Yesterday, there was a message on the answering machine from someone called Manjiri. Normally I would have ignored any call from strangers . Must be one more person selling me credit cards or home loans – but Manjri? The name was too classy to be associated with someone who would call you at odd hours and pester you to take a loan. Though everyone says almost reflexively that oft abused statement, “what is in a name?” and feel good like they invented the phrase, names do carry their value at least for me. I find it impossible to be rude to people with names as sensitive as Charulatha, Chitralekha,Kalpana and Madhulika.
It is the same when it comes to ordering drinks. I invariably end up ordering something with a name like Green eye opener, Pink sunrise, Blue Sky, Electric lemonade or frozen passion without caring to see what it might contain.While you cannot force me to have even a drop of grasshopper or screwdriver - no, not even with a gun pressed to my temple!
And when it comes to desserts and sweets, while I am indifferent to the laddoos and Mysorepaks and Jalebis , it is entirely impossible when you offer me something with a name like champakali or abor khabo or rum n raisin,death by chocolate or wild n reckless.
Very highly creative minds must be working at naming these for the likes of dumb me. But there is a down side to this too. Names such as this tend to set the expectation level very high and can put off the customer if they do not live up to it. For example I would be more disappointed with a Manjiri selling loans or slimming capsules than if it were a Geetha or a Sudha.I would feel very cheated with Manjiri for not living up to her name.
My aunt tells me that I am not alone in this - she asked her son, my cousin, to buy snakegourd from the vegetable market. He refused to ask for something with a name as slimy as snake gourd. She tried persuading him with its Tamil name " Pudalangai". No go!! equally bad or may be worse! He saw her disappointment and tried to meet her halfway. May be it had abetter name in Hindi? She said "Chichinda." That was the final straw! she never got to eat her favorite pudalangai as long as he did the shopping!!!
Looks like this runs in the family!
4 Responses
  1. LOL Your poor aunt! I totally understnd that some names have certain associations or arouse certain expectations.

  2. WhatsInAName Says:

    That touched a raw nerve! Is it time for me to change my identifier? lol
    That brings me to one more question that has been nagging me since long - how many of us love the name we have been given by our parents?

  3. Usha Says:

    WIN: hahahaha. never thought someone with THAT ID will visit my blog! Youa re doing fine - keep it as it is!