Friday, August 26, 2005

What's up brother?

Anywhere I go nowadays, I hear the same line, "Whats up brother?" No, its not the irony of the fact that a strange guy I met five seconds ago calls me "brother", its the almost total lack of creativity in nicknames that you see nowadays. Look at me for example, I have a nickname at home (which almost all women who have attained title of 'friendgirl' or 'fiendgirl' have appropriated), I had several nicknames in school, including the lot so nice one which my class V maths teacher gave me and which lasted till class VI (thank god that one died out) when a haircut experiment gone wrong when I was supposed to be doing my crafts project (my parents had just seperated - I was traumatised and thus doing strange things) led to a US Marine style crewcut, which might be cool today, but on the head of a 12-year old in 1990, it wasn't so cool. Anyway, that nickname stuck among a rather large circle and while some think its slightly offensive, it is my nickname and I love it. In college, I acquired a third nickname, which made fun (somewhat) of my ethnicity, but even that name stuck among a rather large crowd. But trust me, suddenly hearing someone shout out your college nickname at a formal dinner still sends shivers down my spine, because I go "Oh, fuck, who now?" So its strange why the art of giving nicknames is dying out, nicknames are like your identity, your tag, something that is you, identifies you. I absolutely love all my nicknames, they might be silly or the work of a former Trotskyite who got drunk one day and decides to give his son a stupid Russian nickname (I think it means 'Workers Unite' or something) and then desi-ise it.
Of course, talking about my ethicity leads me to the thousands of Khokon's out there in the world. In Calcutta, every second kid on the street is Khokon. Bongs are not usually very creative with their nicknames for boys, girls get some nice ones though. However there is some creativity with Bongs in the media industry, where people like Jojo just become Jojo. I know of people who get confused when you refer to the man as Jaideep Bose. There is Bablu, Bong, Bultu, Bubul etc (each and every one of those four are very very senior editors - lets see if any of you can guess their REAL names?)
Anyway, this reminds me of a forward I got a few months ago, thank god GMail is so easy to search.

Here goes :-

This post is part of an ongoing series. In these pages, I will attempt to alert people to a great injustice that is being perpetrated upon the sons of Bengal. So you thought they were wimpy to begin with. Far from it, my friend. Their current state is a result of years of conditioning by the oppressors - namely the women. By using a variety of psychological weapons, they have reduced these fine men to what you see today.

Today we focus on the first weapon in their hands - the NICK-NAME.

When a son is born into a Bengali household, he is gifted with a resonant, sonorous name. Bengali names are wonderful things. They convey majesty and power. A man with a name like Prasenjit, Arunabha or Sukanta is a man who will walk with his head held high, knowing that the world expects great deeds from him, which was why they bestowed the title that is his
name upon him.

But it simply will not do for these men to get ahead of themselves. Their swelling confidence needs to be shattered. How can one go about it? This task is left to the mothers of these lads and is accomplished by the simple act of referring to the boy, not by his fine-sounding real name, but by a nickname which Shakti Kapoor would be ashamed to answer to.

Their are some rules for creating nicknames, which need to be followed.

Nicknames must have no connection to the real name. "Arunabha" cannot be called "Arun". No, for that would be logical, and such things are anathema in the world of women. Instead he shall be called "Bhombol". If possible, the nickname and real name must have no letters in common, but an ancient alphabet proves to be the constraining factor there. Nicknames must be humiliating. If you are a tall strapping boy, with a flair for soccer, an easy charm and an endearing personality, then you shall be nicknamed - "Bhondu". And every time, you have
set your sights on a girl, and are on the verge of having the aforementioned lass eat out of your hand - your mother will arrive & pronounce loudly - "Bhondu" - Bari eso. The ensuing sea of giggles will drown out whatever confidence you had earned from that last
winning free-kick.

A nickname must refer in some way to a suitably embarassing incident in your childhood that you would give your arm and leg to forget. If it took you a little too long to shed your baby fat, then years of gymming will not rid you of the nomenclature - "Motka". If your face turned crimson when you cried as a toddler, you will be called "Laltu". When you turn 40, your friends' children will call you "Laltu Uncle". Even age will not earn you the right to be taken seriously thereafter.

You will always be introduced by your nickname, until people forget you had a Real Name. Ranajoy might have taken on a gang of armed men single-handedly, but Toton really didn't have a chance. After a point Toton will completely take over the beaten body of Ranajoy,
weighed down by the pressure of a thousand taunts.

This strategy is surprisingly effective. Ask yourself - would you take Professor 'Rintu' seriously? Or put much weight by the opinion of Dr. 'Bubai'? Or march into battle under the command of
General 'Thobla'?

The power of the nickname has scarred the psyche of Bengali men everywhere. It follows them like a monkey on their backs.
That too, a monkey with a flair for slapstick, that was gifted to them by their own mothers.

That, dear Bong friends, is Step No.1 of their grand plan.

I must leave now before they realise I am telling you all this.

Step No.2 of the plan shall be revealed in the next post. Now let me make my
escape. But wait!
There's no way we can let you go now - you've seen too much. Not before
you answer the question...

"Tomar daak naam ki, Khoka?"

The crowd waits with bated breath in anticipation of the great warrior being hoisted by his own petard. They lick their chops hungrily. But tonight is not their night. He stands tall and straight and a smug smile plays on his lips. From his lips come the words -"Mazhi aai Bangali
(my mother is not a Bengali) .

And he survives to fight another day.

Anyway, back to the blog, I was so awfully kicked about crossing the 5000-visitor mark in two months flat, despite virtually zero publicity (and a hint of anonymity) that I started to go through my search logs on Statcounter, and discovered that this is the most popular search in the last 48 hours. Why, I have no clue, but talking about gossip about the industry (and if people visit this blog for shit about the industry, I might as well write some crap), I was being fed a lot of gossip about Sallu yesterday by a friend who had a shoot with him. He was pissed off at the fact that Sallu made him wake up at 7.30 in the morning and then hold up the entire shot because he wanted to do something else. Let alone the fact, as my friend described it, "The guy was pissed drunk, you knew that he had drunk a shitload just by looking at the bags under his eyes." Anyway, we all know that Sallu loves the bottle, I also found out that John Abraham is depressed because his deal with Yamaha means that he had to sell his Hayabusa. But in compensationI believe Yamaha will not just give him as many thousands of Fazer 135's, but also a Yamaha R1 in due course of time. Lucky fucker because that is some compensation. That is a wallpaper sized image on the left.
By the way, haven't you ever wondered if all those kids who go around wearing, and I mean thousands of kids, pro-grass T-shirts have ever smoked the weed. I had a couple of such T-shirts but rarely ever wore them, I supported the movement by smoking. I mean thousands of kids take it upon themselves to propogate signs of the seven-pointed leaf of Cannabis Indica and why you ask them if they smoke, they go "Drugs are bad", and one of these kids (OK, so I was also a kid then) wearing a marijuana leaf wristband (red, green and yellow, full Rasta colours) actually told me that I needed to go to rehab. I didn't know what to do, but I sure felt like doing something really nasty to that person. Its like a major 'huh' situation. I have no issues if you don't smoke, but then don't wear the paraphenalia, its rather pointless and brings out the hipocrisy. And if you do smoke, don't advertise. And if you ever wondered why the 'liberal' media doesn't carry too many anti-pot stories its because whenever a pot raid happens there is an inner child inside most senior editors which is crying. Unless you are Viru Dada and write a column in Brunch about how deprived you feel because no-one was ever friendly enough with you to offer you a joint. Maybe that is where all of Viru's problems stem from.
Anyway, here I am sitting at Nariman Point, on a holiday because I had a couple of meetings to attend and I have meet someone else at six in the evening. By the way, I've found myself a place, its a rather cosy little room, but should suit me for the time being nonetheless.
Here are some links, which I will be adding to through several tens of edits through the day.
These are photographs taken by a photographer whose day job is as a helicopter pilot over Mexico City. Some of the shots are great, including this really nice shot of thousands of Mexico City Green and White cabs.
This is a rather useful resource on Adolf Hitler. I guess chaps like Narayan Rane who admire him (Rane admires him because he also suffers from height deficiency among other things). I don't admire Hitler, but an apolitical online resource on a man who influenced global history for better or for worse is an useful tool nonetheless.
And when lunatic fringe Christian Evangelists go absolutely beserk, they call for lunatic-fringe dicatators to be assassinated. Watch Pat Robertson's plea for Hugo Chavez's assassination here. What would JC say?
Yes, this finally explains Intelligent Design, an absolutely brilliant cartoon. (Don't Drink the Koolaid)
This is a great spoof on the IBM 'problem' adverts.


Bonatellis said...

just imagine "khoka kaku" .. ain't it hilarious ...

K said...

gotta love bong mommy's

thalassa_mikra said...

That Bong nickname thing, it was actually a post by Ani on his blog. Read the original here:

And the way Viru goes about berating Bong and North Indian food, he's got to have issues. BTW, I've often wondered about this, was his dad a journalist as well?

K said...

Viru dada dad was a Gujju trader. Poor Viru, he's still got a complex about that.

Anonymous said...

hi snakeman,

had the same problem with being #1 on msn search for "mumbai sex pictures"

mrs s (from poona)

Soumyadip said...

My nickname also features in the list.