Saturday, August 23, 2008

What's in a name?

"Are you a christian ?", this is the one question ,whose answer I have lost count on. In fact I have been on a crusade telling the world that my name does not decide my religion or my identity (Well, that maybe an exaggeration) and its not the case either that I have never tried to discover how I got my name and what it means. I haven't understood why people ask me this question, whether they asked it inadvertently or out of curiosity. I guess getting an  English name has its pros and cons.

When I  was christened a name, my parents decided on two- 'James' and 'Boboi'. Family and close childhood friends still call me by the latter and is quite a popular name in my place. It means more to me when I am called by this name because it underlines the truth of the bonding I share with the person. In fact some of them are not aware that 'James' is my legitimate name. 

Believe me when I say my parents still don't know what 'James' means. Mom tells me that Dad was a big fan of James Bond in those days and besides being a teacher of physics himself he noticed that this was a very common name amongst the physicists. His criteria was obviously fame and popularity. It was only when I came to the 10th standard that I knew its meaning when my history teacher told me that it is the English version of the Hebrew name Jacob. Later I got to know it means 'the supplanter', 'substitute', and I know its easy to misunderstand this word.

Friends have come up with their own versions viz- 'Jamie', 'Gems', 'Jamz' to name a few. A few have even messed the pronunciation by giving it two syllabi  'Ja' and 'mes'.(How can anyone make this mistake if they have studied english in primary school?). Nevertheless, I have no complaints.

Undoubtedly , its one of the more popular names. From Harry James Potter to James Hetfield to the kings of scotland that came in chronological order, it has found its face with every kind of personality. But each time i have this conversation, it has led me into an introspective state and there are more questions cropping up . Did I try to find conscientiously to what I seek? Have I found a face in the crowd? What does the person behind the name mean?  Would I be a different person if I had a different name?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Two and a half kilo of chicken

'60 km/hr ' ,the speedometer on Jake's motorcycle was reading. He could feel the air gushing past his spectacles but he cared less. He lifted his eyes to the etiolated sky, so bleached out ,it seemed as pale and as unmoving as the water. The dullness of the weather was in stark contrast with the delirious mood he was in. He was about to join his schoolmates for a lunch at Raj's place. It took three years in the making for the friends to finally find a vacation where they would all come together and the moment had arrived.

When Jake and Raj met, they conversed as if they were carrying on some left over discussion from yesterday. There were no 'Hellos' or ' How have you been?'.

Jake: I see that you have already bought chicken. How much is it?
Raj: Two and half kilos. I think it's going to be just enough. Robert and Johnson haven't arrived yet. You are the first.Let's cook  in the top floor. It's still not complete yet and its almost like on top of the roof. 

Jake nodded and they both picked up the cooking pot at the same time.

Raj: I don't know how good your cooking skills are but two cooks inevitably means the food will be wasted.
Jake: You are the cook.
Raj: Are you still in touch with 'phylum'?

Phylum was the nick name they gave for Selina. Jake had a huge crush on her back during their school days and a few knew about it. Selina herself didn't know. Jake never told her. She was a medical aspirant back then and was pretty good in memorizing those outlandish zoological terms and that's how she got that name.

Jake: Absolutely not. Let me remind you that was six years back and I ,no longer want anything to do with her.
Raj: What about those true love mojo-jojo you used to preach? I still remember some of your lines. Let me quote," Every force in this universe is defined by four forces and all these follow the inverse square law. But the force that she creates with me cannot be formulated because it's directly proportional to distance. It grows as the separation increases." There was also "All I need is her appreciation for my love and that would be enough for me to conquer anything."
Jake: People change Raj. Instead of love,fame,money and power just give me the truth.(trying to recall some dialogues from a movie). About the forces thing, I am still confuse whether they follow the inverse square law or not. Maybe I was bluffing.  

Both of them were chuckling.

Jake: I am dating a new girl now. I have forgotten everything about phylum until you brought her name up.
Raj: Is that so?
Jake: Yes. Did someone tell you otherwise?
Raj: Well, I have to find out and if I found out you were bluffing than you have to wash all the dishes by yourself. That in case if I get to know about it before our meal finishes.
Jake: (laughing)You haven't changed a bit. What about your goddess of wealth?

Laxmi was nicknamed goddess. Raj had declared his love for her but she showed no interest back then but they were still friends.

Raj: Dude we are going to be relatives now. My uncle is going to marry her aunt. So there is no chance of working out for us.
Jake: (grinning)That's a lame excuse. If you want you could elope with her before your uncle's marriage and yours will be a happy ending story.

Robert stormed in much to the surprise of both.
Robert: Jake, weren't you serious when you started dating the new girl? Phylum's cousin just told me you guys were talking over the phone for a month now.
Raj: (shouting at the top of his voice) Mom,you don't need to wash yesterday's dish. We already got someone for the job.

P.S: The characters and the story are all fictitious. Any resemblance to real life is purely coincidental.