“ What's in a name? "

“What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Confused? No!!! I have no plans to plagiarize from one of the most illustrious poems from Shakespeare, the one and only real gem of the Stratford-upon-Avon? As always, Shakespeare is very much true….even if we call rose by some other name; it will give the same aroma as rose. There losses the relevance of names….but I wonder how it will be in a world where no one has the name. It will be perfect confusion. In a recent advertisement played by Abhishek Bachchan, I saw a system where people are known not with their names, but with numbers. Sounds awesome, right? A world where human beings do not have names of their own that is exactly like a prison. A nameless world is not impossibility, but we always do associate our names with our existence, our personality. It is a symbol of our own identity like a business name is associated with a company logo. There was times where names carried great meanings…like Elroi, the God who sees me. Hagar named her God as Elroi, when she realized that her God sees her even though she does not see him. We can see similar traditions of naming and christening in the biblical scenario. Like, Simon was rechristened as Peter and Saul was rechristened as Paul. The current generation also follows similar traditions.

Some names carry great meanings on the other hand some are given just to identify that particular person. Like my name Jisha is a Spanish word that means "very beautiful and intelligent”, but if you ask the meaning of my name to my parents they may make a strange face.  The name I was given during birth was Suja. Though, Jisha is my official name, I did not hear that name often till recent times. Even now, many of my relatives, cousins and close friends do not even remember my official name as they do love calling me by my pet name.  In all my sweet memories, I was called as Suja mol, Suji, Vidhu or even Vikki, my nickname. My ears and brain started understanding the name Jisha as my own when I left school to join college. There, teachers called me by my official name, but my friends used to call me by names like Jish, Jis and Jee. This different articulation of my name on the ground of intimacy made the name Jisha so alien to me. My real name that flags my identity misses the sense of warmth and affection I always looked for. My mind always tend to keep all those who call me by my official name out of my comfort zone, unfortunately the list includes many of my routine contacts. Knowingly or unknowingly names are associated with identity of people. The feeling we tend to rise while hearing the name Hitler will never be the same while we hear the name Mother Theresa. So, names carry the character and personality of persons associated with it.

As in the case of every other system, the naming system also does have regional differences. The region, language and culture play great role in naming the individuals of respective regions. While analyzing the names from different regions, I could notice one thing and it led me to frame a hypothesis. The hypothesis was that the first person that formed or developed the norms of culture and society was a man. That is why children and women are known by the names of their fathers and husbands. This is the reason why Mr.Clinton didn’t have to change his name as Mr.Hillary when Ms.Hillary changed her name as Mrs.Clinton. All their kids irrespective of sex are named under their father’s decent. As stated earlier, the naming system has regional differences, but I could see no difference in this male domination criterion in all these systems. Now I do remember about an article that explains the life of a South American tribe where women are dominated in the society. They are worshipped as divine leaders as they take pain to give birth. As I don’t remember the name of that tribe, I am not able to get the naming details of that tribe online. Hopefully they might form an exception. However, names carry meanings and it explains our identity as the son/daughter/wife of a particular person. This system gives a meaning to the naming system like there is a meaning to every individual name. Meaningful or not some people change their name when they grew up whereas some other people prefer to preserve it as their family inheritance. The change of name is often associated with people who find mismatch in their personality and name.


Selva on June 17, 2013 at 5:13 AM said...

Thanks Jisha for the lovely words on my blog about my little one, though its a bit late but never late for a Thanks :) Do visit me on my personal blog which is where I rant these days!
Good week to u!

Post a Comment


Jisha Jagadeesh

Copyright © 2015

It's Me The Miracle by Jisha Jagadeesh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License