Saturday, August 7, 2010

Chunnu, Pinki, Pappu, Simmi

Mom: Pinku, tumhara friend Mohit aaya hai...    
Pinku: Maa... Please Pankul bolo.
Mom: But uska naam toh Mohit hai na?
Pinku: Offo... mujhe Pankul bolo. Friends ke saamne Pinku mat bola karo.

I am going to write about nicknames in this post—the same nicknames that we run away from in public... and are indifferent to in private.

I don't know if any other country uses nicknames like we do... and as much as we do.

But I have to tell you that nicknames are wonderful!

There are just too many pluses about nicknames. I can't even guess why you are embarrassed of your nickname. Here's my take:

a. Nicknames Don't Want Your Intelligence: You don't need to be intelligent for nicknaming someone. Do you? You can just call him/her anything as you please. Even the dumbest of people nicknamed others.

And probably that's why we have nicknames that sound so stupid—for example, Dabbu. By the way, what the hell is Dabbu, if I may ask?

b. Nicknames Don't Want Your Time: Do you know, girlfriends-boyfriends, often, in their midnight calls, talk about how they would name their kids?

"Ladka hua toh Pratap... and ladki hui toh Pramila..."
"Uska naam 'L' se rakhenge... classroom mein roll number beech mein rahega..."

I am telling this only to reflect upon the time and thought that go into naming your kids. You spend so much time and thought on thinking of real names. In fact, real-naming a real kid is a real trouble... so many suggestions from people, dictionaries, FB messages, midnight calls, Google searches... etc etc.

Whereas, nicknames don't ask for your time. No, seriously, who spends time thinking about nicknames? You can nickname someone in the time you take two breaths. Seriously. If you take two deep breaths, that itself can give you an idea "Deep"... leading to Deepu! Am I talking like a wacko here?

c. Nicknames Are Short: No hassle at all. You can call the person quickly... shout at him/her quickly... type his/her name quickly... SMS quickly... write his/her name on sand quickly... write his/her name on paper and do a new kind of voodoo quickly... tell his/her name to goons for giving a supari quickly... and do many more things quickly.

Ever heard someone with a nickname like Padmanathan? Never! I'm sure Paddu is so much better.

d. Nicknames Convey Love: If you recall, a nickname is like something jo pyaar se bulaya jaata hai. Isn't that a stamp of love itself? Someone calling you by your nickname is like someone calling you lovingly, if I may translate it that way.

e. Nicknames Are Funny: How does Minni sound? And what about Haggu? Pappu paas hua kya?

There is an element of casualness and humor in nicknames. They sound friendly. They don't throw an air of seriousness. Ok, look at the following sentence:

Duggu, mai tera khoon pi jaunga... It doesn't sound too great, does it? Do you think Duggu would be the kind of person someone would say this to? Don't think the speaker is serious. Duggu ofcourse sounds like a stupid and harmless fellow.

f. Nicknames Can Be Multiple: Once you have a real name, you are likely to take it to your grave. It will stick with you on all marksheets, appointment letters, insurance plans... and wherever. Just wherever. Even on the damn shaadi ka card that I am running away from at this point of time in life.

But nicknames... you can have 100 nicknames! ... and still counting. If you have 20 close friends, you are bound to have at least 4 nicknames. Very cool, isn't it?

g. Nicknames Don't Have to Mean Anything: Well. Do I need to explain this? The real name is supposed to mean something, which is why parents are so much into this business of finding good real names.

But nicknames, oh, we don't care a shit if they don't mean a shit. Look at the title of this post and tell me if any word means anything to you.

h. Nicknames Are Easy: Remember, it's not what you would want to call someone... but, often, it's what you feel like calling someone.

There are many off-the-shelf ones lying around... just pick anything. It does not have to be really different from the world. You don't really have to put much thought into it.

And the second and very easy option is to mutilate the real name... for example, Tajas becomes Teju, Rajesh becomes Raju. So on. So easy.

i. Nicknames Are Lover Friendly: This is easily one of the most overlooked advantages of a nickname.

Suppose a girlfriend dumps her boyfriend... and the boyfriend is filmy... what do you think he'll do? Of course, he will inscribe his gf's name on his hands, legs, forehead... wherever. Of course!

Now, imagine if his gf's name is Rajyalakshmi. He will have to cut his whole body to fit the name somewhere. In such a case, he could use her nickname. A simple Rajjo will be fitting and less painful.

Don't you think so? Just look at our lover boy on the right.
That brings an end to this post. I know there were some points that could be merged... but hey, chill "Readu" (nickname for readers)!

So... do you agree? The concept of nicknames is so wonderful.

Then why get embarrassed when someone calls you by your nickname? ... at home or bahar... office or playground... meeting or conference... personal call or client call... anywhere!

In fact, you should now ask people to call by your nickname... pyaar badhta hai!

~~Written by Sonu~~

PS: In case you are commenting... do tell me your nickname, please.


  1. The Rajyalakshmi argument is very good :)

  2. There was one gentleman named Machchar Singh... he was a Physical Education teacher.... he never changed his name (liked the name that his parents gave him), but the problem was- he never had a nick name either... (and kids used to call him Machchar Singh Sir... :)

    But yes, he was a decent no-nonsense person and no one would make fun of him or his name, except for the first time may be... I mean, ek baad hansna toh unavoidable thaa hi... :)

  3. Cool post Sonu! :) Loved it!
    I can't think of a time I was addressed by my real name....only formally. My school, ghar, bahar, college every where I've got a nickname! And I use it for my "pen name" too!
    Addy(everywhere), monu(ghar), phantom(was a phantom in ragging at college), Brainwave(my blogs name now my alias) :D

  4. Great points Kitty (Sonu)! nicknames seem so obvious...they just happen, and one keeps collecting them as time passes - and do get nick-names which you dont like as well (Ganje, Takle, Farty, Rondoo...types) But as yu pointed...nick-names are given often thinking what you feel about a person! I think nick-names are given in 2 cases - Love and Dislike. The Dislike category names are often kept secret from the REAL person ... its a way to address him/her without using the real name, at times in front of the person as well!
    Good post! Keep writing
    - Chupa, Rana, Biki, Neo, Kausti, KM

  5. @ G2 - Thnx G2. That's precisely why I kept it at the end :)

    @ MM - haha. Mujhe toh tumhara comment hi fiction lag raha hai :) abhi google karunga tumhare sir ko. 'Machchar Singh', waah waah! ghani dushmani nikaali maa-baap ne.

    @ Addy - Thanks Addy. And you want to be called by your nickname as well, is what I feel. You like to be loved... you little boy. Btw.. yeh sonu monu har 3th ka naam hota hai... pretty common. But I think the next generation will keep fancier nicknames... I am sure about it.

    @ Neo - Thanks KM. Yes - you have pointed about another category but they dont qualify under 'nicknames are wonderful'... :) But yes, this category comes from what you feel like calling someone. While writing this I suddenly remembered a dislike category nickname for one of our bosses... boss DK. you remember?

  6. You should have in the research field. Dr. Khurana sounds nice also.

    -Baba Sanju Baba

  7. hey...liked ur post..
    mine is munna...and it was given by the doctor on my second day on earth, coz i fell ill and he had to write something in the name coloumn before admitting me ....but thanks to sunjay dutt its popular, most of my cousins call me munna bhai

  8. Hey, thanks so much Munna.

    I liked the story of your name.. I think Munna was the most logical thing the doc could do. "munne ko dava pila do :)"

    And thanks again for following. Welcome to my blog.


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