3 April 2006

What's in a name?

When you have a not-so-commonplace name like ‘Rajarshi’ then life becomes quite interesting. I don’t say that my name is a singular name simply because when I ‘googled’ for my name, profiles of lots of physicists and academicians, mainly from US universities, came up. Somebody is doing some research on chaos theory in Georgia Tech, somebody is a prof in UC, Berkeley and all that. But there is a common denominator to all of them - they are all Bongs. Yes, I am yet to meet or hear of a guy with name ‘Rajarshi’, who is not a bengali. And yes, ‘Rajarshi’ happens to be a guy’s name contrary to the common mistake made by many people who confuse ‘Rajarshi’ with ‘Rajashree’. I was named by my grandmother after Tagore’s immortal classic by the same name. I am yet to read Tagore’s ‘Rajarshi’. Literally speaking Rajarshi symbolizes the one who embodies the virtues of both ‘Raja’, the king and ‘Rishi’, the sage. A harmonic balance between materialism and spiritualism, between ‘bhog’ and ‘tyaag’. That’s the philosophy part, which I often add to explain people the meaning of my name. :))
Well coming down to more practical things, the problem with having such a unique name is, people always end up misspelling your name. In my case, the count of people in my entire life, who could spell my name correctly in their first attempt, happens to be less than 20 (This count, of course, doesn’t include my immediate family members). Probably, that’s the reason; I take extra care while spelling anybody’s name, because I myself hate it when people misspell my name. More typical the name, more the care I take. As if misspelling is not enough, people pronounce it incorrectly. I have heard my name with myriad regional accents, everyone outdoing the previous one in ‘raping’ my name. Exasperated, I had to resort to the means of abbreviating my name from ‘Rajarshi’ to ‘Raj’ during the very first week of my college. And by the time of passing out of college, 90% of my batchmates didn’t know that I am ‘Rajarshi’ and not ‘Raj’.Personally, I just love my name, just like most of us. One of my dreams is to ‘live’ my name some day. As of now, the least I can say is I try to live up to my name.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hmm remember so many school incidents :) anyways i really liked your all the time!!
- reshmi