What the great Bard said is true, the rose by any other name would smell as sweet. However, if the quote is turned around or applied to human beings, would it prove equally true? I mean, is it necessary that a person by the name Rose would display a rosy disposition? In reality, it could be more thorny than anything else!
This name-person equation may not balance in every instance. In fact, it is often seen that the chemistry of a person’s nature does not gel well with his/her name. We have a proverb in vernacular which roughly translates as ‘Gold in the name and brass bowl in hand’.
In olden times naming a newborn was pretty easy – take hold of all the Gods (and there are many) and their names (these are a lot more than many) and randomly distribute them amongst the off-springs of the family. Thus, whatever might be their differences in mythology, all the various Gods and Goddesses used to happily co-exist under one roof.
So far so good. But there is also a flip side to it (as mentioned earlier). There could be a human Saraswati who is angutha-chhap (illiterate) or there could be a human Sri Ram, who is ‘famous’ for his roving eye (Saraswati is the Goddess of learning and knowledge and Lord Sri Ram is known as Ek patni vratastha or one-woman man).
Maharashtrians (probably also a few others) have a wedding ceremony custom regarding name. Here marriage is considered as a new birth of a woman and so, along with her surname, even her first name is also changed during the ceremonies. So recently when we old classmates formed a WhatsApp group, the changed names caused some sort of comedy of errors. Many share the same first name, then it went something like – Which Anjali is this? The one who was Anjali before her marriage or the one who became Anjali after her marriage? Many a times it so happens that even after changing the name, the old maiden name stays stuck for life time. Not only that, the husband who so nicely wrote (during wedding) a new name on a platter of rice grains with a ring, continues to call her by her maiden first name.
Like the mythological names of olden times, each era has its own favourite names. Once (more than two decades ago) I heard my son’s school teachers discuss in exasperated tones, “You know, I’ve five Nehas in my class,” The second one, “That’s nothing, if I call out ‘Abhishek’, then half of the boys stand up….” Such is the popularity of Mr. Big B. I think, presently Ishan, Vivaan, Ivaan and not to forget, Aryan, are making rounds.
The pet names and nick names each have a story of their own…but, I should not try the patience of the readers, in the #Name of prompt, right?
Linking to IndiSpire Edition 189: #Name.