My friend became a proud father on October 1st early morning. The nine+ months of waiting finally paid off; both the mother and the baby (boy) are safe and sound. The wait for the infant to step into this world may be over but now comes a bigger issue, how do you call him?
5 or 7 years back things were much simpler, where parents called their children with some fancy god’s names prefixing or suffixing with their ancestor’s names. I still remember my Andhra friends whose names extended something like “Satyasai seelamanjula satyabaskara venkatakalyana Rajendra Prasad Reddy”. Despite being long and virtually impossible to fit in a passport, it was an easy task for the parents whose only work was to respect all their family deities.
But those days are over, man may have even gone to the moon on a joy ride but god knows where did we Indians pickup this sudden craze for nameology (MsWord give a red underline for this word). Parents run haywire just to keep a name to their new born. Sometimes these names are so weird with many fragments that they would lack any sense when kept together.
The kid had barely opened its eyes, by then the grand father had already checked the birth-star using the time of birth and downed on the syllables the name should start. It was “Mo” “Da” or “Du”. South Indian names hardly start with “Da” (as in Darling) or “Du” (as in Duplicate) and leaving the kid’s fate at the mercy of the syllable “Mo”. “Mo” is not a very flamboyant syllable and has very little to offer namely the 1980s fame “Mohan” probably with some suffix. After searching the cross sections of the internet we could hardly boil down to 4 not so interesting names like “Mohit”, “Mohin”, and two more in the same flavor.
The kid's father now has a new taste, he wanted his son’s name to be purely in Tamil, of course the “Mo” restriction still holds good. We went back to the internet to find refuge. Again not many names to choose from, except for names like “Mokkachamy”, reminds me of this popular Tamil Vadivelu comedy “Mayannae vandhurukkaha, Maapla Mokkachamy vandhurukkaha… Vaamaa Minnal…”
With half mind we chose “Mohit” as the only name that sounds somewhat fine, by then the grandfather came with a different game plan called “Numerology”. Every English alphabet is given a value and we need to derive at a total value that’s right for the child. What’s right is decided by experts in that field and our new born and still anonymous got his number as 41.
The number calculation goes like:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
A B C D E U O F
I K G M H V Z P
J R L T N W - -
Q - S - X - - -
Y - - - - - - -
Using information technology’s advantage, somewhere close to 3000 names were extracted from the internet and values calculated for all of them.
Scanning through all of them we finally got one good name “Harshavardhan”, name of a famous and fierce Indian King of the medieval times. The father was happy with this name and when he conveyed this to his father, and got another bombshell, the name’s calculations are to be done with the initials as well. The initial added 4 more to the name “Harshavardhan” and value changes to 45. Flop again.
We were so rigid on this name that we decided to tweak it a bit instead of finding a new one.
Out goes the middle “h” and now value is 40. We need to and a one. That is, A, I, J, Q or Y should be added. And so the final draft has been made and he’ll now be named “Harshavardana”
It’s easier said, but only we know the scanning we did across thousands of names to get here. My aim here was to euphemistically convey the hardships we undergo by not taking any chances and putting our best to make sure the kid’s life is great, keeping aside the argument of how valid this concept truely is.