Thursday, September 20, 2012

What's in a name...

With due deference to the bard, I beg to differ.

While I agree that a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet, the words Welwitschia or Jabuticaba for some reason do not evoke the same response in me as the word jasmine does. (Go ahead, google 'em, they are plants, I swear!)

I think words and sounds associated with words have energy, have power. And what word would be as personal as your name? As you grow, your name becomes you, and you become your name. I have never come across a Tejas that wasn't super-smart, or a Priya/Priyanka/Supriya that didn't turn heads.

Living in America I have heard many a name mis-pronounced. And I've heard of people changing their names to avoid the butchering that the hard phonetics of English brings with it.

I've heard of a Nishit (निशित) shortening his name to Nish.
And I've heard of a Tushit (तुशित) NOT similarly shortening his name.
Both for obvious reasons :)

I know of a Gunwant (गुणवंत) who became Pat, as if extending a challenge to the west "Let's see you make something out of this!"

I remember telling Jatan that he can spell his name as Satan with a "J", he didn't appreciate that very much and was much more accepting when I offered Japan with a "t" :)

I like that my name is super easy to pronounce. I mean how can you get N-e-e-m-a wrong? :)
(A colleague called me Seema for a week! But that's not mis-pronouncing  ;)) And over the years, I've learnt that my name is as international as they come! The word has meaning in many languages, and in various cultures it can be a boy's name or a girl's name or a last name. Here is what it means in various languages - 

Swahili - Blessing/born in prosperity
Persian - Young / Just / to Bow / Famous
Egyptian - Born to wealthy parents (ahem!)
Hebrew - Blessing or Melody
Tibetan - Sun
Arabic - Blessing

So it has often been a conversation starter.

The only gripe I have is the fact that my name is also the name of the lass that is married to Ayaan Ali. So when you google my (full) name and some wedding pictures show up, remember that is not me! That being said if you want to see my wedding pictures, email me ;)

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