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“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose

By any other word would smell as sweet.”

After days of Ganth Bashing and Moore loving, I saw a great movie “Autograph”. A very realistic depiction. Cheran had done a wonderful job of walking on thin ice and maintaining viewer interest in the film. The film would have easily fallen into the panthenons of the boring art movies had he slowed the pace even a wee bit. I remember a similar practical but very very boring movie of yesteryear’s “Veedu” –

which had emotions and sentiments that everyone could identify with but the pace of the movie was too slow. I remember Balu Mahendra would show how the old man( popularly called “Veedu Thatha”) brushes his teeth clean and this reel would go for five damn minutes.

More importantly “Autograph” – the title mystified me. Wasn’t it apt to name it “Autobiograph(y)” . Maybe the masses would have heard the word “Autograph” and not “Autobiography” which sounds more like a Crichton novel than a Cheran film. He could have named it “Autobiography : Edhu Ungallin Kadhai” just to make sure that it was not an English movie and also attract the village masses. It would have reversed the irritating trend of giving a tamil name and using a english punchline like “Narasimha : The Ultimate Force”, “Alexander:Where is Wasim Khan?” , “Vallarasu: Please Run Away” , “Nattamai: Reverse the Judgement” etc etc.

One of my friends was remarking that English films dubbed in Tamil were the best moneyspinners these days. Isn’t that strange? Imagine the names of the dubbed movies. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon – “Padhungum Puli Marayum Pambu”, Harry Potter and the Sorcer’s Stone- Harry Potterum Mandharavadhi Kallum, Rush Hour- Avasara Neram( you want to piss) , Rush Hour II – Avasara Neram II ( you want to pee),Van Helsing – “Komberimookan”, Beautiful Mind – “Azhagiya Moolai”, Spiderman – “Ettukal Manidhan” etc etc

Names are the ulimate testimonials to the term “Deceptive Packaging”. A guy named “Arokiyasamy” ( God of Health) would be visiting the doctor just as often as you would use the restroom. “Harichandran” ( an Indian mythological character, known for his honesty) will embody the characterstics of “Harshad Mehta” than “Harichandran”. Raman will have multiple affairs and Monica might be a virgin for lifetime.

How about nicknames? Nicknames stick on to you like a leech. I have friends named “Oops”, “Fider”, “Pistol” , “Pop” , “Bellagio” and I don’t recognize them if people refer to them by their real names. More mysterious behind the nicknames are stories behind those. Some of them can even be A-Rated. We recently named a friend PKS – “Pall Kutti Samiyar” due to his obsession to get sainthood at an early age. I am sure he sincerely hopes the name doesn’t stick on as he approaches matrimonalism as guys atleast the desis,strongly believe that names play a vital role in landing a good wife. A belief stemming from the stories of Palpandis, Poonguzhalsamys etc etc. For non believers, browse through my blog and you can find one such story written by a frustrated soul.

If a certain dude named William Shakespeare ever meets you, send him to me because he wrote in Romeo and Juliet “What’s in a name”. How untrue when so much depends on your name and when that name is not Romeo Montague?

Yours Truthfully

Nahsradus Hserus

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

July 28, 2004 at 11:54 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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