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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What is in a name?

..or a post-name?

I am a member of a certain group in Google, which is pursuing a noble mission back home, and I resort to using first names when I reply to the group mails.

Most people in the discussions refer to each other as 'Da'. (short for Dada= elder brother) Though I do not know most of them personally, I know for sure that there are some people for whom the appropriate suffix would be 'Kaku' or 'Jethu' (Uncle)

When I first joined my B-school, my Program Director insisted that I use his first name (that too Bill, instead of William) and not 'Sir'. It took me some practice.

That reminds me of the time when I was in middle school and I used to dig this tv series called 'Blossom', where the daughter called her father by his name. I demanded that I be allowed to call Dad 'Amit' (short for Amitabha)

Mom was scandalized( who had once shocked her mother-in-law by calling Dad by his name after marriage.) Dad, as usual, indulged me saying: It's not what you call me that matters. I don't think you'll respect me any less if you call me by my first name. I didn't continue with it- partly to save Mom from concussions, and partly because the fad didn't influence me enough.

However, I have a severe aversion to the pronoun 'tui'. (Hindi: equivalent 'tu') I feel it is derogatory. Though I use it to address my elder brother and some of my really close friends, most of the times, it is ' Aap'. In fact, we still laugh about the time I called my roommate ' Aap' the first day I met her.

Tumi or Tum is relatively safe. What do you think?


passer by said...

aap jaisa uchit samjhen..

Munmun said...

I think most times it doesn't matter. I call most profs in my department, including my advisor with their first names (that's the culture in the dept). And interestingly my advisor is from India, and still he prefers being called by his first name! Though initially like you, it took a while for me to get accustomed to this habit.
Not parents though, but I like to call roomies and friends here by their names, even if they are like 5-7 older than me. And don't mind me being called Munmun by juniors also! I think calling by first names is more cool and goes with the casualness of culture here :)

sejuti said...

i know how u got used to aap, cos u were in delhi.. and tu is very common in mumbai specially (where ur roommate is from), just teh way people speak in difefernt parts of india.. i feel its jus the way u feel and communicate rather than jus aap, tum aur tu which matters