Tuesday, August 14, 2007

a family history of funny names

So my first name is Bangalore. (My only response to sniggers is that it's atleast a hi-tech city). My last name is Babu. That qualifies for an entry into the Terrible Name Oscars.
But inane names run in my family.

My paternal grandfather was a freedom-fighter and he was quite taken by the freedom fighters of his time. He named his eldest son(my father's eldest brother) Gopalakrishna Gokhale. And we're from Andhra. There's no connection with the Maharashtrian caste. So there are Gokhales from Maharashtra and there's an incongruous line of Gokhales who speak Telugu and who live in Chennai.

My grandfather named his second son Janakinath who was apparently a freedom fighter from Bengal. Again, an incongruous last name, but the seeds were sowed much before my time.

My father was spared of an inane name, but he inherited the Bangalore prefix and passed it along with the misnomer(Babu is meant for boys only, not girls) to me.

And I have lived with the trauma of a bad name ever since. My preschool teacher called me Sandhya Baby. Since then I have heard various contortions of all my names sometimes separately and at other times all together.

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