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" !!!!