Sigma Gama Beta..!!!

I opened my mail box and picked this wedding invitation which read “Biju Mon weds Biju Mol”. I starred at it for a sec, re-read and burst out laughing. Hahaa.. What a perfect match, if the last alphabet is ignored, two people with the same names are getting married!

How did Biju Mon’s mom pick this name? Perhaps she was given a few alphabets, out of which she was asked to pick just four. Luckily she picked a vowel; else it would have been even more hilarious..!! May be the same theory applies to my friends Siby & Jijesh & Shijeesh & Lipil and and and and...

You are given the liberty to choose and not to choose a lot of things in life; but not a name for yourself - one of the few instances in life where you are not given an option (of course, until you take pains to change the original).

I wonder why people make up really weird names and spellings and saddle their children for life? May be parents think they are being creative and unique. But, for the child, all it is a life long sentence of correcting people of the pronunciation of their name and having their names always being misspelled. Like my friend Nigil corrects every second person he gets introduced to, "It is 'ni' as in Nycil power and not 'ni' as in pneumonia!" 

Now, here are few of my friends who have very talented parents.

Sigma, my best friend is very interesting, yeah...just like her name - extremely peculiar too :) When ever I talk about Sigma, I tell them.. “By the way.. do you know her sisters’ names are Sismi and Sayoomi and her dog (who is now dead) was called Simba!!” Can I blame this person who asked her once, “Oh.. Are your parents from Greece?" Seniors enjoy asking the same question everyday to her sister, “Sismi.. will you kiss me?!”

When I met this girl in the hostel corridor for the first time, we shook hands while she introduced herself, “I am Chimmu”. Seeing my face crumble at her name, she said with a smile, “My dad was innovative that he named me Chimmu, so that it rhymes well with my sister Ammu..!!" When everybody turned their backs, I slowly murmured, “Meaw…!!” and chuckled to myself.

The method followed to name my cousin is fascinating. The first two alphabets from the names of mom and dad were picked, assembled and they passionately called her, “Ragi.. you are our baby!” Ragi, however is extremely proud of her name. Cuckoo - another friend of mine with a very special name. Don't know if she is named after the bird or after the famous english clock!! And her sister is Kitty. I tried to investigate the roots of the origin.. but reached nowhere. I still cannot believe somebody will name their own children like they naming parrots and kittens.

I know what “shy” means in English and “mol” is a mallu word. How could somebody even think of combining two conflicting words from two different languages and form a name out of it! After all, you are naming your own daughter! That's how Shymol 
was born.

The most unbelievable names I have heard so far are of three sisters – Bulby, Switchy and Pluggy. When I heard the names first, I fell off the chair and asked in distrust, “Who works for the electricity department? Mom or dad or grand dad?”

If few of the above naming formulas were applied, Rajiv Gandhi would have called Rahul and Priyanka, Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha :)

Do you also want to share the names of your friends you think are out-of-the-world?

Who is World’s Beloved Clown?

The only task awaiting execution was to bid good bye to friends and relatives. Most of them said.. “Convey our regards to Mr. Bush”. One of my uncles said, “Yeah.. If you happen to bump into Bush, just tell him that we are doing fine and are eating just what we need!”

It’s been over 10 days since I reached here. Interestingly, there are countless restaurants around the community we live in. You name a cuisine; you have it somewhere close by! The first one we tried was “Pita Jungle”, a Greek restaurant. It is an amazing place, artistically lighted and brilliantly furnished. The unique brush strokes inside huge frames on the wall added elegance to the entire room. The ambience itself is extremely inviting. I thanked our friends for picking the spot who helped us place the order too. I was specific about just one thing – “No cheese please!” I knew it was like asking for a masala dosa without the masala!

Sudhir “americanized” my requirement and said, “Light on cheese please..!” While eagerly waiting for the food, I keenly monitored the place and the fellow guests. All of them were eating in huge bowls. In India, we would call it triple-extra-large (I doubt if we have that size at all!) I remembered the tiny container at my fav dosa hut in B’lore which served just 2 spoons of chutney. Pointing at the white lady who sat at the opposite table, I asked, “Is she having only for tonight or does that include break fast and lunch for tomorrow as well?!” I told myself, "Poor thing.. Will she ever get to see a two digit number on the weighing machine?!"

There comes our food - not in a plate, not in a bowl.. but in a drum! Water was served not in a glass; but in a tank. My eyes literally popped out! Are they not aware of the concept called “small”? I, being somebody who lives on lays, pringles, biscuits and once in a while little 'ordinary' food, struggled to empty the drum of mixed vegetables treated in number of sauces and other things whose names I’m ignorant about. However, wasting was the last thing I wanted to do!

Except us, everybody in the restaurant was perfectly comfortable with the quantity served. In fact they even went for second helping, followed by deserts and drinks! Thankfully my worries did not reflect on my face; else I would have spoiled our first outing! After all, we only started exploring and definitely it's all part of having fun!!

While we drove back home, I warned them not to crack any more jokes as I found it difficult to even laugh. My tummy experienced an unusual immensity. Once again, George Bush was our topic of discussion. We shared our views on his contention that growing demand for food grains in India was the reason for spiraling global food prices.

Bush said there were 350 million people in India who are classified as middle class. "Their middle class is larger than the entire population of America. When you start getting wealthy, you demand better nutrition and better food, and as demand goes high, the price too go up," he said shamelessly.

Is that not a cruel joke?

In fact, the policies of USA were also responsible for food grain shortage. How could George Bush criticize others when Americans themselves set apart agricultural land for other purposes? But I feel a sensible person should not react to such idiotic comments. Before making a fool out of himself before the whole world, his secretary at least should have found some time to find out the latest statistics on related topics.

I tried to be a Roman while in Rome by not criticizing, but trust me, it’s extremely difficult. On which ever side of the globe I’m, a little bit of me always remain in myself!

That is when I decided to drain my frustration out by penning down few lines on what I feel about world’s beloved clown!
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