December 17, 2005

Inspired by the LJ of on her name, on the occasion of Bangalore's being re-named as Bengaluru...

Your name is a mix of what identifies YOU (your first name), and what identifies your origin (your father’s name.) Several years ago, a couple I know wanted to admit their daughter to school and have no other name on her school card but her own. They ran into such rough weather with the school authorities that they finally had to cave in. I admire people like M.S. Subbulakshmi (the initials stand for Madurai,her place of birth, and Shanmukhavadivu, her mother) who made a quiet stand for not wanting to go by the paternal bond, but believing that the maternal tie could be as important. She never made a brouhaha about it, but remained M S Subbulakshmi even after her marriage to Sadashivam.

And of course…people like Madonna who manage to make single names a statement of independent identity are on my “admire” list.

This whole re-naming thing is a storm in a teacup methinks. I have heard London being called “Londre” in Italian airports. The Danube is actually the Donau. Bharat is as much a part of our consciousness as India is. So what’s the big deal? Let Bangalore co-exist with Bengaluru. No need to make expensive changes in govt. records.

BTW I was born in Calcutta (Kolkata), lived in Madras (Chennai) and Mejura (Madurai) and now am a happy resident of BeanTown….