For those who came in late, the foreword of my autobiography has already been written. In case you missed it you can click on this link here! The same is the handiwork of a fairly nice dude, I must say!
I am told I am Chinese. Now! Now! Don’t you immediately think I am a cheapo like most things Chinese! I just mean that my ancestors first made their appearance in China and like most things Chinese nowadays which the world imports, so was my breed, to India in this case. My friendly neighbourhood Vet confirms that unlike most Chinese products, whose lifespan is a lottery, I am likely to be around for 15+ years. Sadly for you but you ain’t getting rid of me in a hurry!
One of the first experiments that I was subjected to was my branding. Before we proceed with the story let me warn you. My name is NOT Vodafone Nai! Or its North Indian equivalent, Vodafonewala kutta! And don’t you dare call me those names ever, ever, ever again. Not unless you would like to have appointments with the injection syringe! 14 times at that! GRR! WOOF! WOOF! To continue from where I left, various brandnames were proposed, dissected, rejected, debated and finally decided upon. Branded for life! The names bandied about among others were Google, Twitter, Roger, Pixar, Goofy, Snoopy…….! As mostly with you Indians, consensus was elusive. Finally I was named Pluto over a division, the majority comprising of the Homemaker, The Foreword Writer and our Dilliwali Sister outvoted the dude whose credit card was swiped which concluded the paperwork for my homecoming! The Credit Card Dude though wouldn’t take things lying down and just like the rebel MLAs in political parties of Tamilnadu walking out of the parent party and forming a new kazhagam, I was made to go through another naamakaranam ceremony. Post which my visiting card reads Chokkalingam!
|Pluto alias Chokkalingam? Chokkalingam alias Pluto?|
There was a heated debate on this name too. The members of the original Kazhagam who had at first refused to do business with the Credit Card Dude later, just like all the kazhagams of Tamilnadu talk among each other to form an alliance once elections are announced, the ice was broken. The point of debate was how can one keep swamy paer for a dog? asked the Homemaker. “Don’t call him a dog! He is my brother!” screamed the Foreword Writer breaking ranks from the original kazhagam, once again as is the usual practice. I was beginning to like this guy more and more! “God is omnipresent! He is there inside every being!” Thus spake the Credit Card Dude sagely. Just as I was about to turn on the ‘Love-O-Meter’ towards him too, “Including Dogs!” he finished. The ‘Love-O-meter’ was promptly switched off! But the view prevailed and this nomenclature too stuck!
|Selfie with The Foreword Writer|
If you thought with that the entire naamakaranam episode had come to The End, you have another thing coming. Once the dust settled, the names went for a toss. The Homemaker calls me Kundala Bujaang and Bujjimaaa. The Foreword Writer calls me Chokulan-Na-Kokoon. The Dilliwali Sister over skype and phone calls me Ajjulibaa and Babulal! What nonsense! My final ray of hope, The Credit Card Dude carrying his liking for twitter has thrust brevity on me too, Chokka being the result.
|Kundala Bujaang,Babulal,Chokulan-Na-Kokoon,Bujjimaa and Chokka!|
For someone who is supposed to be blessed with only aindhu arivu, the chore of remembering so many nomenclatures was proving to be pretty difficult. Add to it that I found this entire exercise of imposing an alien language on my poor Chinese soul was quite trying. Finally of course I found a way out to deal with both the problems, of the name and the language. I took inspiration from those ‘naarth Indians’ who after living for more than a decade+ in Bangalore picked up the most essential words in the local language, “Kannad Gothilla!”. I also took inspiration from The Bard who said ‘What’s in a name?”. I Put the two inspirations together, washed them, rinsed them thoroughly and out came my magic solution. I no longer respond to Chokka or Pluto or all the other gibberish I am addressed as. Instead I respond only when someone calls out “Sappadu!”
PS: That friends was Chapter I. You never had it so good, didn’t you? Woof, Woof!! Till the next episode!
Sappadu : Food
Kannad Gothilla : Don’t know Kannada
Aindhu Arivu : Literal Five minds. Figurative, blessed with lesser mind.
Swamy Paer : God’s name.
Dilliwali : Women/Girl from Delhi
Nai/Kutta : Dog
Kazhagam : Political Party
Chokkalingam : Another name of Lord Shiva
Naamakaranam : Naming ceremony