Monday, November 20, 2006

Mon Amie !!!!

Mallu bloggers have often posted on the beauty and variety of Mallu names. Of course, there is no other community who has got creative with names over the years.

If you studied in Kerala, Biju, Baiju, Saju, Soju, Fiju, Lijo, Jijo, Jojo, Mojo wouldve been half your classmates. And if you are non-Keralite -you'd still have met us nice guys from God's own Country - In all probablity the tech guy in the next cubicle with a thick moustache and a thicker accent would be called Jomon.

If you've known enough Keralites, you realize that Minimol has not been named such because of a particular small mole somewhere on her ; and Beenamol is not a statement on the previous career of a KGB infiltrator. Yes, Mol simply means daughter and Mon is son . So when a mother calls out to her son " Mone..." there is no reason she's invoking an French Impressionist painter with a first name Claude..

There's an unwritten code that you have to make sure the name has enough similar rhyming names ; or the non-rhyming one feels cut-off from the family tree. You cannot call the first one Bejoy; the second one Rejoy but the third one Avaraachan. Avaraachan would then be victim of apartheid within his family and the mental scars it leaves would make him do something tragic in life such as say, become a teetotaller or worse; go to work on a Hartal day !!

Parents faced with the creative task of naming their first born have to be really careful as if not; naming the second and third kid would be a nightmare- I know siblings by the names - Saajan, Maajan, Laajan and Vyaajan (ok, i didnt really catch the last one's name). And you might have a dyed-in-red-Communist Dad naming kids as Stalinmon, Leninmon and Mao Tse Tungmon (whew). And there have been cases in the 60's where a Mallu dad with a serious literary bend would call out to his fighting kids " Maupassant-mone (ok, thats pronounced as Mo-ppasang-mon) stop fighting with Kafkamon"

Ok, Why am I so masochistic?- i guess we Mallus are not alone in naming kids on a particular logic. Heard the one about the Sardarji in the army who decided to name his kids with Military titles?? Accordingly the first-born was Captain Singh, the second Colonel Singh but then..horrors ; the third was a girl !! He racked his brains till he could name her appropriately and then he knew what to do. Hospital records later showed that an "Armoured Kaur" was born there!!

All Mallu names are pretty harmless under most circumstances, but then let me come to the focal point of this entire post. ...You have to realize that sometimes there are quite unforeseen circumstances too where a name can be quite a problem!!

Having had to shuttle between 3 cities in the recent past- I store names in my mobile using a short place code. Hence Rohit in Gurgaon is stored as " Rohit Ggn" ; a friend Siddharth in London would be "Sid Ldn" and my wife in Bangalore would be stored as...well " Wife" ;-))

This works perfectly but then recently I was going thru my mobile phonebook when I froze!!!!

I furtively looked for any of the CCTV cameras which are said to monitor every move of Londoners and proceeded to Delete names on my phone.

Afterall, I commute here with a Haversack on my back and as as I'm often late ; i walk pretty fast. Now, that itself should be a reason enough for being shot by the London Cops but imagine a Cop shows restraint and decides to confirm my terrorist links by checking my mobile - maybe just to ensure that it is not some remote detonation device. He'll just take a cursory look at the names in the phonebook and confirm his suspicions about my Al-Queda links

I had an MBA batchmate named " Bini" who's now in London ; and accordingly i'd stored her name in my mobile as " Bini Ldn" !!!!


naresh said...

Bini might find this post very 'Laden'. Though I hope Bin finds this amusing, for the sake of world peace.

No word on the English spinner who shares your last name? You're the G(u)ileless sort, one might say, or is it??

silverine said...

"Minimol has not been named such because of a particular small mole somewhere on her ; and Beenamol is not a statement on the previous career of a KGB infiltrator" ROFL!!!!

he he really good one this...and the last one was to good!!! Thank god, my folks did not follow the pattern though my pet name is a combo of my folks names :p In my office, we have a "boymon" and a "girly"!!! Now beat that!!!

flaashgordon said...

@Naresh: I hadnt taken a chance..i had first got it cleared with the her !! In my case ; im still suppossed to be incognito. else i could have included the spinners etymology too

@Silverine: Boymon??!! thats rocking. Thanx a lot !Now let me try figure out the pet name :-))

mathew said...

superb one man..we can have a epic written on malayalee names..

itty varghese..chandy..blessy..sleazy...names galore can be research material!!! :-P

Me & Ro said...

Hilarious.. incidentally mallus are not the only ones with a penchant for weirdo (!!) names.. i once knew a gujju guy named Healthy Desai.. when the prof asked him why his parents choose to name him that, he replied, "Because my brother's Wealthy Desai"!!

clemenza said...


"bin ldn"

heheh, nice aliya.

theres something abt mallus and names !!!

silverine said...

@mathew: Sleazey!!
@me & ro: Healthy Desai!!


navin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
flaashgordon said...

@ mathew : thanks a lot ! Heheh sleazy eh??Also there are well documented evidences of lousies, shitties, titties in schools back home

@ Me & Ro: heheh..thts too good !!
mebbe he's got another brother called wise. The parents wanted their kids to be Healthy, wealthy and wise!!

@ clemenza : Sure! Sheer Creativity, eh?

3:11 PM, November 21, 2006

Me & Ro said...

Btw, i couldnt help do a 'google' on the gujju brothers after posting that comment. Looks like mom & dad did choose apt names for their lads.

H is now a successful orthpaedic surgeon and W is generating tonnes of it with his numerous patents. Whoever said "It's all in the name" was certainly right for once!! :)

flaash said...

@Me & Ro: Wow!! so its all about getting the kid's name right, eh?? And isnt it great that u have come across this info just at the right time :-))

Kurur said...

A few friends of mine after several man-days of research (while languishing on the "bench") came to a conclusion that the most embarassing Indian surname anyone could have while travelling in the English-sepaking world is "Dikshit" for quite obvious reasons. :-)

sapphire said...

hey I remmeber u got recently married to ...congrats...who is the lucky lady...may b if it aint too personal u can write a post on it :)

naveen said...

Gr8 post....Well,I c tht u have increased the frequency of ur posts...Good thing yaar...

jammy said...

Hats off buddy!
Rekha and I really enjoyed the bit about Mallu names. The Mallu names have been a blessing in disguise for me. When it comes to remembering relatives' names.....all I need to do is associate two syllables to each face!

jammy said...

oops...the whole point of leaving a comment is getting some click could I have missed my url. ;-)

Jiby said...

as always good one man...well am i not a case in point for this post with my jiby name!!! actually i hated it until i came to the US and a lot of ppl said it wuz cool...well that was until this guy who was gay and who couldnt stop gushing abt my name and my sis and friends who were around me just cudnt stop laughing!

and there is this malayali lady who is doing research on the mallu naming phenomenon and she wanted to know my thoughts on this after reading some post on my blog.

next time i see a beenamol i am gonna tell her about your interpretation of the!

flaashgordon said...

Hi All

Sorry for the delay in replyin to comments coz my company has banned blogs and ive to use a cyber cafe for replyin

@Kurur: Hehehe how about Hardik Dikshit??

@sapphire :Well sure will write about it..Mebbe a book. Will u pay for it and buy it??

@naveen: Thanks pal !! But once again im at my office where blogs are banned. So its bit difficult to be regular :-(( but keep checkin this site
@ jammy : Yeah pal, 2 syllables would work for most mallu names. However Tam names are usually one of Venkat, Karthik or Senthil - so they're easy too ;-)))Only some exceptions like urselves ;-) Just the surnames are tricky....
Do keep visiting - btw me n wife are big fans of ur blog too

@ Jiby : i left out Jiby out of the listed names :-) of course i know people by the names joby, miby, liby, siby, niby and so on...Such userfriendly names .eh???


Jithu said...

Bini Ldn was awesome. hope the US spies wont bump on u having knwn abt this in ur cell phone.. mallus have amazin creativity when it comes to naming. hv seen names like titu, burton (apparently this guy's father was a burotta mutton fan and made his name outta these two) etc.. the yesteryears re-establish this as a trend long kept, where there were names like 'appicherukkan'..

kyra said...

this is hilarious...
being a mallu myself and having a family of fancifully-named people, i totally get what you mean

maya said...

here's another cracker - jetto joseph, and his younger brother booby joseph! imagine keeping a straight face when you're being introduced to them!

~£i~ said...

Hmmm , It is not strange as it seems to us Mallus. Thought my name (lijo) was unique until I happened to meet 65 more Lijo's from difefrent parts of the world in orkut :) including few from Brasil and US :)

flaashgordon said...

That Burton etymology was too good !! This reminds me of a senior who was nicknamed billy chief after he ordered a billy chief instead of chlly beef at a restaurant !!!

@ kyra: Thank u and do keep visiting. Was ur name derived from the malayalam word "Kayar" by any chance :- )

@ maya :Ouch !!u'd never want to live with a name ike that. i have myself know brothers with names Dick and Dane !!
@ Lijo: A brazilian Lijo, eh??Cool !!But wouldnt that be a nickname rather than a real first name?

sreeparna said... sis is Aparna and I had to be Sreeparna ..a family friend once asked me if my brother is Kumbhakarna!!!;-)
I believe one of our cousins once commented that it was funny our pet names were "ammini" and "immini" respectively...this in spite of the fact that his brother and he are Appu and Dippu!!!

aqua said...

ha ha .. Bini became so famous.. There were names called 'Kunjiraman' also..
Recently landed up on ur blog.. Have a haircut in East Ham. Take a district line train and come to EastHam, U can have a haircut for 5 pounds. U will stumble up on many South Indians there!

flaashgordon said...

@ sreeparna :Kumbhakarna was too good ! btw Appu & Ammini seems to be the pet name of almost everyone in my wife's family:-)) But immini is new to me ! -)

@ aqua: Have come bk to India now- will use East Ham for a haircut next time i'm there. Have visited ther previously for the South indian restaurants and grocery shops.

Binny V A said...

We are better than the Chinese. The word on the street is that they name their babies using the following method.

When a kid is born, the father picks up a plate and drops it. Then he names the kid after the sound the plate made. Eg: Ding Ming Ching.

flaashgordon said...

@binny: Thts a good idea for naming ! Also have heard of Red Indians where after the kid is born the dad steps out and name it after the first animal he spots !!!

Nariyal Chutney said...

Hilarious . Mallu Names and Mallus are so strange . Flaash , You had promised about a blog after marriage with some key learnings for all bachelors in your old Indiatimes Blog . What happened to it ?

flaashgordon said...

@nariyal chutney: havent got around to writing anything such now with wofe monitoring all my posts and comments :-)))Let me see tho' ...Thnxx for checking out this place and do keep visitng :-)


Shn said...

Hello Flassh, I bumped into ur blogspot a month back and I am glad I did and I've bookmarked ur page. I love the way u twist day-to-day events with a touch of humour.'Mon Amie' was awesome and so was 'Phoney Tales'.

Right now I have a blogspot rolling; I'm a foodie blogger, an amateur I shd say. I would really appreciate if you could let me have ur link in mine under a section called "Teatime companions" where I plan to link some of the blogs I visit regularly. Pls do let me know. Also,ur wife may find my blogspace interesting :)

flaashgordon said...

@shn : thanks for ur compliments. Would be honoured to have my blog linked in urs. Will blogroll urs too in mine..


Mishmash ! said...

Flaash, Thanks :) Its done ! do drop by if u wanna boost ur appetite :)


flaashgordon said...

@ Mishmash : Thanks a lot. Likewise for u too

Anonymous said...

I kinda empathize with the guys, being from southern india myself. However, mallu names are hilarious. The Baby in my undergrad batch always had to wave his arms while marking attendance, as the prof invariably looked among te girls!!! Then there was Titty, a muscular four foot something, who went to the gym, and Shyjumon.

Biby Cletus said...

Nice post, its a really cool blog that you have here, i like the way you present things, keep up the good work, will be back.

Expect more from you...

Warm Regards

Biby Cletus :-

You might enjoy reading this blog :- Mass Agitations - Manias and Phobias

Anonymous said...

Speaking of names, i have three kids living in my neigb. called Shindo, Lindo, and Lirindo. speaking of mallu names also reminds me of my another three of my niece Lindy, Linsy, and Lisy. i wondered what they would do if they had a fourth daughter.

Anonymous said...

How about Jiji, Fiji and Lijo. I had a classmate named Lijo Jose (girl) and at the same time there was a boy named Lijo Jose.
I feel sorry for the kids who are named like this.
By the way, I chanced upon your blog recently - it's humorous - I had to stifle my laughter in order not to wake up my kids.

Nikhil Narayanan said...

Goodness me.
Find me a Mallu blogger who hasnt written on this... [blog_nikhil_co_in]
Even I did sometime back.
Must have post for a mallu blogger?

And Google tells me this [www_google_co_in]