I was born “Purva”, against much opposition. No, nobody had a problem with my being born but everybody had a problem with that name. Didoon(my maternal grandmother) preferred Shayanti, the dusk-born. Her wilful, first-born (my mum) imperiously thumbed it down with a “nobody will get it right and she will end up being Shanti”. Thamma (paternal grandmother) didn’t even bother to ask and went ahead and got “Chandana” carved on a pendant meant for me. So, Purva flaunted a Chandana around her neck for years while patiently explaining the nuances of her name.
In school I probably had the shortest name with the longest surname - Bhattacharya. A surname that transcended all barriers and margins in the attendance register, coupled with a short but tricky name. A new class, a new teacher and I would brace myself for the pregnant pause, the inevitable fumbling....Apoorva?......Purrrrr?.....Apoorbo? I would sigh dramatically and correct my teacher. Once our anglicized Geography teacher tried a heavily accented Pushpa with me, I almost hissed back at him. By Xth, I gave up and changed my name to Purba, it sounded much simpler. My friends playfully shortened it to Baa and spent the rest of the session searching high and low for a suitable Bapu for their Baa. I snootily turned down all suggestions.
Much later in life as a school teacher I met my namesake. Unfortunately for me, she was the most notorious girl of our school with a language so colourful that it would make even the senior boys blush. The icing on the cake was that she and I even shared the same birthday – I almost died of grief that day.
And now as a blogger there has been a role reversal, with me at the receiving end of names of the strangest kinds. Imagine a world, where pineapples can be lazy, forests that can dispense gyaan, elephants can fly and you are expected to engage in a serious debate with a Champaklal Bhogilal? It borders on surreal. It doesn’t stop here, hysterical-banshee, crouching-tiger-flying-owl, the-hippopotamus’s-crowning-glory, khadooskhatmal.....the list is long and relentless, as if the entire blogging community has ganged up against me to play a cruel joke. And more often than not, the names are longer than their comments. ChampeeCharminar says.....Haha...Thanks CC, glad I could make you laugh. And you are still not sure whether it’s your post that made him laugh or your reaction to THAT name. One of my dear friends has chosen to go French and calls himself Le Embrouille Blogueur. I still have no idea what it means and haven’t dared to ask either. My tongue goes into paroxysms every time I try to pronounce it and prefer sticking to a lame LEB.
After a deluge of such awe-inspiring names, Purba sounds almost commonplace now. It’s just too simple to type and almost everyone gets it right. And to make it worse I now have a surname which even a two year old can comprehend. I want a name that will make bloggers pee in their pants, have their fingers tremble in tension. Tantalizing names are playing hide and seek in my head – udaaschudail, dilettante-auteur, flying-monkey-on-a-moonless-night, Thambi’sRosy....
I am seeking help from the blogging world. Floor me, scare me, make my eyes pop with your insane suggestions.