-Dabbling with babbles-
I consider myself to belong to the baby booming generation. Don’t we all belong to that – at least all of us who have been fortunate enough to procreate? In the last year and a half, there were at least about a dozen of my very good friends who added new members to their respective families, in the form of babies. Or if I can quote one of my friends whose baby announcement read “Our home has grown by two feet”, I should say that my friends’ homes have witnessed 24 feet of growth all together, in a year or so. This is just my friends – given that I am not the type who has too many friends, this has got to tell you something, that there is a baby boom always, whether you belong to that generation or not.
Giving a name to your baby is not easy. That is what everyone told us. I cannot recall if our experience confirms to that general belief or not. But I do not think my wife and I had any difficulty in zeroing in on a name for our son. It was neither a very scientific process that we adopted nor an argumentative one. As one would suggest a name, we would discuss why we liked that name or why we didn’t. And when there were names that we thought both of us liked we would add it to our list. And when both of us ran out of names to suggest, we looked at the list and we had 3 names in it. Since we also had an agreement that said if it were a boy then I get to make the final decision and if it were a girl then my wife gets to, it was pretty easy. We did not buy any Baby names books – We did not Google for baby names to build our repository.
When a friend told me that they had to decide on their to-be-born-son’s name based on what the astrologers say, I wished him good luck. (The astrologers decide on some letters (or letter) that the baby’s name should begin with, based on the star alignment and other factors). Then you have to choose a name that begins with one of those letters given to you. Funnily, the star alignment is the same immaterial of which part of the country you come from. So I really do not know how astrologers from different states who speak different languages take into account of the lingual subtleties and the alphabetic bumps. More often than not, they do give some difficult letters to confuse the parents. I wonder if they actually get creative and test the parental vernacular skills in this process. Whatever the case may be, if the parents believe in such a Byzantine way to identify and be satisfied with their baby’s name, then choosing a name for your baby becomes more laborious & thrilling than conceiving and delivering the baby.
I called my friend to greet him, as soon as I was told that his wife had delivered a baby. I asked him if they had received the puzzle yet from India or not. He responded in the affirmative and uttered the 3 letters they were given. As I expected, there were 2 out of those 3 letters that were hard to choose a name from. Once again I wished him the best and hung up.
A week later, I called him again to ask him if we could drop in to see the baby. As our conversation drifted over to baby names, I worded my question in a scrupulous and a conscientious manner – “Have you decided on a name yet? I am sure you must have as you have already been released from the hospital…Hmmm…”
“Yes”, came an uppity response in a sanguine tone that I had never heard him speak with in the past, every time the conversation touched baby names.
“So what is it..?”
He told me what they have named their son as.
“Hmm…but didn’t you have to choose a name that begins with one of those 3 letters..?” I tried to remind him of those 3 letters.
“Well. This is his official name. But for our religious records and for home town annals, we have chosen a name that confirms to the astrologer’s norms”.
Then he told me what the other name of his son is.
He went on to add, “You know this is basically a string of names…we picked the first name that begins with that letter, now we have left it to our family to amass all the names they want to be strung to that first name..”.
“So this is a working name for now..??”
I paused for a brief moment before deciding on a germane way to put an end to this conversation on baby names and such things.
“Cool…Congratulations man! Seems like you have solved the puzzle..”