Posted by: Mojo Jojo | March 29, 2007

What’s the name, again?

High up, on a prominent branch of my family tree, used to live a balding uncle called Baby.
Neither was he two years old, nor did he possess any cozy, cuddly features of your average toddler … in fact, he was more of an aged booze-gulching army veteran than anything else.
Now, the next question would most-probably be – why did everybody call him that? It’s a short but sad story.
According to informed sources, the uncle was a hot favourite in family circles during his infancy. Whenever he wore his cute pink diapers and came tottering around – bawling for his usual share of milk, the elders would pinch his cheeks and call him “babeeeeee” and “bayboooo” in ridiculous tones.
And, as luck would have it, the name stuck. Years after my uncle had given up his milk bottle for a McDowells one and the pink diapers had given way to military fatigues, everybody still called him Baby. And for us nephews, it was Baby uncle.
Hell, I can’t even recall his Christian name.
My homeland, Kerala, churns out thousands of such horror stories every moment of the day. Everyday, as babies are born all over that small piece of Malluland, they are mercilessly stamped with names like Laiju, Tijo, Baiju, Gaiju, Shoju…
I don’t know if you can even begin to realise the gravity of the situation. Methinks there should be a law against this.

The animal connection

Okay, I’ll quote another example to prove my point – right from the innards of my home in Mallappally.
We got this black daschund from an uncle. And my dad named him “Kitty”.
Now, though I admit that a daschund looks more reptilian than canine, I think that naming it after a cat would amount to insulting doghood as a whole.
So, after repriminding my indignant dad, I tried to make a last ditch effort to rechristian him “Blackie”. But it was a lost cause; the four-legged idiot just wouldn’t let go of his feline tag.

The Fauxest of pas’

Similarly, I was introduced to a new aunt last year at a family gathering, when I went to visit my relatives in Chennai.
“Hi Jimmy… Meet her – she’s Sissy.”
I blushed. Then shook my head docilely and muttered: “Naah, you don’t mean it… She’s not – I’m sure.”
The others around me stared at me with great bug eyes. “What do you mean, she’s not?”
They were offended with me for some reason. So, I did what I had to and conceded meekly: ” Sure, if you insist… anything you say.”
The truth dawned upon me nearly an hour later, when I was standing at the juice stall and downing a cool glass of lemonade. Her name was Sissy – not she. And, ohmigosh… how silly of me! Women can’t be sissies!
But the damage was already done. For all I know, the aunt must have gone and checked her name out in Never heard from her again; I took great pains to ensure that.

Birds too?
Recently, I had the opportunity to work alongside a lady who happened to share her name with a certain kind of songbird.
Now, that was quite an experience, considering that I could actually walk up to her whenever I wanted, and without any fear of bodily harm, inform her: “Hey, you are Cuckoo!”

Note: The author is permitted to speak on this sensitive subject, particularly because he knows the hardships of having to go through life with a doggie name..


  1. haaa… awesome shit… got me laughing… and hey.. all u guys ahve to check out this thread on orkut comminity, its a FRAUD MALLU community….and this is a thread on mallu names…U GOT TO READ IT.

    and for those of you who have not, this is a good community to join..i have sene everyman drop in a few lines there , now and then

  2. Oh man, you write divine. I wish you’d write a book. Lovely stuff, keep writing.

  3. Ha ha, Jimmy, you’re fabulous…

  4. @Rover
    Yes, you do write well. I love reading your posts because they either make me think or laugh – mostly both!

  5. oh! dont be such a baby!
    i always knew u were cuckoo over cuckoo and u were just waiting for an opportunity to walk up to her.
    alright it made me laugh. but dont let the compliments get into ur head and i would advice that u write ur book under a pseudonym

  6. Mac: Hey, checked that fraud mallu link. It’s too cool …
    Btw, I was thinking of putting Mizo names like Puii and Thangchinmoi in there too – but then decided to keep it strictly Mallu 🙂
    Becoz Mallus are da funniest! Har har!

    Fan: Thanksalot, really! Now I can count on selling at least one copy of my book, when I get it published!!! 😉

    Paulos: O Prem O Prem! Thy encouragement keeps me going!!

    3inOne: Ha ha… indeed, Liz! It’s a nice feeling – letting your friends do your thinking for you 😀 😀

    Rama: A compliment from Rama da great!! Well, if this doesn’t get to my head, I don’t know what will 🙂
    Pseudonym? Argh, don’t know. Now that I got this name, I better stick to it…

  7. ya like anyone apart from that fan of urs is going to buy a book by someone who has derived his name from a dog — that is still better than being named after a deity :((
    ur buyers would have to be cuckoo 😛
    see i balance my compliments with my meaness 🙂

  8. @ Rama: Well, at least I’ll make my parents buy a couple of copies. After all, they are the ones who come out with the dog-name.
    Btw, never struck me that you are named after a deity… and now that I know HA HA HO HO HAR DE HAR HAR!!!

  9. laugh as much as u want. but in this ctry my name will sell more books than urs 😛

  10. AHEM!!!


  11. I loved this part the best
    “The author is permitted to speak on this sensitive subject, particularly because he knows the hardships of having to go through life with a doggie name..”

    I knw… I’ve a cousin with name Jimmy too!

  12. @ Shain: That ‘Ahem’ was supposed to be self-explanatory? 😉

    @ Life Happens: Ha, ha! You do? Guess I know what he is going through then…
    My parents gave their son a dog’s name and they gave their dog a cat’s name. AAARGH! 😛

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