One of the biggest decisions of my life was when I had to choose a name for my new-born. I cannot tell you the number of weeks we spent googling names and drawing up Venn diagrams to shortlist ones that were acceptable to the whole family. And yet, I still panicked the night before the naming ceremony, wondering if we had made the right choice or not. Because, when I was at school, there were at least 5 ‘Priya’s in every class. They were typically identified as R.Priya, K.Priya, S.Priya (short), S.Priya (glasses) and M.Priya. And I wasn’t having any of that for my child!!
You know, choosing a name is an art. And when it comes to this art, some of us want to be creative geniuses. Whether we are looking to name a baby, a book or a business venture, we hunt down the most interesting and unique names (or so we think!). In the bargain, some of us end up choosing names that sound like tongue-twisters.
Take a look at the following names I saw on my last trip to India. These were found on sign-boards, in news paper ads, just about everywhere actually. I am sure the people behind these names worked really hard to come up with these.
* ‘V-Solve’ (consultancy) - Wow! A consultancy that actually solves problems!
* ‘Sibling Revelry’ (crèche) - Interesting name, but how did they assume that the common man uses the word ‘revelry’?
* ‘Brainobrain’ (kids academy) – I liked this one. One look at this name and you KNOW for a fact that your child is likely to become the next Einstein, or at least a home-grown IIT->IIM->Chetan Bhagat. As a parent, I would definitely fall for this kind of name, assuming they meant BrainObrain and not BraiNObrain ;-)
* Interestingly, most boutiques have pretty one-word-names. Anokhi, Ananya, Shilpi, Vastra (duh!), Lasya, Varsiddhi….you get the drift. They all seem to want to lean on heritage of some kind. Well, I’m not cribbing...just commenting!
* The most creative names of course, are those on the lines of ‘Simla Snacks’ (Amazing - Snacks from Shimla?), ‘Babu Tea Stall’ (Actually, congrats to Mr.Babu for being an entrepreneur), ‘Five Star department store’ (Really? Its more often than not, just a dingy little shop where underpaid shop-girls hover around you, lest you decide to nick anything valuable), ‘Classic tea shop’.. and so on.
Well, the point is, choosing a name is important. It all boils down to your USP. You want to choose a name that puts forward – clearly – what your venture is all about – and what you have to offer.
So these are the pointers that you are normally guided by – a name that sounds pleasant (Ram and not Ravan), meaningful (Bunty is a really cute name, but your child will look for a chance to get even with you, I promise!), unique (Mrignayanee is beautiful and unique, but again, your daughter will hunt you down!), is short and sweet (just as long as they are not ‘Priya’, ‘Raj’ or ‘Simran’).
In India, of course, choosing a name is not just an ‘art’ but also a science, with a host of ‘auspicious’ letters thrown in and ‘inauspicious’ ones shunned. Remember the long-winded K-soaps that had even more long-winded names - Kkahani Ghar Ghar Ki, Kkusum, Kaahin Kissii Roz? These are perfect examples of how we willingly create names that are perhaps unique, but turn out to be equally annoying!
So the next time you are faced with the decision of choosing a name, please, choose well.
And on that note, do watch this funny video I found on the internet.