Of childhood and nicknames


When you are looking at the next building’s terrace from the plastic chair on your balcony on a rather quiet evening (one where no car is honking or reversing) , and staring at the clouds and the birds (crows) flying in the sky with it’s wonderful orange, and you see children playing football and cricket in the park below and you smile. You are reminded of some person you knew long ago,  when you were a toddler (and not a 6 foot giant mass of flesh sitting and brooding and whining about how cruel life is) and you suddenly realise that it wasn’t his actual name you recalled but his nick name. A name you would use to shout out to him while abusing him for not stopping that four the batsman hit on your ball. The name you’d call when you so dearly want that pass standing next to the goal in football. That name which someone came up with at one moment of sheer madness and impulse, provoked by an action so uselessly stupid and ingnorable (yes there’s a word like that… in my dictionary?) and yet so profound. And in came the name “Chaddi” to my mind.. Yes that despicable vulgar term for an undergarment, used by Indians (not the feathered ones man..! the more commonly found ones).

One of my friends Souvik Mukherjee used to wear small shots to play cricket in the evenings. Shots which were smaller than the average size, for reasons unknown. One day I had a bad fight with him. A realy bad brawl and we ended up punching each other and finally with me overpowering him and twisting his neck to a good degree, post which we remained at loggerheads. Some time after that fight, he was cycling around the field that we were playing in, since he didn’t want to come play right away after the embarrassing fight. And at that glorious moment the name of “Chaddi” was conferred unto him; and until ages anon the name remained etched in the pages of tales of those times!

There was another guy Rahul Banerjee, who was called “Bhutto” by Vipul. I understand the root of the nick name to be this ; Rahul is a Bengali, and someone probably had told him that Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was related to Bangladesh (and not the creation of it!). He thus called him Bhutto.

Then there were the 2 brothers who were named “Badey” and “Chhotey”. Just how subtle and light the names were, amazes me. And these were names they were given by their own parents not by us. I remember the official name of only one of the brothers, the elder one was called Jamal. We used to call them Jamal Gota, after the chemical which if eaten takes you down to the shit pot and makes you sweat it out real hard, i don’t know the chemical composition of the compound ,  but Jamal Gota is what it is called in colloquial Hindi.

Oh and we had this guy who was thin and lean and very thin and extremely lean.. you know what i mean? those thin and lean types?? ya okay.. so he was thin and lean.. very thin and extremely lean and but he used to talk a lot and had a weirdly half shriek-ish voice.. we used to call him “Phatinga”, which means Praying Mantis in Bihari Hindi.

Then there was a guy called “Bachnu”.. Bachnu??? !!! why??? what kind of a name is that??? it doesn’t even mean anything damn it! Oh but boy he was a wonderful bowler. His ball came through like a bullet.. weird run up but amazing precision. His real name was Dushyant. What a nice name!

Then there was LG Soundmaster. There was this Television set that LG had come up with, was supposed to have super high quality sound (as if the name wasn’t explanatory!!! Idiot… ). So i have this very dear friend of mine Vijay Kumar. He had a weirdly coarse and hard voice very early. And there was a certain hollow echo to it? (What’s a filled echo anyway?? anyway just read on.. )  So he sounded really heavy.. you know those voices that you impersonate when you want to show a burly big guy talking?? … Yessss THAT is what he sounded like.. and still does.. but then he was too loud with his whispers as well.. so he could never cheat in the exams and the others were pretty afraid of sitting next to him, coz he would whisper loud and end up getting both himself and the other guy behind the bars (Behind the bars it seems!!! lol.. ). So ya.. We called him LG soundmaster.. !

And then there was the famous Pranky aka Priyank Prasoon. He was a very wavy guy. Effeminate in few of his actions.. NO he was not GAY!!! Just a few things like sitting and calling people etc were feminine. But he was weirdly close to being a douchebag! And we’d all take his case endlessly. And for lack of a better name we shortened his name and called him Pranky (Priyank— Pranky??).

And then there was Jhabri.. My BEST friend Tulika was conferred with the name Jhabri by my other friends probably Prashant or Murli i don’t remember, for her wonderful hair. We won’t go into the details.. Imagine Sai Baba’s mane with wavy hair instead of the small curls put on the head of a beautiful girl ! So ya.. that was it.. Reasons that lead up  to a name.. But ironically now when i just randomly looked up google for Jhabri i got this. It’s strange but all those qualities actually are possessed by Tulika.. Prashant aur Murli to sadar pranam! Pandit hain aap dono.. mahapurush hain aap dono.. !! 🙂

My other very very close friend Aruni Bhattacharya gets named Rooney. Yes Wayne (useless) Rooney of The Great Britain (talk about modesty for a country like that which calls itself Great!). Reason? She hates Wayne Rooney but her name phonetically is the closest any name can get to Rooney. Aruni — Runi — Rooney ??? Get the point??? Let’s Dance!! 😀

I’m tired now.. it’s a thursday morning and i haven’t opened my counter yet.. Work ? not Pizzeria counter.. huh!!

Chalo yenaf af stupedity.. whatte!!! Get back to Ork!!! (Amma Amma South India!!!)

By the by..

Laughing Hyena (haw haw haw!)

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