The famous line ‘Rose is a Rose is a Rose’ (by Stein) and ‘Rose by any name would smell as sweet’ (by Bard) does not reveal the whole truth. Name does matter. While the name does not do anything by itself but having a particular name in a particular region does help.
In Calcutta (now Kolkatta) I would preferred to be known by name ‘Dutta’ or ‘De’ or ‘Dey’.
In central Uttar Pradesh I would like to be known as Diwedi or Trivedi. In Varanasi I would like to be a Chaturvedi or Choubey.
In India, christians have two frequent surnames like Patrick or John which are first name elsewhere. If I travel abroad, I would like to change that surname to first name.
If I happen to be in England I would like to be called Spencer but in Australia Wright would be more suitable. In Pakistan anything in persian will do but not the Khan. All their jokes are on Khan Sahib.
In USA, my preferred surname would be ‘Kennedy’ or ‘Bush’ even if I do not like it at all.
In Bombay (Mumbai) my surname should be ‘Tendulkar’, ‘Thakrey’ or ‘Kadam’. While in Madras (Chennai) ‘Maran’ would be more suitable.
Some names are really funny. For example ‘Auto’. Believe me I know a person with that name. Another name which sounds funny is Prince. Especially if he is a hawker vending vegetables. Worse if he calls himself a spiritual teacher.
Similarly can any one believe that a fatso would keep her/his middle name for facebook as ‘Boom Ass’. But it happened. I wonder if it was intentional but there was no comment about obesity anywhere.
Long time ago, I went to play Golf and the Caddies’ name was Sandeep. I enjoyed calling him more than the game. It was an opportunity to call myself aloud.
At one time I had a friend with the name ‘Sandeep’. I would call him on telephone and ask for him. The person picking the phone would ask ‘who is it?’ I would say ‘I am Sandeep. May I talk to Sandeep, please?’ It sounded so funny.
Best part is that my surname Bhalla is a very important yogurt dish in Punjabi Cuisine. On phone, if the person on other end does not understand my name, I can always yell ‘You don’t know Bhalla? Have you never eaten Bhalla.’
Have you eaten ‘Dahi Bhalla’?