Saturday, March 6, 2010

Only For a Name

“ What is in a name? ”, said William Shakespeare and went on to add that called by any other name , the rose would smell as sweet. I am afraid not many would agree with him today, because there is every thing in a name and as they say in Hindi- Naam bikta hai.

Take any thing- from a toothbrush to an expensive car - the manufacturers vie with one another to woo the customer and coax him/her into purchasing the product through massive advertisements and publicity campaign. Little wonder then that in any production house or manufacturing concern, a sizable amount of budget is kept aside for advertisement and publicity, as without this the amount spent on R & D will not be able to produce the desired results in terms of sales and returns.

We have seen names of places being changed sometimes on well founded historical, cultural or religious reasons. So we have seen Bombay being changed to Mumbai, Calcutta to Kolkata, Madras city to Chennai , Madras state to Tamilnadu. Pondicherry to Puducherry, Trivendrum to Thiruananthapuram ………….so on and so forth. In case of my hometown, there was a smooth transition from the “British” Simla to Shimla- the way it is spelt and sounds in Hindi.

But of late or rather for quite some years now, some people, especially celebrities , on the advice of some experts-astrologists and numerologists have developed a fad for new spellings for their names , by inserting a letter or two to the name or surname, as the case may be. So we have Sonu Nigam preferring to be called Sonu Nigaam , Shobha De calling herself Shobhaa De. No doubt we have names spelt as Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra etc etc. What boost has their changed name given to these celebrities in terms of success and well being, only they can tell.

In my school days , I once planned to go for more fashionable “ Romesh ” instead of the very common “ Ramesh "- a la an actor of Hindi cinema. But as it turned out, our Hindi teacher , known for his sense of humour once talking casually out of context held " Ramesh " to be OK as Rama + eesh could mean Shiv or Vishnu and added that “ Romesh " split into Rom + eesh could only mean a bear or a Bhaloo- with a body covered with hair , as " Rom " in Hindi means a strand of hair. This made me stick to the name “ Ramesh " however old fashioned or common it appears !


  1. defitely musing. I could not help smiling !

  2. Great Sir... Just today saw this and am impressed..
    Keep it up sir.