What's in a name?

It took me a few minutes less today to complete SuDoKu, Kakuro and other puzzles in Bangalore Times. I still had another 10 mins to reach office. What to do? Read Bangalore Times, of course! We all know its a crappy paper, but we all read it (like the old people who crib and watch mega serials and soap operas!)

I expected to read some crappy article like - green is the 'in-color' this season or why pubs should be opened even after 11 or Mahima loves her dog more than her mom or why women are preferring metrosexual male to the ubersexual male or something like that. But, I was disappointed. Today's topic was about Bangalore being renamed to Bengalooru!

One college student was of the opinion that "ooru" would be like village name. Kid, the word for village is haLLi, if you care to know.
Some businessman suggested that government should concentrate on improving infrastructure than on these "silly" things. Mate, its as ridiculous as saying that you stop going to petrol bunk till you find a medicine to cure your hair loss. Why are you mixing two unrelated things?

The thing that irritates me most is that all these intelligentia did not have any problems when Bombay was renamed as Mumbai or Calcutta was renamed as Kolkota or Baroda as Vadodara. When it comes to Bangalore (or Bengalooru), the logic changes.
Many of these 'Bangaloreans' would have a flair for learning foreign languages and would say bonjour (pronounced as bawn-zhoor) more authentically than a Rousseau or an Edouard. No problems for the tongue there, monsieur!
The whole nation has no problem pronouncing Buddhodebo Bhattochorya as correctly as a Mukherji or a Chatterji would do, but pronouncing Bengalooru is as difficult as pneumono­ultra­micro­scopic­silico­volcano­coniosis!
Don't you find pronouncing pizza (as Peed-zah) very difficult? Did Italians never feel that the world would stop eating pizzas just because they are not to easy to pronounce?

Well, the simple fact is that India is very crucial to the global business today and Bangalore is a big brand. And if any company decides to lose millions of dollars just because they find it difficult to pronounce "Bengalooru", they are stupid. They better get an Indian diction teacher for a few hundred dollars!

If you are thinking that I am a regionist (Yes, I coined that word!) you are absolutely wrong. I am proud of my language and state, but I am no fanatic. I have as much contempt for "Bangalore-is-full-go-home" type Kannadigas as I have for "Bangalore-sucks-cribbing" type non-Kannadigas. My opinion is just that most of the Indian city names that the British had changed long long ago don't convey anything about those places. (Like Mysore sounds like some description about a wound) I welcome any change in name that has got meaning (be it Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkota or Bengalooru)

And if anyone quotes Shakespeare "Whats in a name?", tell them that the Bard would not have liked if he was called "Shake sphere" just because it is easier that way!


  1. Vijay said...
    An excellent post. You breathed life into my thought process and gave it a word based skeleton. Great Going Vasuki. Your ability to do it so convincingly in your writing is scaling new heights. Keep it on mate !!!
    Bambaiya said...
    Whats in a name? Well Everything is in a name
    Pradeep said...
    Nicely put :)
    rajyaotsavada shubhashayagaLu
    Anonymous said...
    I totally agree! I am a Bangalorean too( or should I say Bengaloorian)..I agree that anyone who says that the name change will affect business is..i dont know..crazy.
    I dont understand how people can say we should not change the name just because foreigners may have trouble pronouncing it! I am not really in favor of the name change maybe because I am attached to the old name..but I feel that people are overreacting.
    Anonymous said...
    I don't understand why all these so called "thinkers/experts/critics/"
    are creating a fuss over Bangalore's name change. The same thing happened to Bombay, Madras and Calcutta.
    Appi said...
    tumba oLLe analogy @ "petrol bunk"..

    good writing :-)

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