Thursday, April 22, 2010

Holy be your Name !!!

“What’s in a name?

For a Rose with any other name would smell just as sweet…” blurted out Shakespeare

How wrong was he ? Names have such an important role to play in the daily scheme of things we encounter in our daily lives.

There is a theory on behavior patterns about familiarity. The famous proven experiment shows an animal behaving in a likely manner, in a conditioned atmosphere. See Pavlov.

We human’s aren’t any different. We are slaves of conditioning too. Familiarity, is a good thing, but can be a vice at times too. Sample this out – What if you went to smoke a butt at a local paan tapri, got all chatty with the guy selling paan-beedis, and happened to ask his name, and got an answer – “Hamaar naam, Ambani hai, Kishen Ambani !!” ????? Was that you raising a brow ? Or did you leave your mouth gaping wide open ??

Understand what I mean ?? Anyways we move away from stereo-types ! Let’s move to the wretched and the troubled.

Let’s move to my name !!!

They named me - “SOUMYA KANTA SINGH”. Right since birth. The name remains. The interpretations have changed and continue to do so.

I think I must have been a toddler when I asked my Mom, the meaning of my name. She’d said it’s another name for Lord Indra, the God of the skies. As I grew up, I realized there was no connection up there. Soumya – meant “Beauty” and Kanta – meant “master of/ husband of” (don’ t hate me yet, Shobha De, I bought your silly garb in paperbacks !!). The name coherently put, suggests “Beholder of the beautiful” !! I guess Mom, was either ignorant or too coy !!

Add the surname as “Singh” and you have got yourself into a royal mess boy !!! {“Oh jee tussi Punjaabi ho ? Nahin jee, Rajput hoon !! Rajput ? Khoon kitta tussi, Bakre ki Bali ditta tussi??”}

It was very early that I learnt the distinction of private and public schools. It was the way they pronounced my name. While in my formative years I was referred to as “Soumyaaa KantO” , I soon lost the extra vowel (be it “A” or “O” as if I cared !!) when I stepped into Sacrament. I was cool, I was hip, I was “Soumyakant”. Soumyakant, A la, Rajnikant, where the name stopped right at the “T” !!! I silently resolved to do away the extra “A” in my name, a resolution I still follow. However documentary evidence kept eluding me, Birth certificate, Voter card, Pass port…..all welcomed the “A” !!! Once a “KANTA” always a “KANTA” !!!

As we grew up, the names started to shorten. I was known as “Soumya” in my gang. The females in my gang, took to me really well, they pronounced my name with an elongated “yaaa” as in “Soumyaaa”. I was their best buddy, they felt comfortable around me, and one of them even asked me out for SHOPPING !!! Mom used to get bugged, every time one of them called on the telephone, “Aunty, Soumyaa achchi (around) ?? “ “His name is Soumyakanta” Mom would correct. I put the blame back on Mom. “You named me, remember ??? “

College days were even greater !! My circle developed notoriously as one of the most infamous groups in the city. They didn’t spare my name. Someone came up with a derivative, that I be called “Chumma” !!! I fail to translate this even now,

I mean, how can somebody explain SOUMYA  SOMA  SUMA  CHUMMA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They consoled me, they said it’s cute. I remember trying to hook up with a hottie, after winning the university badminton final. I was the champ, I had it all, I was working my way out, my magic was happening, she was falling for it, maybe she wanted to get along, who cares, she is hottt, whats my next move gonna be, “Chummaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” yelled my “friend” !! “POOF” she vanished !!!

College was great. The variations were nice. The middle name “Kanta” took a beating too. From the famous “Kaantaa Lagaaaaaa……………….” Till the Homo-phobic “Kantaa Ben” from the movie “Kal ho naa Ho”, I heard it all.

The professional life began. The NAME !! Yes the implications were amusing and disgusting.

I have lost count on the number of first-time-meetings I have walked into, and surprised the guys.

Yourself ?

Soumya, Soumyakant Singh, Human Resources.

Oh !!

(Oh what Motherfucker ??!! Say it out !!!)

“We were expecting a girl/lady by the name of Soumya !!”

(Ooohh, did I disappoint you?? just give me 5 minutes, I’ll quickly change into my fake boobies, and a cocktail dress, do a cabaret and then you can seduce me till death, you last breed of testosteroneosaurus !!!)

No worries, I get that a lot, lets resume, shall we Gentlemen ??

South Indians, generally gracious at names, had nice follies, “Somyeah Kanthhhh” or sometimes identified me as their own kin by calling “Swamykanthan”

Soumya, was a biiiiggg hactress in South India, do u know her Machaa ??” (Yes, and she is dead. Do u wanna meet her anytime soon??)

Bongs – “Shomo” “Somaa”.

“Shomokant Singh, what do you sing??” (I sing death metal, asshole, weird chants, and my next rendition shall be over your dumb-corpse)

Anyways, I end it here. I have never thought of an affidavit yet. My name gives me due and undue attention. Guess I have learned to live with it.

“Hallo, main Bharti AXA life insurance se bol rahi hun, meri baat Soumya Madam se ho sakti hai ??”

“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”