What’s in a name?

None of us have a say with what we are named as, do we?

It depends entirely on what our parents (or whoever else had a say in this matter) wanted to name us. But sometimes, even the parents (or whoever else had a say in this matter) do not have a choice in choosing their child(ren)’s name(s). For instance, the Tamil Brahmin (a.k.a. TamBrahm) Iyer community from Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu, follows certain pre-ordained rules. You wouldn’t find these rules in any book or magazine, as it is part of the oral traditions of the community passed down from generation to generation.

I make an attempt (albeit a tongue-in-cheek one) here to codify these “scientific”, and quirky, rules on naming children born to the TamBrahms of Tirunelveli district. My qualifications for doing so are due to my being (i) a TamBrahm from Tirunelveli District, and (ii) a recipient of this oral tradition. 🙂

Some common TamBrahm names. Designed with the help of Wordle

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A Pune tradition

Each time I visit Pune, I follow a tradition. It begins with my boarding the 7.00 am Shivneri bus from Vashi highway at Navi Mumbai.

I reach Pune station by 10.00 am. Then I hop into an auto rickshaw and head straight to Kayani Bakery at East Street in the Camp area.

Kayani Bakery

I always enter Kayani with a prayer on my lips, and rightly so, as I have often had to go back empty-handed because their products have been sold out.

I love Kayani’s cakes (sponge cake, mawa cake), biscuits (Shrewsbury, ginger and wine), and bread and make sure to fill up my backpack.

My next stop is Marz-o-Rin on Main Street or M.G. Road, a 5-minute walk from Kayani Bakery.

Marz-o-Rin Bakery

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