Jul 251996
 

… What is in a name saar? annaaDu Appa Rao cheDDa baThaanee namilina vedaantilaa navvi. (అన్నాడు చెడ్డ బఠాణీ నమిలిన వేదాంతిలా నవ్వి)

Don’t you believe it one moment, there is every thing in the name. Why, even in neeti chadrika, the bad minister is always calleddurbuddhi, why do you think that? Naming is everything. That is why we even worship our gods with their 1000 plus names. Even Arthur C. Clarke talks of ten thousand names of Gods!!

In those days, before the invasion of these modern names, one could tell from the name where the person comes from and who his parents are. The name itself gives an identity. Appa Rao must be from Vizag, Subba Rao is probably from Kakinada and a Prasad from Krishna District.

And, think of those proud names–100% Telugu names. Like Subba Rao, Srinivasa Rao, Bapa Rao, Vara Prasad, Samrajyamma. Imagine that you are in a scandinavian country without seeing another Telugu face for years. And, all of a sudden you see a name like Venkata Narayana in the directory, wouldn’t feel happy and go and hug that person? Would you feel the same way if the person’s name is Sandeep, Anupam, or even Sanjay? No siree, you can never be sure with those names.

Think of names like Surya Satya Kanaka Vara Prasad. They role off the tongue musically! [much better than Lolita, in that respect]. Like a full-bodied wine, such a name can be twirled in the mouth and appreciated. There is a an earthliness in these names, there is a trust in these names, you can be certain about these names.

I am saddened to see people going after the new names, which are mostly discarded Bengali names. Some of these names have ridiculous meanings also, just try translating them into Telugu! A person might not hesitate calling the son as pavan kumarbut he would surely be offended by the mere suggestion of gaali koDuku. Where is the logic, I say??

If you want new names, go to your own back yard. In stead of say teja call your offspring merupu. Don’t call your daughter Hima bindu, call her manchu chinuku. Next time, when you think of names like Mrinaalini, Mrudula, please consider wholesome, bran-ful, healthy names like chaamanti, banti.

Do you want to go back to history with names like vaSishTa? Nema Problema. Think of Brahma Nayudu, think of Nannayya. If you want t o name your child Ashok, consider the alternatives — Nalagaama Raju, Malideva Raju, Pratapa Rudrudu. If you want names like Arundhati, you won’t be disappointed with the choices like Naagamma, Molla, Rudramma, Mallamma.

Therefore, friends, Telugus, countrymen!! Appa Rao, Venkayamma, Rama Rao, Prasad, Ramana, Subba Reddy, Kotamma, Srinivasa Sastry, Narasimha Murthy, Pandu Ranga Rao!! Up with Telugu names!!

I dedicate this article to my good friend, Poodipeddi Venkata Raghava Surya Narayana. May his son be named Poodipeddi Surya Satya Rama Chandra Vara Prasad and become the president of this country!! I just can imagine the NYT headlines!!

— rama
E-mail:rama@research.att.com

PS: Yeah, yeah. Pavan Kumar= Hanuman. I know that.

PPS: No offense intended. If your name is praised in this article, yes, I mean what I said about your name. If you feel that your name is tarnished by this article, well, it is not about you. It is about somebody with the same name!!

 Posted by at 1:04 pm

  One Response to “A Rose by any other name”

  1. “If you want new names, go to your own back yard. In stead of say teja call your offspring merupu. Don’t call your daughter Hima bindu, call her manchu chinuku. Next time, when you think of names like Mrinaalini, Mrudula, please consider wholesome, bran-ful, healthy names like chaamanti, banti.”

    I should have read this before 2002. Certainly would have influenced me in naming my kids!. Now too late. 🙁

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