Sunday, July 16, 2017

184. What is in a name?

Shakespeare was dismissive of the importance of names when he asked, "What is in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." If he had been alive now, he would have known better. Imagine someone trying to send Osama Bin Laden(and not a rose) to his girl friend on the Valentine's Day. With the same smell, the results would be totally different.

Recently, I read the story of a marine engineer from Jharkhand who was finding it difficult to get a job, because he was named Saddam Hussain. Despite worse academic records, his peers got plum jobs in multi-national companies while he was left high and dry. The former Iraqi President was hanged long back, but his ghost continues to survive. Immigration authorities at any international airport would go into a tizzy at the mention of Saddam Hussain. They will do their best to satisfy themselves that the Iraqi dictator did not enter the person lock,stock,barrel and name.

When Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan named their son Taimur, there was a lot of hue and cry in social media. Those who had never read history in their school life searched internet to find out who Taimur was and decided that it was dangerous for the society to name someone Taimur. They found mere mention of the name ' Taimur' threatening and had the spectre of yet another invasion of their motherland.

In the matter of names, Americans seem to be much more adventurous than Indians. As per a report, American parents are increasingly giving intimidating names to their newborn babies. Danger, Arrow, Pistol, Arson, Gunner, Cannon, Trigger, Blade, Dagger, Chaos, etc. are some shining examples. Their babies may be the most innocent in the world, but their names are enough to scare anyone away. Imagine someone saying," I will visit your house tomorrow with Dagger."

I think, time has come to bring out two separate collections - one of the names to avoid and the other of names which inspire awe. Let us hurry up with these collections and make our choice before the recipient grows up and is in a position to protest.

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