What's in a name?

Posted by - Rohit

There has been quite a lot of talk about the uniqueness that couples itself along with Malayalee names. Most of them comprehend our names as senseless and laugh at this enviable novelty. So, for the majority who think that our names are nothing but sounds and that it has no meaning, here is a lowdown on some of the complex rules that goes into creating a marvel...also known as a Malayalee name.

Your name should always remind you of your creator.
Jomini Jose one of my finest friends is entitled to this name which absolutely means nothing, but his name is an amalgamation of those two individuals who created him, those two individuals who created one of those many unique Malayalee beings on earth. Jose and Ambini => Jomini. Similarly, Shreekumar and Geeta => Sreeta. Sulekha and Chandran => Surendran. This practice only inculcates values and culture within us as we willingly imbibe it to respect those who placed a soul within us. (Plus, Jomini Jose has a very cool pet name...JoJo...cool, no?)

You should be found instantly on Google.
Do you think you have a name that you share with every third person in this world? Well we don't. Who would have ever thought of easy access to specific beings in this big world filled with similar identity? Who would have ever thought of ways to keep your identity intact? Who would have ever thought that Google would be the new resume? Well, our ancestors did. Our name is a unique key, when searched gives you a unique value, which is us. You don't believe me do you? Google for Winster Thomas. Civil Engineer and my friend, Malayalee. He is right up there. And now try a Pradeep Singh or a Pradeep Patil or an Arpit Mehra. Ha! You will find a melee if nothing else.

Should have deeper meanings.
Our level of creativity is something most people can't comprehend as it trancends way above to a level far from their level of thinking and understanding. As I previously mentioned about our names being a fusion of individuals; it most of the times is also a rendition of respect, a truly complex theory and an abstract idea.
Siddhartha Within => Sidin.
Absolutely Sinless => Asin.
A future recruiter => Jobin.
The employable => Jobish.
The Braveheart => Sherin.
What do you do when you have too much garbage in your hands? => See bin => Sibin
The REM Fan => REM-yeah => Remya
A Son who loves Banjo => Sanjo.

We don't stress much. We believe in 'soft' endings.
Even though it's a no-brainer, let me tell you that we are innately very cool, inherently simple and indigenously level headed people (Ok, Sreesanth is an exception). And our names solely suggest that. My sisters are named Preethi and Deepthi and 'h' in both the cases provides the desired cushioning. So the names should now be read as 'Preedhi' and 'Deepdhi'. Isn't that better and effortless as compared to calling out to a 'Suthikshan', 'Kushagraha', 'Saptarishi' and all-those-names-that-existed-even-before-Mahabharatha-did.  You can call me 'Rohidh', and try doing it for some time. You'll rethink about pronouncing your names as well.

Challenge the dictionary.
Our names are inimitable, unimaginable, unthinkable, incomparable, indisputable and original. We are a few of those who create and don't imitate. Our names could be the one's which would live on for centuries as Mythology evolves simultaneously with Generations. Saaju and Lijo the mighty brothers who saved Praisy from the hands of the evil Boobikutty, Benji the Mundu GI, Swaghi the hapless abductee, etc. Moreover, you won't find our names in any Dictionary of this ordinarily usual planet. For example, when you are into a very general conversation with a friend and you tell him/ her - "You are so Lucky...I'm Happy for you", you would find at least 7 Punjabi heads roaring "Haanji" as 3 of them would have the name "Lucky", the other 3 would have the name "Happy" while the remaining one of them would be an overtly social Punjabi wanting to be 'Fraands' with you. This, right here my friends, is killing Novelty. We defy being common.

So rethink before you state any one of our names as nothing but pure sounds. It's more than that as it comes from the land of the complex crackerjacks and the abstract experts. So respect me as soon as I say "I have been named by a Malayalee".

Us and Them.

Posted by - Rohit

Looking back at those days when one could accelerate on to the open spaces without thinking of a cemented block hindering one's way; wearing shorts mended at multiple areas was a generality; when one would come back home with one's feet covered with dust up to the shin, I feel those golden moments have eroded with time. But evolution plays it's part, so do the now over-educated parents along with their over board concerns; and skyscrapers that have hacked into the open grounds in the name of development. As a consequence lethargy is making it's way into the list of routine activities as children get even more inclined towards the virtual world which has augmented itself to the real one making itself an indispensable part of reality.
So times have changed, and one can easily sense it now-a-days with children getting smarter by the day but at the same time inactivity is becoming a normal phenomenon.

I would usually get my haircut and routine shave done from a local barber who had his setup underneath a tree, resulting in two very happy individuals; the barber and I. A haircut that costs Rs 30 on an average in any barber shop with doors, now would help me save up to Rs 15. But as the friendly neighbourhood got even friendlier to the extent that snooping became a virtue, my Dad made it a point that he took his son to the right barber shop. He even decided my hair cut a couple of times. This reminded me of a time when my next door neighbour "Babbu" would take me to a barber shop. As a 7-8 year old, I would be commanded to adjust my head, neck and chin so that the barber could have proper angles while cutting my hair. Those were the times when I barely had a choice to decide my own haircut.
"Kaise kaatu?" (How should I cut his hair) - the barber would ask,
"huh?" (Baaah!) - Babbu would say.
"Theek hain" - (Yeah, even I don't care)
I recently met a parent who had taken her 7 year old daughter for a hair cut. As I asked them where they were returning from, the little one said "Javed Habib". Before I could overreact and exclaim at this sudden jolt, I was told that the little one decided her hair cut. For a moment I looked back at the parent and the daughter and back at the parent and asked "Are they doing it for free today?". The kid asked me to grow up and left with her Mum.

When I was all set to hurry home to watch "Pyaar ka Dard hain", I met this very old friend who was hit by a huge wave of nostalgia as soon as he saw me. Looking at the children around he went - "Look at them...playing on tiled floor, whereas our wounds still have soil grains. Would they ever know what it feels to taste mud, sweat and unfiltered water?". I looked at my watch and told him it's only 5 minutes to "Pyaar ka Dard hain". Both of us hurried to my place. But the point made by my friend is totally valid as that rawness amongst children seems to be missing now-a-days.

As I mentioned earlier, children are becoming smarter by the day and fairy tales are only limited to 6 year olds as they become Miley Cyrus fans later on. Just like most of us had a fascination with G.I Joes back then (well, I still have my collection), kids these days have a fascination with all devices and gadgets particularly those starting with I, to the extent that they even know that Nokia made a mistake by cutting a deal with Microsoft. IPOD, IPAD, IPHONE...I-Cant-take-this-anymore. They know what the world comprises of, the who is who of the world.

I had once volunteered to play Santa at my sister's residential complex. I was longing for this moment as I could see that shimmer in my little niece's eye as soon as she heard that Santa was coming. And that was it, 'The Amazing Santa Claus' arrived. I was flanked by kids, parents and grandparents all the while. Every little kid willing to shake my hand, so were some grand parents in the fore. I distributed gifts, sweets and blessings (yes I do get carried away). As I was bathing in this pool of attention and importance a little toddler asked me -

"Hey Santa...where is Banta?"

Moreover, my niece recognized it was me all the while as she said I didn't shave properly.

The movie 'Chillar Party' could be summarized as an excellent attempt to make children come out of this fully furnished sunless shell of comfort that even helps them remain content. What they've portrayed in the movie are possible snapshots of the director's memory as the ecosystem specified in the movie existed way back in the 90s when we looked upon a Nintendo as a time machine.
Well it's good to see them grow smarter by the day and a sense of practicality can be induced in them at a young age itself.

Your children are getting smarter by the day but sluggish too.

P.S: Just a clarification. My enemy here is not technology. Technology can't be ignored, it lives with us. I don't say the life we lived was the life to be lived. Everything has it's own drawbacks, so does advancement of technology which is not much compared to it's merits but certain issues are prominent and can't be ignored.

The Door.

Posted by - Rohit

The moment I stepped in,
my eyes were held on to you.
You, my source of light, redemption, freedom, merry.
You help me breathe.

Held on the hook,
That abhorrent stench...absorbed,
Mortals piled, pulled me down,
In the babel of a jarring journey,
Salvation, I see in your open doors.

As I inch towards you,
Wrathful eyes of contention pierce mine.
A maze I couldn't fathom,
A fence of bones I couldn't break.
An escape is all I seek.

Rage and motive overcome these shackles,
through cracks of these walls,
of flesh and bones.
Every hook ushered me to your light.

I'm here right before you,
My hands just reaching yours,
But, they push me back underneath the sunless sky.
Behind the barricade again,
Salvation, I still see in your open doors.