Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What's in a name anyway?

It is not my favourite novel but somehow on those " 10 minute flicking the pages of a book mood" days,its the only one that I reach out for. I find the movie based on the novel interesting too.Good direction,good performers and good story though for the fact that the novel wasn't a huge success.I feel that The Namesake tells the story of every Indian and I reconnect with the book as soon as this topic of discussion comes over at dinner table.

The Sridhar family dinner involves everyone's involvement( It bewilders me how we manage to get a morsel of food inside us when all that we do is talk).So as my dad calls Mallu and Juja(snigger!!) for dinner I reason with him the way Gogol did with his dad....

Ok fine; Mallu!; I can bear with it but Juja ?How does Gautam not get embarrassed about it?

And my dad with a twinkle in his eyes lists off the numerous names that he likes to call me as- Mal,Mallak,Mallik, etc etc, and adding that I was really lucky to have so many fond names when my poor brother has only one.

To add insult to injury my mother laughs and tells me how I was going to be named Aashima( you see how much involvement the book has in my life).My uncle stopped her from doing so( she was heavily influenced by buddhism at that point of time) for he felt it rhymed with arshi mav and dosai mav (rice batter and dosa batter in tamil) and would become a topic of joke later on in life.

He saved me a great deal ,but my ordeal continues.


  • I'm pelting out great numbers,the band supporting me totally rocks,the crowd is mesmerised with the music and once the curtains fall and I begin to exit the stage,I hear those familiar sounds which make me feel like crawling to the depths of the earth.The ' Mallu' rantings and cheering which form a part of my wildest dreams come true here.The same happens as soon as my theatre act gets over.
  • During submissions when friends 'accidentally' address me as 'Mallu' in front of the professors who look around in a bemused fashion for the person with the funny name and the concerned has vanished out of sight.
  • No wait! the name is not restricted to friends,classmates.batch mates,professors,wardens or practically the entire college. My friends' boyfriends call me as such and as for their parents, they don't even know what my real name is!
  • The cute guy checking out scenario is full on and just when you feel that, well ; maybe you are getting the attention, it is busted up, as your pal shouts out 'Mallu' at the top of her lungs for the entire place to hear.The only thing that strikes you at that moment is to stare at your knees and avoid the bewildered,funny and scandalized glance of that cute guy.End of seduction one-o-one as Gogol rightly puts it.

and I am not the only one who faces this. All those who have the 'u' suffixes attached to their names- the Divu's,Nitu's,Deepu's,Neeru's,Adu's,Siddhu's etc etc. or all those who have purely laughable pet names like Ladoo( the poor guy had a smug expression whenever he was addressed as such) or Pappu( my dear cousin who always got irritated when his mother called him so. His brother got back at me by calling me Malli- Palli(lizard in tamil)) or well, Golden( yes it's hilarious for a guy.I would have cried my eyes out had it been me).A man of my grandfather's age introduced me to his middle aged son,as Duku(though his name is Ganesh).Since then I call him Duku uncle.
...and so the saga continues for many.I don't know whether they like it.I put up with it.The only fond name that I am so fond of is the one given by the person who gave me my name - my grandfather.I love it because he always calls me' Mallika' and I love it when he calls me his Chum Chum .

11 comments:

neon said...

malli pallii.........................................................................a good article but you have so cheated it from me .To check out the original post and more exciting and better than M-grade(stands for mallika)posts check out neon-my blogg.blogspot .com

Richa said...

nice article dear!!
keep up the good work
mallu
:)

shipra said...

hmm.. rightly said about NICK names... finally hav penned down this irresistible urge dat u had to write about it... n yea u dont hav to take any permission from me.... its ur blog use any word as u wish to..
happy writing

mallika said...

thank you! thank you!....just thought a little something might have..hmmm

mallika said...

Richa... after all this mallu again???? :@

mallika said...

and Gautam....I have nothing to say to you..buzz off

anusuya said...

u know no matter watsoever u say..ther is some definete significance in a name.for example ur case if i dont call u mallu , there is some problem between us..so accept it.by da way u ll never b stopped being addressed as mallu..
nyc article i mean i m impressed wd ur writing abilities,u r gud.too gud..keep up da gud work..

bhanu said...

the name,"Golden" aint hilarious..though d one named might be....i was christened,'golden' cuz o ma golden mane wen i had come 2 existence...n i usd to luk lika baby monkey at dat point o tym...had ma mum hav named me 'bandar' or sumthin,i wudn't hav complained either...d female who tuk all d pains happily to give birth to a nine pound,golden haired baby, had all d rights to name him,whatsoeva she wantd to...so m golden sinc birth n till death..ma mother created me so did she wid ma name..soi love 2 b calld 'golden'...whaz dere in d name neway?

mallika said...

Oh I didnt mean it as an offence Bhanu...And yes your mother has all the right to name you as such..It does become irritating sometimes for my name.. though thats my perspective...and you do know that the golden phenomenon has become an integral part of our lives right[;)] so really im sorry if you felt bad..

bhanu said...

haha...haha..darr gaye mallu...
no,it dint offend me...n as a matter o fact,u r gud at writin..keep up d gud wrk...

mallika said...

baaki bhi padh le yaar...grt I have an avid reader..thanks dude!!!