Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Name's Long, Exceedingly Long

I've been feeling pretty much the same for the last few weeks, and it's showing in my blog posts. A lot of my posts in the recent past have dealt with the frustration of being stuck in a dead-end job and feverishly missing home. So I decided that this post must be different. It must not talk about the vegetation of the mind or the free soul in the trapped body. It must not be sad, depressing, longing, yearning or pining. It must be different, maybe even happy. So here goes.

My entire name is, hold your breath, Srinivasan Venkataraghavan. That's right. Now, before you get confused as to who I am, let me clarify. My name is Venkataraghavan. My dad's name is Srinivasan. Now you may wonder as to why I have interchanged the positions of my two names. My good man, I am from the South. Here, we do not have family names, and we write our surnames first. Some of us at least. There are very few of us left. Now, I take great pride in my exceedingly long name. My chest swells as I say it, type it, or even think it. My generation and previous generations have reveled in tongue-twisting names liberally doused with vowels (mostly a's) deliciously rolling off their tongues: Chidambaram Srinivasan, Srinivasan Vidyashankar, Rajyadhakshya Narayanaswamy, Aishwarya Natarajan. The name of my protagonist in the book that I'm writing is even more complicatedly twisted: Sacchidananda Venkatachalapathy. Wow!

But sadly, I sense that this trend is changing for the shorter. Ram, Ajay, Ramya, Anand - these are the kinds of names that the new entrants are being straddled with. I mean, some of them barely scrape past a syllable. I don't have a problem with long names being shortened into easy-to-pronounce-and-remember names for the others. Venkat, Raghav, Raj, Sacchi - these are accepted shortened versions, not complete names. I now have nephews whose entire names are shorter than either of my names.

So what would I name my children? What are my favourite names? That's a tough question. I've been looking at Markandeya with some interest, but I can assure you that the final decision is quite some time away. By the way, my imaginary girlfriend has a very pretty name too - Gayatri. Sigh!


Anonymous said...

I love the old names too!
The girls had some beauts - Kumudam/Pankajam, Meenakshi, Indrani,Kanakavalli.... and then those tongue twisters like Tirupurasundari and Akhilandeshwari. LOL
For some odd reason, Kartikeya is the only boys' name that comes to mind now, but isn't it a beautiful name?

Anonymous said...

Chanced upon ur blog...liked it

Anonymous said...

Especially the mention of my name (at the cost of sounding like a narcissist)