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Friday, May 03, 2013

Kill my name please

A rose by any other name is still a rose !

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 .

I always knew myself as Harimohan

( heard my parents wanted only Hari but added the appendage to please a friendly neighbourhood long nose 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 knew

but then neither my appearance nor body language  would fit a burly sardar or a brawn muscled Panjabi Jat.iam just the short rotund pot bellied south indian not very dark but !

I would describe myself as a podgy spectacled wimp who could never ever burst into a Bangra on hearing balle .balle .

( I have 2 left legs  ).
neither was me a voluberant verbiose large hearted hug everyone tightly and laugh loudly sardar 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 ).just donet forget that vital s

There was a Harimohan.p who was a writer

well I liked that .

After all all Harimohans dont end up dreaming of becoming  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 when I was in UAE for 6 years and now just arrived in sultanate of Brunei  .

In UAE I worked 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 or being intellectually backward

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 .i sort of liked it !

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 had  them )

liked 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 who is now in New zealand ( so no more calls )

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 )well this is what i called as honey laced murder

The best part of it was in one formal letter I was even called Hair mohan .

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 .

 people are called by the family and the fathers name .in the UAE

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 )
and now in Brunei it has started again
thankfully many call me plain Hari and some Mohan as this is a very familiar name here
the Harry potter still lingers though i should be the seniormost version of harrypotter ever created
Hari means day in Malay and Hari Raya means festive days and Hari Bagus means good day we often see shops in this side of the world called Hari Hari
Thankfully Iam nothing of all these

I am still your plain old Hari
so take care



Dr.Manoj said...

Hariji !
Interesting read !
That reminds me of my friend Mr.Vargehese Paulose who submitted his passport for renewal at the Brunei High commission.
His actual name in passport was Varghese Moolamkuzhiyil Paulose and when his passport was renewed it became Vargehese Moolam Kuzhiyil Paulose !
V.P (as we call him ) was lucky that his dad ( Mr.Paulose) had passed away or else.......
Keep posting
Manu ( As I'm known at home !)

deeps said...

That’s interesting and hilarious too… in fact I have had my share of tryst with my name very early in my childhood and forced ma parents to change my name … bingo…
Well, a lot of philosophy revolves around a name.. nha?

Maddy said...

was fun reading this..
hope all goes well, must be hot like hell there

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