Saturday, September 08, 2007

The game of the name.

Can someone tell me why Bombay Jayashri has not changed her name to Mumbai Jayashri, long after the name “Bombay” made way for ‘Mumbai’? Or, for that matter why didn’t ‘Bombay Dyeing’ grab this opportunity to become ‘Mumbai Living’?

I remember how Bombay Electric Supply and Transport, when Bombay became Mumbai, didn’t change their name to Mumbai Electric Supply and Transport. Instead they cleverly assumed the name of Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport. East or West, they decided, they will be BEST always, never MEST. Admirable loyalty to an acronym, but that was cheating. The acronym should actually be BMEST, pronounced by holding one’s breath and releasing the compressed air from the mouth.

Also, why does the historian S.Muthiah call his column, ‘Madras Musings” when Madras became Chennai long back? Surely, this is to keep the 3M title of Muthiah’s Madras Musings alive? Either he should change his name to Chinnaiah and call his column, “Chinniah’s Chennai Cursings” or, if he is so keen on his baptised name and the 3Ms, call it, “Muthiah’s Mylapore Musings”. He can’t have it all.

Change of name is not so simple though. Years back when Madras Refinery Ltd (MRL) was forced to drop Madras from its name, I suspect that all the senior executives met at Fisherman Cove for a week to come up with a different name. After much brainstorming, someone must have come up with the ingenious idea that, why not they change the name to Chennai Refinery Ltd or CRL. Brilliant, everyone said, till one of the typists must have gently pointed out that CRL happened to be the acronym of Cochin Refinery Ltd and that much confusion would result. So, the senior executives must have thought and thought and finally come up with ‘Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd” or CPCL.

Too bad, that after all this work by MRL, Cochin became Kochi and CRL became KRL.

One of these days, some Tamil politician is going to stage a dharna outside the Madras Cricket Club and force them to change their name to Chennai Cricket Club. But, hey, this is a much better name. They can call themselves the 3C. Though, they might get into issues with Calcutta Chaat Corner, near my house. These guys chose their name carefully and wanted a minimum of 3Cs too. But, wait. MCC has a chance. I just heard that the Kolkata Kommunist Komrades have warned this bhelpuri shop that the continued use of “Calcutta’ in the name, could have serious consequences. So, poor fellow, he has ordered a new name board which says, “Kolkata Kachori Kiosk”.

As if all this is not enough, cricketer S.Sreesanth has changed his name to S. Sree Santh. He pulled up a reporter recently for spelling his name wrongly. He also listens carefully for the capital S in ‘Santh”, when you call out his name. Reminds me of a character called “Sir Jasper ffinch-ffarrowmere” in one of the short stories of P.G.Wodehouse. A piece of conversation from the story:

"Sir Jasper Finch-Farrowmere?" said Wilfred.
"ffinch-ffarrowmere," corrected the visitor, his sensitive ear detecting the capitals.

Same with Sree Santh. Approach him, if you must, with 3S.

Airlines have caught this bug too. Indian Airlines became Indian and later merged with Air India. This, in my opinion, is quite reasonable. After all, isn’t an Indian part of India? But, the other change, that of Sahara becoming Jet Lite is completely stupid. Do they expect all the maps of Africa to be changed, to show the “ Great Jet Lite Desert” in the northern parts? The other rumour that Kingfisher is going back to its scientific name of Alcedo Atthis is yet to be confirmed as Vijay Mallya, the UB king, has gone fishing, in a lake outside Bangalore.

Sorry, that should read as Bengaluru. Yes, Bangalore is dead. Long live Bengaluru. They wanted to change Mangalore to Mengaluru also, but I have confidential information that the Udupi Hotel Owners Assocation stalled it, as they would have had to incur expenses of crores of rupees to buy chalk pieces to correct the name of the item ‘Mangalore Bonda’ to “Mengaluru Bonda” on the black boards in all their joints scattered all over the world.

At least, Bengaluru doesn’t have to alter any of the acronyms as the first letter remains the same. The fuss that people make about names, acronyms and, not to forget, the 3Cs, 3Ms and the 3Ss. I am disgusted. As All Are Aware, I don’t Approve of these Artificially Arranged, Annoying Acronyms And Alliterative Adaptations.


dipali said...

Read this just after lunch, I am sure that so much laughter is Deeply Distressing to Dipali's Digestion.

Shruthi said...

Heh heh :D

Btw, Mangalore IS actually Mangaluru (a, not e) in Kannada, so woe betide Udupi hotels!

Raj said...

Dipali, laughter catalyses digestion, trust me.

shruthi, thanks. Good you pointed out the error. Otherwise, the Udupi hotels would have had to re-write the menu all over again.

Usha said...

adada...inda peyar prachinai perisa poche!

Anonymous said...

We need not fear for Mysore; there seems to be no lurking danger for the 'Rasam, Pahu and Bonda'

Raj said...

usha, unmai.

sankar, Mysore will soon become Mysuru.....