Naming conventions

10:57:00 AM

A page from my diary
Year 2019- My 7 year long world trip ended this year. Am returning to India from my last stop, Timbuktu. I got down at Mumbai airport to catch my connection flight to Trivandrum. The Timbuktu national airline 'boombakakku' gave me a rough ride and so I thought of catching some sleep on our good old Indian airlines. Hey stop, whats that name on the ticket? Na, Its not Indian airlines. Oh, they changed the national airlines name to Bajiv airlines. Whatever, Who cares anyway? Walking with sleepish eyes, I somehow managed to locate my seat. Even after traveling the world, I still love the window seat. And I love it even more when a beautiful lady sits beside me, which happened luckily this time too. She was carrying a cool handbag with 'Bahul bank of India' written on it. I thought it to be some local money lender or worse some new age bank. I started the usual 'sweet talk' without which no lady can escape from near me and that's when she told me that the Govt re-christened the state bank of India as 'Bahul bank of India'.

More sweet talks and then the food arrives. I take a glance at the glam air hostess. She didn't care to look at me and in her eyes, I could read a 'free from section 377' glow directed at my co-passenger. Seems like in 10 years, the law has done a lot of good, bad and bood. I finished the tasteless lunch and was cleaning my hands when the name on the tissue paper caught my eyes-'Driyanka caterers'. Aah! This is getting interesting. The next few days in my native country, I felt as if I was in an alien world ruled by a king obsessed with naming everything after his clan. Wherever I turned, the names of somebody from the clan was there. Traveling on the roads were a confusing exercise as Bajiv cross ended up in Bahul junction from where Bajiv double cross road started. The Driyanka main road was a stone's throw away from Jonia flyover which will get you to Bajiv circle. Its as if someone killed all our imaginative minds in the last 10 years. Did somebody mention thought police?

The old man at the pan shop told me that all this madness started some 20 years back. At first, it was some small roads which were named like this. Then, some big welfare projects also started getting these names. The turning point happened 10 years ago, when this big bridge over the sea in Mumbai ended up with one of these names. It was the work of some shameless sycophant. Our land boasting a big number of the sycophant creed, was not the same from that day. Almost everything in sight was renamed. There was no question on what the name of a new project will be. I felt like in a scary dream world which perhaps George Orwell would've articulated well if he had written '2019' instead of '1984'.

Depressed, I took a walk along that old road near the cemetery. This is the only place which has given me some solace and peace right from my school days. I plucked a rose from the wayside and decided to place it on the tombstone of our friendly old neighborhood uncle. I walked in past the board of the cemetery, obviously named after the clan. But, I got the biggest shock of my life when I saw all the tombstones with a single name. Yes, one from the clan... Hey wait, did I just hear the clan's name being chanted from the nearby temple, mosque and church? I have to preserve this diary. I think this is the only thing in the whole of the country which doesn't carry the clan name..Oh No, What was I writing till now!!!

PS- Overheard from sycophant's house- "Lets ask Mayawati to name her statues after Bajiv!"

- E-mailied in by Praveen SR


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