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Tuesday, August 15, 2023

What's in the name? Tell me about it.

 ‘Ram’, I suddenly called my colleague in a group call as I struggled recalling his preferred name. I confess I am poor with remembering names and worse when I am not attentive enough to talk. It's a weakness that keeps people like me much to themselves. I am sure many would relate to this predicament. But that’s not the point here. The point is I called him Ram because out of his full long traditional Indian name which contained several small different names, that’s the only one that stood out for me when I quickly gazed at the screen to help myself out. And the real point of this story is I love the name Ram. Simply because I love Ram. 

Let's clear the air first before proceeding with the rest of this story. Yes I am talking about 'The Ram' from the epic Ramayana. But I insist there is nothing religious about it. Yeah yeah I agree, it started because of the religion I was born into. And the culture- yeah all those festivals. And the rituals. I get all that but to avoid wearing the religion on my sleeves, lets say my love started when I read the epic Ramayana and loved the character of the main protagonist, Ram. I loved it so much that I didn't care about what is right or wrong in that holy epic as many modern people debate. I like to stay away from ‘those’ sort of discussions. For me, there is this whole romance associated with Ram and Ramayana, a whole cult that has nothing to do with the story. It’s just positivity and complete devotion to an idea of someone who is very pure and kind. It’s the process of focusing and devoting one self on that pure form that I find very attractive. I don’t want anything negative between me and that feeling of devotion. Clear? Good lets go back to the story.

I felt very proud that I was factually correct while calling my colleague in my miserable state of absenteeism. I also felt very amused that I could chant Ram publicly while speaking with my colleagues. That’s the beauty of Indian names which are after our Gods. That’s why my daughters names are after the Hindu Goddesses. Calling these names ensure something spiritual at least in the whole busy day than doing nothing lol.  

BUT my colleague was not very happy about it. As I said earlier, ‘Ram’ is just part of his full name but of course, his first name which he prefers to be his calling name, is different. And everybody is used to calling him with that regular name. So after the meeting, much to my surprise and his annoyance, my little 'one second' faux pas ensued a kind of mayhem. People were confused in the office, some called him and asked what should they actually call him and some got so confused they were asking who is this new guy called ‘Ram’ in the team! And though he was able to clear some air in sometime yet his name as ‘Ram’ stayed with the project manager who is an Englishman. Ram is a name that has its own significance, its own magic, even people from other cultures pay attention to the name especially when someone say it with the kind of devotion like mine. Ram, Christ, Buddha, Mohammad these names make people around the world pause. They are not just names, they are the ideals of human life. The manager was adamant to call him only ‘Ram’ every time and not letting it go as he found it nice and easy to pronounce it. Especially after learning with much difficulty so many different kind of names in our multicultural team.  

Poor guy struggled to remind his real first name to the manager and rest of the team for sometime but finally gave up much to his dismay. Later whenever he talked to me, he would call me by different names, some times Ruchi, sometimes Rohini and sometimes just anything - he said he genuinely gets confused but I suspect he does it to get even which I honestly don’t mind. After all, I felt blessed as I get to hear ‘Ram’ ka ‘naam’ every morning in my work calls.  😂