please note: all and sundry that "MY NAME IS SONAL" Confused?You see I began with "james bond", "khan" to remind you the importance of a name.A name is so important to the person whose name it is atleast.. We all remember these dialogues.. Dale carnegie has also written about great leaders becoming greater by remembering the names of little people( I dont mean khali will become greater by remembering mahatma gandhi's name-but then you get my idea I guess) . A name is the sweetest sound to a person's ears( especially if being announced for lottery wins or some awards) A name is your unique identity.. You see that's the sound one begins to hear when one 1st starts hearing.. So one prefers to hear it the way it is and not the way others want to pronounce it! Aha!finally she comes to the point.. My name was recently announced at an official venue by a learned female doctor as " doctor shonali" . I thought it was for some doctor from kolkata centre and I remained seated for 1min..When she repeated shonali with other specifications & I got up for that official work(determined to correct her pronunciation once the work was over).It got over within seconds and the lady doctor announced my name as "doctor shonaali"blah blah blah... i wondered what my dad sitting outside is thinking.. Is this my daughter who has been able to finish her work or some dusky damsel from bengal has done so instead of my darling daughter?? As i walked outside other medicos congratulated me " shonaali congrats..gud choice".. huh!! I managed a smile.. Whats in a name?congrats for the gud choice was important but no I was smirking because she had announced my identity to the world as shonaali which I am not.. All the past memories came back to me in an instant.. The memoirs of my "ex -names" .. Why cant people get such a small and sweet name correct?? I am S+O+N+A+L.. simple isnt it? but no!! over the years people have addressed me in various ways...College teachers called me "sonam" pretty often(not in the days when sonam kapoor was well known)..School teachers called me "sonia"(sonia sounds like a romantic novel but I was very studious then so resented it).. Some people called me "sonali"( bendre was in vogue then but I wasn't as tall and thin as her).. Some wannabe frnds address me as "shonu" or "sonu" trying to sound oh!so cute( they are both petnames for boys as well so I didnt find it cute).. Aha! one name that I dont mind is my best frnd writing "SON" in an angry sms & that's because she atleast isn't calling me names..Abbreviated name is better than any expletives!!
The tirade for names doesn't end here..We had a class in school where we had to stand up and introduce ourselves by telling about meanings of our names..Thank GOD I am not monu (not very conspicuous and meaningful names).. I stood up and said"my name is SONAL and it means the golden one, like the pristine radiance spread on the horizon by the mighty orb of golden light that rises each dawn".. It was the hindi teachers class and she missed the meaning!! Perhaps she couldn't fathom that I was speaking of the SUN..She dismissed me by saying "sit down "sau nal"" please be short & we are running out of time. Oh my God!! my well rehearsed meaning put so beautifully fell to deaf ears..Clever classmates caught her "sau nal" instead of "sonal" and translated it in to hindi" sau = 100 and nal = tap" so I was nicknamed "100 taps" now... 100 taps was what my dad would also call me when I used to cry over trivial matters,but to be named by classmates so cruelly doesn't feel nice. I couldn't even cry!lest the 100 taps tag gets stuck permanently!! There will be another write up about surnames..This one deals with first names only.. Why do people wanna play with a name?? I mean the wierder a name the more easy to remember like "ranchod das shyam lal chanchad" from 3 idiots or even "phunsuk wangdu" from the same movie. Then why abbrevaite it? after all tht buffoon chatur was called chatur through out the film!! Why sould ranchod become rancho!!(rancho sounds like the name of a german shepherd dog to me) I also wonder about the feelings of "the one who should not be named"lord voldemort from harry potter series..If I had to hypothetically write his diary entry(like in 10th class cbse exams) I would begin by describing my hurt feelings about people talking about me without taking my name! Code names are so much fun because the more complicated they are more is the fun in using them..& I think its better than spoiling some one's name for affection/backbiting purposes.. I call someone "KMT" kahani mein twist..(but dont abbreviate or spoil his actual name!!) They say what's in a name? I'd say plenty... Ask any numerologist!! He makes millions altering the spelling of names!! Astrologers mint money by suggesting "1st letter" for the name of a newborn.Jhumpa lahiri minted or let's say printed millions by writing "the namesake".. So please take full care while addressing someone's name. It's the sweet sound of his/her unique identity(unless charged with murder). I was named "SONAL" by my parents who insisted on calling me sonal only and not by any nickname.. Then why the world calls me in different ways?? Even paediatricians admit that too many nicknames confuse a baby.. After all I prefer to be " the golden girl-- a brilliant doctor" SONAL not "100 taps" or whatever you want to call me..
Let me end this by a joke I heard recently :
Student to professor : Ma'am should we address you as Mrs. Williams or Dr.Williams for your Phd or Professor Williams ?
Professor: Call me Mrs.Williams-- I worked harder for it!! lol..
Seeing the Indian scenario, I worked hard enough for "Dr.Sonal" but my pleas fall to deaf ears I guess,as I am hearing my maid asking my mother "shonaal baby" ka kamra shaaf kardun?? ah!!not again!! :-)