What’s in a name?

Let me start by apologizing to all my Marathi brethren. I feel for you (and me…but I’ll talk about myself later). Maharashtrian last names can be funny and we could spend more than an evening ROFL’ing, translating and dissecting them.

Much has been said about these names and all in good humor. So, what’s in a name you may ask? Well I say plenty!

Colorful Maharashtrians. From Kale to Gore, Hirwe to Piwale, I’m met them all. Funnily enough, these names work just as well in the western world. (Al Gore!) But how’s this for an opening line : “Yellow! I’m Piwale!”

Look around Pune. Metallic Maharashtrians are a plenty. Pitale, Lokhande, and Tambe. Perhaps they could greet each other with an “Alloy” instead of a Hello!

Some names just don’t go together. I mean a Keskar (lots of hair) marrying a Takle (bald) is a comical combination. Or a Mahashabde (one who talks a lot) with a Gupchup (the silent one).

During the recent Sankranti celebrations, my dear friend Ms. Godbole distributed the traditional sweets to friends with the message.”Til Gul Ghya… Godboles.

I recall a friend telling me some years ago, that she had two buddies in her class with the last names Waghmare and Waghchore. Undoubtedly these tigers had a strong and fearless bond! “We also had a Mrs. Hole too who was tired of explaining to international students that her name was not pronounced ‘hole’” she said.

Years ago, while at my first job, I waited an hour to meet a Mr. Shembday (poor guy) and anticipated a Rudolph look-alike with his red stuffy nose, making an appearance. My day dreams were interrupted when his secretary told me that “Mr. Somebody” will see me. He may have reasoned that a change of pronunciation is perhaps easier than changing his name.

Food for thought! The first I had ever heard of a Kanikdaley (a flour mill worker) was just a week ago. Muley, Kakde, Khobre and Dalimbe could just as well get together and have a salad day! (radish, cucumber, coconut and pomegranate), while cool Mr. Dahibhaate – (Curd Rice) would look uncool when ruffled!

Think about this.

At a loo’s end? Who wouldn’t be if you are tagged with tummy churning names like Potdukhe, Potphode or Hage!

These guys can certainly not be ambassadors of population control advertisements. Pachpore, Ashtaputre, Dashputre (5,8 and 10 children)

With V-day almost here, the Lovekars could be the couple of the evening and Udas would be happy!

Imagine that awkward feeling he must be have every time he says his name aloud, if he is saddled with one like Parkarvarkar (lift up your skirt), Gadhe or Dhekhane (bugs). A salute to their bravery!

Or as some think, if you have it flaunt it! Taking to social media with perhaps a creatively concocted name like Dheele Parkarvarkar could get folk chuckling. (Yes! I checked)

Two young sisters told me not too long ago that they would never date boys with a name that they were not comfortable with, however charming he may be. When my friend married a boy with the last name Phutane, we suggested that she name her child Chana.

With my name being both Godly and fragrant, it’s the fragrant bit that amuses folk in the US. “Did I get it, right? DEO? My retort has always been “Yes you did and that’s “AXE-llent”!!

Okay Dokay (oops that’s another last name), I better stop before I lose my dear friends in this name game. I’m off to down a glass of cool buttermilk at my friend Takawale’s home.

Nikhila Deo

Nikhila Deo

She's humorous and 'in the face' candid..

Quintessentially Puneite, Nikhila now lives in New York, but that doesn't stop her from coming back to enjoy a good drink and celebrate this city she calls home
Nikhila Deo

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