Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Name game!

"What is your name?" Asked the official.
"Chandu," I replied humbly.
"Really?" He was amused.

He was the umpteenth person asking me whether Chandu was really my official name. For some reason, it is given the status of a pet name.

Actually, I have met not more than ten "Chandu"s in my life. As I said, most don’t prefer Chandu as their children’s name as it is considered a pet name.

This naming game began when I was hardly two. My mother’s name is Shyamala and father’s name is Gopalakrishnan. So they opted for the combi "Shyam Krishnan." But my Unni Mamam (maternal uncle) and Thambi Kochachan (paternal uncle), close friends, stood for the name Chandu.

The reason they said was that they want their nephew’s identity to be something different. And they chose a real oddity to highlight my identity. They were very dear to my parents, and thus they became my Godfathers!

Alas! There was a villian in a famous Malabari ballad with the name Chandu and, without any doubt, he is the most (in)famous Chandu in Kerala, popularly known as Chathiyan Chandu (Chandu the cheat).

Then came the Hariharan movie Oru vdakkan veeragadha, written by MT Vasudevan Nair, in which Mammootty played the role of Chandu. The movie was an adaptation of the old ballad, but the story was how the good hearted Chandu was termed a cheat. He won his first national award for that.

I still remember my mother calling me to go for the movie. I said "NO," because Mammootty is playing Chandu as a Chathiyan (cheat).

From my first week in school till last week here, many asked me Chathiyan Chandu aano? (Chandu the cheat, are you?)when I tell them my name.
My friends from the North may not understand this situation, as names such as Bunty, Chintu, Babli, Munna and such are equally popular there as high sounding names like Prithviraj or Javed Khan.

But then, this is Kerala. Here the name, as an official one, is odd for sure. This oddity is my identity!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Too bitter to swallow, too sweet to spit!

It’s been 20 days since I gave my blog some feed. Good ideas came and faded away. I always put the work off to the next day, leaving my blog untouched for nearly three weeks. The one thing that has become a habit for me is practicing procrastination (read laziness).

I am sure there would be no one who, at some point of time, have not put off their work for a future point of time. For a few, the situation is once in a blue moon; for the majority it is a daily affair; for some, it is a habit. The third case is not appreciated by most, as those people are termed lazy. I don’t go for the heavy-sounding word called procrastination. Some time I am lazy; run ahead of schedule at times and strictly follow the timetable at very rare occasions!

My mother, a teacher, often reprimands me for my "putting-the-work-off" habit. I don’t know who said so, but it’s one of my mom’s favourite quotes. "Laziness is sweet; it’s aftereffects, bitter."

But I have a different opinion. Can't we put off a work that we know we can do sometime else? Do we have to strictly adhere to a timeframe, unless the interests of several others are vested in our work?

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Celebrations? What for?

Slept at 2 last night. Fire crackers, Parathas, Paneer Tikka and three bottles of Vodka added glamour to our New Year Party in the lodge. "Working class" in other rooms and us plus three guests were there for the celebrations.

Joby was a bit gloomy, a shade that was quite unlikely of his nature. He didn’t have the mood to celebrate when his father had to cycle some 10km every morning to give newspapers. That made me think.

What purpose do these celebrations serve? Just an excuse for a change from the routine, to try to have fun by a change in the way you spend your day and money. This was the first New Year Party I attended. The reason for the party? A change in the calendar.

I still remember the night of Dec 31, 1999. When the clock struck 12 and kicked off the millennium celebrations, I was lying on the floor of a railway station in Goa. There were people outside and inside the railway station who had another year of poverty and misery ahead of them.

They had no means and reasons to celebrate. They might also be wishing for a change from routine, and that too more intensely than us.

Amounts being shelled out on New Year celebrations, or any occasion for that matter, are becoming more and more exorbitant. The gap between haves and have-nots is becoming wider.