of my friends call me TB (TeeBee) after my initials. Some of them expand it to Tuberculosis or Text Book. It used to be a common practice in school days to make it the most intriguing one. Frankly I loved the nick names as it added a personal touch. It was Sunny in Madras during my post graduation period where a limited but big set called me by name Manthru (short for Manthravadi, a sorcerer or wizard). When Sunny was discovered by adding the vast number of Sun machines to my nick name Unni, Manthru was given by one of my seniors by seeing me bare chested with a Rudraksha chain and a red lungi.

In Dubai, the name was Myna in my friends circle. Myna is a small bird usually found in Kerala. The reason why this name came is because there used to be a chapter in one of the elementary schoolbooks which goes as:

"Kla kli klooo...Evide ninnana sabdham? Suresh thirinju nokki".
(Kla kli kloo..where did that sound come from? Suresh looked back!)

These were the first few lines of the chapter that described the bird and Suresh was a character in it. It feels good to have your name on books you follow or learn. That exactly was the reason why my friends remembered it.

Whatever name was given, I took pride in the closeness I felt by hearing it. Be it friends or colleagues or relatives, it was good to hear them calling specific, not very common, names.

My daughter was named Sruthi Lakshmi (inspired by the ashta, means eight, lakshmi temple inMadras that has 8 different versions of Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity). And it was a consensus to pacify my paternal and maternal sides as both of my grandmother's name is Lakshmi. But now she does not respond to that name as she is given another name Minnu (that glitters).

Names can reflect on your character. It would be difficult to show a character that is against the meaning of your name. Although it happens quite often on the opposite way, if given right explanations to a child, a name can make great changes in their life. Many take pride in their names. In giving unique names to their children and even homes. It influence your selections. Be it a vehicle brand or spouse.

There is something to a name! Shakespeare must be wrong!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right. Something is there in a name. I had the opinion of Shakespaear, when I was searching a name for my younger daughter.They need the name for some official purposes, that too in a hurry. I was like " What is in a name" when my relatives ask me "Oh,,this is a common name, Why did you give this name"my answer is"oh , what is in a name, we can change whenever we wants to". But, changing is a name is that easy as we have to pass through a no:of procedures. There is something in a name..

2:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the surname warier always fascinated me,,,,am one of the survivors of the punjaparmabil house,,,,granpa was neelakanta warrier,,,tried tracing my roots but its next to impossible,,,,the familys spread thinner than butter on a dieters slice of bread....n married into menons iyers namboodiris,,funny surnames all,,typical keralite, typical diversity.

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can you give me a call?I am your class mate in Aryampadam Sarvodayam School.My name is Asharaf-My cell no:94000 18000

1:40 AM  
Blogger Myna said...

I called you on Sunday Dec 5th. The cell was switched off.

10:05 AM  
Blogger well... someone.. said...

Hi anonymous my granpa (dad's dad)was also neelakanta warrier of punjaparambil house from chalakudy if am not mistaken... and my granma was papi amma someone,, some link there??

10:35 AM  

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