What’s In A Name…?

When Shakespeare concluded that names aren?t exactly what they are made out to be, he seemingly had only roses and all things beautiful in mind. Well, it?s hard to imagine a rose getting offended for being called, say, ass!

But whatever convinced Shakespeare to construe that names are.. just that, names, doesn?t exactly fetch a market today Or so I presume. Why else would we simple mortals strain our grey cells to find a `suitable? name for our babies? Or for that matter for our new business venture?

If the Bard was indeed correct in his assumptions, shouldn?t we stop bothering with names completely?


There, seemingly, is a story behind every name. Stories that may not exactly end with a ‘…and they lived happily ever after?, but ones that tell of strong beliefs that there is a lot more to an extra ‘A’ or an accentuated ‘K’ in the name.

With due apologies to the Bard, I propose a modification to his famous contention ‘..That which we call a rose will smell as sweet by any other name.’

Film producer Rakesh Roshan of the ‘K’ fame may probably want to name it Krose in the hope of making it smell sweeter still or earn him extra moolah from the box office. Or may be a suffix or prefix of  ‘A’, if pundits think it wise for Aamir Khan.

But as Shakespeare insinuates, there is no denying that names hardly define the person ? a Sapna will not remain a dream, a Shabnam will not ..Names do not draw the parameters of our expectations or subsequent achievements and so, they should hardly matter.

But isn’t there just ‘that something’ which creates a difference between winning and losing, all on the basis of a name?

I for one cannot imagine Amitabh Bachchan by any other name! Or for that matter Bush ? that name gave his detractors such a wide pitching ground to hurl unpalatable puns.

Gosh, if it weren?t for names…

If it weren?t for names… For one, there would be no humour on roads!! I am referring to names demonstrating the presence of different shops on the market roads. There are so many of them, names that is. Names jumping at you from every shop, billboard, poster.

And if you let go of all the stress that otherwise bogs you down as you return home from work, and simply soak in the ambience, it could well turn into a refreshing name-trip. And you betcha, there is a chuckle or two saved for you, that is, if you are the sort who has learnt to go for the jocular in all things silly and serious.

There is a tendency today to want to convey a whole lot of facts in the names. Facts concerning the products sold, the service offered or even the pricing. While a ‘Mazbooth’ for a garage that doubles up as a body builder for tipper trucks, seems apt, how does one go about visualizing a `Hut of an Artist? written across the cemented awning of a little shop right in the middle of several shops housed in a mini shopping mall?

Then there is a ‘Brain Fill’ Bookshop that probably wants to communicate the end result of scouring through the books sold in that shop.

‘Look Lady’ beauty parlour is either addressing all ladies walking by to come take a `look? or simply suggesting that their service will render one a ‘lady’.

And the ‘Nice Choice’ footwear is, in all probability, talking about the selection of their wares for their customers and not talking about the possibility of finding a right date for the evening.

I am also sure that such names aren’t really localized. I have read equally unrestrained name boards in metropolitan cities like Bangalore and Mumbai and even in Muscat – my home-away-from-home until recently.

But I do wonder if such naming was considered important a couple of decades ago, when shops in the neighbourhood were run by uncles ? maamas!

As a little girl I would be asked to go and fetch jaggery from the `Malayali?s shop or buy bread from the `Baldy?s shop. And that wasn?t really seen as a chore, as the neighbourhood gang was ever willing to accompany, especially if there was a five paise promised for chikkis.

Ah, the joys of simple shopping! Does bring to mind Simple Simon?s meeting with Pieman?

But I’ll go with ‘A rose is a rose is a rose…’