What’s in a Name?

1) Name Concatenation (Regional deviation for South Indian Names)

My own explanation for name concatenations is that people try to appease the Gods by naming their offspring after them. Alas, the ratio between Number of children produced: Number of Gods they love is seldom 1:1. So, to appease all the Gods and themselves, they give the hapless one all the names rolled into one.

My Grandfather was an extremely pious man – I still remember him to be one of those people who was constantly chanting the name of God. An altruistic philanthropist, his love for God was imminent in the names he bestowed on his children. But he had too many Gods to please and the younger ones bore the brunt of taking on more name baggage. Why else would my youngest uncle be saddled with a name like Siva-Rama-Krishnan Kalyanam-Iyer?! (Because Shankara, Srinivasa, Subramania and Narasimha Gods were all duly honoured. By the time the 9th child was born, it was probably clear that 3 more boys may be a bit of a difficult target, and he settled for “Siva-Rama-Krishnan” instead.)

Apart from the aforementioned sons, he had 4 daughters, who he named as *Lakshmi. The Goddess smiled at his gesture, and gave him his daughters-in-law named bearing the remaining *Lakshmi names. So, we had 9 *Lakshmis in the immediate family –

(Santha, Maha(2 in number), Vijaya, Subbu, Raja, Seetha, Muthu, Jaya) * Lakshmi

2) Pretty Names

I, for one was hoping my sister would have three daughters, because I loved the names of 3 pretty sounding chemical names in my Chemistry lesson when she was pregnant.
Oceana, Galena & Publica“, I proclaimed, “would be their names”. She could call the first one, “Oshi”! I have spent many an enjoyable afternoon taunting her with these names. It must have been at this juncture that she fervently prayed for a boy instead of giving her children horrendous chemical names! Thankfully, I matured out of this phase before my own daughter was born!

3) Names inspired by Someone/Something

The successful character in the Novel you read, that sweet daughter of a friend – they all play a role. During the time we were selecting my brother’s name, I was actively involved in the process. I would bring to the dinner table all names I fancied. The name of my classmate who was kind, the name of my best friend, the one who caught a worm – anybody!

Tony“, I proclaimed one night. The truth was Tony had lent me a sharpener that day, and I saw no reason why anybody would not want to name my brother “Tony”. Aforementioned pious Hindu grandfather’s son got a jolt, and the name was dropped!

4) Rhyming Names

If you do want rhyming names for your children, would you need to take that aspect into consideration while naming the first child, or would it be a consideration when naming the second one? In any case, it does sound nice when sisters tell you their names are “Savitha & Kavitha” or “Archana & Aradhana”

Point to Ponder: How do you know which one is being referred to when parents bellow the whole name? Probably not prudent to question the foghorn at this juncture. The wiser thing to do would be to wait for the next broadcast before responding would be my guess!

5) Crocodile Names

There are more ways than 1 to get creative while naming children. My greatfather, decided to play the Crocodile game while naming his offspring:

Sethuraman
Ramakrishnan
Krishnaswamy
Swaminathan

Ah well….what’s in a name?

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A New Genre in the Footwear Industry

Boots, Clogs, Lace up (Oxford Style & Derby Style), Mocassin, Mule, Sport Sandals, Casual Sandals, Monks, Pumps, Sport shoes – running shoes, tennis shoes and sneakers. To this impressive list, I have the honor of adding a new genre. The latest entry into the footwear world is trend-setting, and multi-functional. I chanced on this model quite by accident. For people seeking asymmetry and anatomical variations for ideal fit, this model is surprisingly scalable and what is more, one size fits all!

Ladies & Gentlemen: Welcome the PLASTIC COVER!!

My prized discovery stems from an act of nonchalance. I had decided to wear a pretty pair of slippers to work that eventful day. I was waiting for my train to arrive, while I toyed with a pebble on the platform. I decided to clear the platform of this menace by kicking it onto the tracks. Not only did I get the pebble out of the way, I also sent my slipper along for company. I watched the trajectile motion of the slipper before it landed with a dull thump on the tracks over 10 feet below. The innocent pebble seemed to mock me from below – I ignored it’s daunting gaze, and willed my slipper to climb back on.

Things were happening fast now – my train pulled into the platform, and I was forced to hobble into the train with one foot in a slipper. At this juncture, I can describe exactly how prized asses must feel: there is a tingling sensation in the barefoot, the body tilts at 10 degrees, ears flush and cheek colouring approaches crimson. Add to this, the exclamations from well-dressed commuters in Business attires and embarrassment is replete!

Well meaning co-commuters were questioning how I had managed a thing as daft as throwing out my own slipper. Fellow passengers who had witnessed the event at the station volunteered with more information for those not within hearing distance of my own explanation. Let’s just say I blushed all the way home! Some people even advised me on the pragmatic use of shoes with laces!

As my station approached, I was touched by the number of people who offered me a ride home. One lady offered me a sock that she had bought that day. I politely declined the offer. Soon, I was presented with the perfect solution – the plastic cover. “At least, you won’t step on gum!” as one commuter put it! This plastic cover requires no frills – only a pant under which to tuck the cover so that it does not slip off.

Speed and dexterity are minor compromises to be endured in this model. That apart, I sailed home like a sailboat on a perfectly windless day!

Whale Watching


We had been to Point Reyes (a point on the scenic Pacific Coast in California, where whales are spotted with relative ease). However, the highlight of the visit turned out to be cows! The one-year old Fauna Research Crew Head in our team was fast asleep, exhausted from the long drive there, and her Grandmother practically had a hyper-tension attack everytime she missed another 4-legged creature. Normally, my mother is not excited enough to steer all conversations towards cows, if she chances upon a couple of them sitting by the roadside.

Every time an individual reacts in a certain way, there should have been a Cause i.e. the Cause-Effect Phenomenon. As it turns out, the reason for the exalted proclamations on seeing cows was an innocent visit to the Zoo a few weeks earlier. We had endeavoured to show our little daughter 3-dimensional creatures, since she loves the 2-D versions of these that she sees in her picture books and Baby Einstein DVDs. We planned a day to the Zoo, and arrived there with a Picnic hamper full of Goodies, and had a hearty meal before embarking on the Zoo tour. We practised the Lion’s roar, and the Elephant trumpet for good measure.

Four enthusiastic adults accompanied the toddler into the Grand Zoo. We had been to the sprawling Zoological Gardens in Mysore & Hyderabad, and my parents were eagerly looking forward to this visit. We went in, and saw the following animals:
1) Cow – 1 number
2) Donkey – 1 number
3) Horse – 1 number
4) Goats – 5 numbers
5) Sicilian Donkey – 1 number
6) Parrots/Tropical Birds – 5 numbers
7) Jaguar – 1 number (The only “Zoo-worthy” animal as my Father would say!)
8) Some Squirrels (I couldn’t bother counting them **BORED FACE**)


By the above standards, every street corner in India was a Zoo! We had been to a Petting Zoo (I figured that out later of course!)

So, when my parents saw cows minding their own business and grazing quietly, they could not stomach the fact that we paid to see 1 cow, while this many cows were there for no fee. Thankfully for them, the little one got up, and drank in the scene! She even had the good fortune of seeing a newborn calf that day.

I would have been happy if they had saved their enthusiasm for spotting Whales at Point Reyes – but Female Whales or Mother Whales are called Cows, so I’ll just have to settle for that!!

Whale Watching


We had been to Point Reyes (a point on the scenic Pacific Coast in California, where whales are spotted with relative ease). However, the highlight of the visit turned out to be cows! The one-year old Fauna Research Crew Head in our team was fast asleep, exhausted from the long drive there, and her Grandmother practically had a hyper-tension attack everytime she missed another 4-legged creature. Normally, my mother is not excited enough to steer all conversations towards cows, if she chances upon a couple of them sitting by the roadside.

Every time an individual reacts in a certain way, there should have been a Cause i.e. the Cause-Effect Phenomenon. As it turns out, the reason for the exalted proclamations on seeing cows was an innocent visit to the Zoo a few weeks earlier. We had endeavoured to show our little daughter 3-dimensional creatures, since she loves the 2-D versions of these that she sees in her picture books and Baby Einstein DVDs. We planned a day to the Zoo, and arrived there with a Picnic hamper full of Goodies, and had a hearty meal before embarking on the Zoo tour. We practised the Lion’s roar, and the Elephant trumpet for good measure.

Four enthusiastic adults accompanied the toddler into the Grand Zoo. We had been to the sprawling Zoological Gardens in Mysore & Hyderabad, and my parents were eagerly looking forward to this visit. We went in, and saw the following animals:
1) Cow – 1 number
2) Donkey – 1 number
3) Horse – 1 number
4) Goats – 5 numbers
5) Sicilian Donkey – 1 number
6) Parrots/Tropical Birds – 5 numbers
7) Jaguar – 1 number (The only “Zoo-worthy” animal as my Father would say!)
8) Some Squirrels (I couldn’t bother counting them **BORED FACE**)


By the above standards, every street corner in India was a Zoo! We had been to a Petting Zoo (I figured that out later of course!)

So, when my parents saw cows minding their own business and grazing quietly, they could not stomach the fact that we paid to see 1 cow, while this many cows were there for no fee. Thankfully for them, the little one got up, and drank in the scene! She even had the good fortune of seeing a newborn calf that day.

I would have been happy if they had saved their enthusiasm for spotting Whales at Point Reyes – but Female Whales or Mother Whales are called Cows, so I’ll just have to settle for that!!

Shake Shake Shake-a-shake Shake Shake

Caution: This article may contain details that could offend the shakers in our midst. If you are really passionate about shaking your legs – proceed with caution.

What is with shaking one’s limbs? I was on the same seat as a born “shaker” the other day, and I landed up getting motion sickness (not from the motion of the train)

Shake Shake Shake-a-shake Shake Shake
Shake Shake Shake-a-shake Shake Shake

I was trying to read a book, but the whole seat was reverbrating with the shaking legs.

I walk into a meeting, and find a person bobbing up and down while merrily shaking his legs! I am unable to shake this thought out of my mind while sharing the same room with them. My mind wills me to hold their legs and stop them from shaking, but decorum demands I ignore it.

There are different kinds of leg shaking too:
(a) The vertical spring shake: This shake has the shaker bobbing his leg up and down, while vigourously shaking the chair, and occasionally the table too.

(b) The horizontal sweep shake: This shake has the shaker freely moving their leg from left to right, with each knee moving away from each other and then, toward each other again.

(c) The cross-legged foot shake: This shaker has the shaker sitting cross-legged, and only shaking the foot of the leg on the upper leg.

Of the categories above, the most engaging kind of shaker is the horizontal sweep shaker, in my opinion. You sit next to this person, and you are constantly sizing up the distance between your leg and the farthest point in the shaker’s pendulum-like swing with the corner of your eye. You need to be prepared to move your legs swiftly if the situation demands it, right?

But, just look at a person intently shaking their legs, and you will notice that they seem to be enjoying their routine quite a bit – Well………………one of these days, my alter ego is going to pop out, and stop those shaking legs!!!