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Thursday, September 16, 2010

what is in a name ?

A rose by any other name is still a rose !
Add Image But still a name is a name .
In Advaita philosophy life itself and all of us are just illusions and our existence is described by that wonderful term MAYA which has no equal in the queens language and so our names and ourselves are actually quite worthless .
But for a mere mortal like me Advaithic thoughts dont come in the way of name attachment .
We are so much used to our names that we see ourselves as a projection to our names
All of us are happy when somebody calls us or remembers us by name
This has been one of the oldest tricks in the chicken soup for your soul business !
Remember names to keep winning in life .
With an inborn amnesia bordering on the early Alzheimers for me name remembering exercises have been one mostly of embarassaments and fiascos .

To make a long story short this post is all about my name and its mutations after coming to the gulp sorry Gulf .
I always knew myself as Harimohan
( heard my parents wanted only Hari but added the appendage to please a friendly neighbourhood longnose who insisted on adding Mohan why should he do that ? ).
So I got a Mohan as a tail due to no fault of mine .
Hari with Mohan is not very common but Hariharans ,Harikumars and Harikrishnans grew wild like weeds specially down in the south .
There are lot of Punjabis who were Harmohans I heard .
Neither my appearance nor outlook would fit a burly sardar or a brawn muscled Panjabi Jat.
Iam neither tall nor sturdy and would would describe myself as a podgy spectacled wimp who could never ever burst into a Bangra on hearing balle .balle .
( I have just 2 left legs you see ).
I did search Harimohans in Google and surprisingly found that the first few searches were on me and my blog ( you can try it ).
There was a Harimohan.p who was a writer
well I liked that .
After all all Harimohans dont end up dreaming to become writers ,
some also do so !
I did contact this Harimohan and he was nice of enough to reply to me and keep in touch .
Now I am coming to the heart of the matter which is to dwelve upon the mutilations my name suffered the last three years .
I work in Tawam hospital run by the Johns hopkins group .
It has a resonable sprinkling of humanity from all corners of the earth as its staff
( they say around 80 countries ! ).
The day I joined here they called me into the office by the name Dr Narayanan as my passport shows me as Narayanan Harimohan ( Narayanan is my fathers name )
I ignored the call for some time before enlightment dawned on me and then sauntered in creating the impression of having an auditory disability .
Slowly friends and colleagues started calling me Hari .
Formally I was Dr.Harimohan.
The Filipino nurses who were in abundance generally spoke in thier tingling high pitched tones converting names to thier Legalo language .
To them I was Harimona !
Monne in malayalam my mother tongue is an endearing adjective akin to darling so no issues there .

To the whites what could I be other than Haaaarry .
Some nurses made it a habit to call me Haarry potter !
my pot luck I should say
( in Malayalam potter is kosavan so it is Harry kosavan no potters from Kerala dont hail from Serbia Kosova !)
The Arabs( syrians ,jordanians ,Algerians ,Morrocans ,Somalis ,Ethiopians ,Sudanese Iranians ,Iraqis you name them we have them )
like to call me Hani or Harith which are familiar to them .
I often got phone calls directed to my Iraqi friend and plastic surgeon Harith Al Ani
In the ER ,Hani was another physician who often got confused with me !
The South African nurses would sometimes would call me honey !
( Honey I would kill you if you give me more work )
The best part of it was in one formal letter I was even called Hairmohan .
Well that takes the cake for someone who doesnt have a lot of this crowning glory .
Narayanan and Hari both are lord Krishnas names .
How I fit the honour I dont know
I too have a roving eye like him but had never been so sucessful .
So all is not in a a name itself you know .
Down here people are called by the family and the fathers name .
Bin means son of ( like Osama Bin Laden .....Osama son of Laden )
So I would be Hari Bin Narayanan if I take from my father .
If it is from my paternal grandfather I would be Hari Bin Moose no no not mouse he was Parameswaran Moose an Ayurvedic phsyician ( The Mooses are a Namboothiri clan who have a penchant for medicine as thier profession )
some of his genes wouldhave been swimming in my professional chromosomes !
If I take from my maternal grandfather I would have been Hari Bin Raja
That sounds a bit pompous ,but he was P.C.Manavedan Raja of Padinjara Kovilakam Mankavvu Calicut ( Iam showing off you see )
Thankfully Iam nothing of these
I am still your plain old Hari



Anonymous said...

HA Ha Ha the genology genius,and his genes

Nice one and rooted to the earth

Sreejith Nair

umesh said...

After all, what is in a name? dear hari.

harimohan said...

ya umesh to me it is worth a blog post !!

Anonymous said...

That was quite intersting - even when I first met you the nurse told me I will Call Dr.Haari.

Sadasiv Swain said...

Hari, yours is a catchy name Hari Mohan that's very easy to remember.
I liked your post.

Anonymous said...

Hi Hari Naryanan. oops your Excellency Hari Raja / Shri Shri Shri Hari Moose/ Harietan/ chetta - / hey u - But you'll still be my dear ol hari.
Sushil Daniel

Anonymous said...

Quite funny Hairmohan.

Anonymous said...

That was very entertaining Hari. Liked reading it. Trust all's well.

Harimohan Paravu

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading Hari Bin N Bin PM. Plain Hari is fine,tho there is a weight for Harimohan, even if not with the pat. grf''s Raja. But for me my loving bro Hari etta is best. Love to & from all. Bye.


Pranav Pradeep said...

Nice blog "Harimaaman" doctor! preiously i was your paitient from 3 months old.Most oftenly i used come to you with my parents for my small small diseases & vaccines.Hearing my parents calling you "Harimohan doctor" i started mocking them by calling you (in my collocial language i knew when i was 1year old) "Harimaaman doctor" (maaman means 'uncle' in malayalam). Infact, for me "mohan" turned out to be "maaman".Now Im studying in abudhabi doing my 11th. But still i insist to call you by "Harimaaman" doctor.....Beacause you are more than a Doctor to me and my family......

Harimohana Narayanan said...

Well I know this comment is out of nowhere but I can empathise with you as my name is Harimohana Narayanan and I came across this blog post when i was randomly browsing the net. Well it is good to know that I am not alone :D

Harimohana Narayanan said...

Well I know this comment is out of nowhere
but I can empathise with you as my name is Harimohana Narayanan and
I came across this blog post when i was randomly browsing the net.
Well it is good to know that I am not alone when it comes to having a complicated name:D

harimohan said...

Oh wow another me harimohana
Pranav my dearest
And all you endearing people uou made me special

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