Friday, April 16, 2010

Baby Names (Not for Dames)

Names in India are a big deal. Names often describe the region you come from, your family and possibly your caste. There are various rituals associated with naming. Sometimes astrologers or spiritual gurus are asked to suggest the first letter of the name or the entire name. At times babies are given real names, pet names (nick names) and secret names. This is to ensure an auspicious beginning to a young life. In some regions, traditional names have two versions - the Indian and the Anglicized thus leading to different spellings of the same family name.

In accordance with changing trends, babies may now be given mixed (international) names, old names with new spellings and neo classic names (obtained by poring over Sanskrit dictionaries for nouns that can be suitably transformed). In addition, an unexpected dimension has been added by numerologists and some names have multiple repetitions of the same letter to ensure numerological benefits in life. In light of this is set the poem:

Baby Names

(Not For Dames)


The Ballad of Prithviraj Ddutt

Preludia : The Lament of Prithviraj in A flat

My parents chose my name but

Fate ascertained I be Dutt

Although Dutta was once my name

As my school certificate proclaims.

O fate! What is this cruel curse

That I be called Datta, or worse-

Ddutt, Datt or plain PD

Is there no justice left for me?

(Interlude with a sob)

My parents say they’re not to blame

A Dutt by any other name


pretty much the same.

I take these noble words to heart

And when asked, say with a start

The first name that takes my fancy

Basavaraj, Lingaraj- Nixon or Nancy

(Interlude with a soft (though audible) sigh)

‘Lest no fellow

Share my curse

I now pen down

This little verse

Of Baby Names


Not for Dames.

Major operandi : Approved names for D minor :

There’s Dhanraj, Dhanwantri, Dharmendra (or Dharmender)

Dayanand, Darshan, Devendra (or Devender)

Devaraj, Dushyant and Dhirendra (or Dhirender)

Dasaprakash, Doraiswamy, Dhaniram or Dhurinder.

Nothing beats Dhruv, Dinanath and Deva

Dharana, Dhyana, Dhir are in favour.

Deepak, Deeptiman or just plain Deep

Dhiraj, Dhairyavan, Dinesh and Dileep.


Greco-Roman’s quite the rage

(So let’s ignore Dara, Dharam and Desh)

Instead, there’s - Dictostelium, Discoidium, Dionysius, Darius

Dimou, Dmitrious, Damocles - but that’s precarious.

There’s glamorous hero and valorous villain-

Dhananjay, Dhritarashtra and even Divyadarshan.

Dronacharya, Dashrath, Drupad, Devatman

Perhaps not Durvasa, Dushasan, Duryodhan.

Good Bong names like Delta and Dinku

Debashish, Debdutt, Diponkar, Debu

Debabrata, Daya, Debanjan, Dablu (or W)

Dibakar, Dhruba, Doipayan and Dambushu.

D’s are the only ones

Of which news has come to Delhi.

There may be many others,

You can get them on the telly.

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