When a little baby girl decided to descend on the face of earth in the cot of a robust Punjabi couple, they jumped in joy and landed back on ground doing Bhangra. Why not! They so wanted her to be their doll. Did it make any difference if she had tiny ears, long face, a flattened head and big bobbly eyes? No, not to them. Looked like an ape, if you ask me. Sure, she descended from apes and her features were a definite proof of that.
A meek voice?
They laughed. A Punjabi with such a soft voice! The voice would drown in the roars. But she was their doll. Relatives looked at the oval faced wonder and suggested names similar to eggs, papaya and all things elongated. Thank God, the brother was more enamored by the feather weight than the big eyes and doodle head. He picked the doll that looked at him curiously and announced it to the world, “She is my bubble.”
You ask, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” in the true Shakespearean manner.
But bubble she was. The wind would make her lose the balance; the hops for hop scotch would turn into long jumps as inertia would be close on the heels of her long sticky legs. But she would sway, true to her name, with the wind – carefree, untied, an invisible layer under her feet; she would reflect the color of grass, the hues of sky, the ribbons of rainbow but she would also pop at the slightest touch. The drama played in her eyes, the tears jerked with the smallest of pillow fights. Bubble she was.
So I say, “So Bubble would, were she not called Bubble?
You say, “It would.”
“We doff thy name.”
So Bubble went and entered a new name but the feather weight stayed.
As it couldn’t be her name in the school. After all, what would the kids call her? They would tease her; they would shred her. The holy books came handy, the suggestions came pouring in. The impulse to Google or asking for suggestions on Facebook was so not the order of the day or she would have ended up with the trendiest but oddly unique name. Well, the name was oddly unique now too with the added advantage of being gender neutral. So you pick up a stone, and a namesake would pop up with a big smile nodding the head in agreement. The result – at least three namesakes in her every class with the complete confusion of a ‘Singh’ and a ‘Kaur’ (signifies the sikh-ness). And that was just the start.
But what her new name meant?
‘Someone who sings praises for the lord.’
So she singed, with the soft voice.
First the Shammi melody ‘Aaja aaja’ complemented with a shimmy and then the glorious Michael Jackson. ‘Blood on the Dance Floor’ spilled when The ‘Smooth Criminal’ stuck. ‘Dangerous’ became the anthem until one day her parents reminded her that it meant the Lord up there and not the one living in Neverland. So much for the love of God. Well, now that both of them are up there, together, I am sure whenever I put on ‘Thriller’, I see them holding hands and doing moonwalk. No wonder, the rains are so heavy in my part of the world. The clouds just can’t stop colliding. But I digress.
You ask, “So what about the name?”
The name of course! Friends bent it, cut it, and turned it into jazz in a hippie way.
‘Doff thy name.’
With just the swung notes left, it was now open for the creativity to flow. So as the jazz played in the air, the fingers tapped furiously on the keyboard, ripping apart the code and sending it into numerous iterations to create perfect software. Highly creative, amidst long work hours and non-stop coffee. And then to break the deadly jig, entered another dimension – an extension cord, umbilical cord they say, that marked the journey of creative. Just when the boy stepped out of the tummy, a team somewhere, sitting in a posh office, decided to print a heartfelt article of this mother- to -be. She loved to wield the pen and in a hormonal fit sent this article to an established newspaper. A week old, the boy, saw his mother’s name in the print. The signal was clear. The snipping of the name and the umbilical cord were working.
So do you still say “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”?
I say, “So Jas would, were she not called Jas?”
You say, “she would.”
Even without the title.
[This post is part of the WordPress Daily Prompts : 365 Writing Prompts program where the aim is to post at least once a day based on the prompts that they have provided. Today’s prompt is, “Do you know the meaning of your name, and why your parents chose it? Do you think it suits you?”]
I am one of the guest authors at We Post Daily for the month of September.