Sunday, April 19, 2015

Nicknames that got stuck

In public life we come across  a very large number of people , but some of them remain etched deep in  memory , either due to their peculiar habits or  the words that they  frequently and repeatedly use and utter , day in and day out , sometimes even out of  the context. In my service  career spanning  exactly thirty five years , I have  also come across such  types  and am  amused to think  of them . I started my career in a Commercial Bank and during the seven odd years I spent there, had  two or three such  colleagues. A colleague, with  leadership  qualities ingrained  in him,  in conversation  frequently used the word  ‘Karamchari ‘ so much so that  he came to be addressed as  ‘Karamchari’ , his real name relegated  to the background. Another colleague   who’s    takia qalaam  was   ‘I  don’t  bother ‘ , soon   saw  himself being called   ‘ bother mull ’ . When  an officer  named  Moksh  joined , someone   suggested that perhaps he had mis-spelt   his name , which should have been  Mukesh . When I said that the name  Moksh  was correct and the word   meant   ‘salvation ‘,  the name  ‘Mr.Salvation’  got stuck to him.

Later when I joined Government service, such instances  appeared again. In my tenure  at Pooh in tribal district of Kinnaur, I found that  an official  was referred  to as  “Matung” .It transpired that the official was a  teetotaler and once in a gathering , when a drink was offered , he said   ‘matungse’  meaning- I donot drink. But the word  got stuck as his nickname.A maternal uncle of mine came to be referred  to as   ‘ Na  Ji  Na’ as this was the  phrase he repeatedly used. A  service colleague of  my father was  known as ‘Bhai ji ‘   due to frequent use of this  word by him  while addressing others. One can add on and on  ,though these are some  glaring examples. 

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