Wednesday, October 08, 2008

"Hey Atyatbudha, meet my friend Shoonyabandhu"

If people really take Maneka Gandhi's "Penguin Book of Hindu Names" to heart, this sentence could well be a part of regular conversation soon. I cannot believe some of the names in this highly praised, hyped up book. Take these two for instance. I mean, Atyatbudha? And Shoonyabandhu -- it has two meanings listed, neither of which would tempt me to name my kid this. The first being "one with no friends", and the second being "friend of dogs".

And anyway, the book should have been titled "Penguin book of Sanskrit names", because that is all there is in it. Apart from two and a half Tamil names and one Malayalam. The latter is priceless -- "Pakal". Meaning "day". I think the woman does not realise the difference between "word" and "name", because clearly, Pakal (like many others in the book) is a word, and certainly not a name. I challenge her to introduce me to a Pakal Kumar or a Pakal Menon.

The blurb reads: "The aim of the work is twofold: to serve as a practical guide for parents choosing a name for their offspring; and to provide a precise and in-depth sourcebook for scholars, pandits and lay readers who like to know what familiar (and not so familiar) Hindu names actually mean." But when bookstores keep it in the child-care section, be assured that people who pick it up are looking for names for their babies. And then imagine coming across something like Arbuda, meaning tumour!

Don't even get me started on the many names that mean things like hell, blood, worm and a collection of such unpleasantness.

4 comments:

Rohini said...

Ur not serious??!!!??

That book is so dumb, huh?

Abhipraya said...

Atyatbudha is better than Shoonyabandhu. Suddenly all those made up names like Golden Fruto, Itty and Bitty sound way better!

Sav said...

Abhipraya: Yeah, at least Golden Fruto sounds cheerful. Imagine the sorrow of Shoonyabandhu.

Roh: After hours of traumatic hunting through the book (i am very optimisitc you see), I could not possibly joke :)

PS said...

Golden Fruito is REAL! NOT made up! As real as Marine Drive!