Saturday, 17 March 2012

What´s in a name!!

Whats in a name, somebody(well, like recursive functions of computer programming, what in his name either!) demanded. I too, believed it like I believe everything said by known, half-known and unknown erudite people of the past, and quoted it, most of the time out of context because either I didn't understand the context or the meaning of this comment, almost like it is out of bible. Little did I know, it will cost me much someday.
Name is something a person loves always, no matter how ugly or meaningless it is to others. Why me! Dale Carnegi himself wrote a complete chapter in it. Not that I understood much of his deep analysis of psychology, but with all my efforts I understood a name is very dear to anybody.
My name, for example, Faiz, is dear to me. Dear and near mainly due to the fact it is the only name I have, People may have spare names, like Chinese have an English name, but not me. I also loved this name, as a kid, learnt to write it in 4 different scripts, practiced calligraphy and all those things people do as a kid.
Problem started when I grew up. For one thing, my local language, doesn't have this letter F. We have one PH and we use it as F too (by the way., this is a handy information, do not laugh IPH people cant see due to the PHOG here in my city). Added to my agony that, we don't have a Z and use J for it(again I saw a Jebra in the Joo shouldn't surprise you). So, my name became PhaiJ which by no means was acceptable to me.
To remove your confusion, I must tell you Faiz isn't a word of Bengali, the local language. Thus badly transliterated and both consonants replaced ruined it like I would have ruined Mona Lisa with a painting brush, if permitted. Also, this name, sounds like Faez with the syllables broken and pronounced singularly. Complex name, did Mr Carnegi ever find anyone occasionally hating his own name?
Many a time it happened that, I spent minutes, trying to help someone here to pronounce my name properly. The conversations went like,
I: Faiz, FA IZ
He: Phaij
I: no, not Phaij, Faizzz
He: thats what I am saying!! Phaij.
I gave up giving free tuition about how to read my name hoping I will be known as Phaij all life. I tried to live with it. At night, standing in front of the mirror, I started saying FAIZ FAIZ so at least I remember the proper pronunciation. I, reportedly,used to wake up shouting FAIZ FAIZ from sleep but well, mothers always exaggerate.
No, the story isn't over. I grew up, confused, having a multiple nomenclature disorder but till now multiple meant dual. Soon my circle expanded. Internet friends from all over the world. Like Lisa from USA, after struggling for 15 minutes and watching me having a great laugh, finally gave up and asked, how the hell do you pronounce it? Well well, I pulled out the best weapon, giving her the Mr Know-All smile, I said, read the FA like in FAN and EZ like some Spanish name PEREZ. Do not ask me the result as I don't have the symbols in my keyboard to represent the sound that came out.
It is a name from Arabic/Persian(that was my assumption really, and I assume just to keep things simple for myself, it doesn't necessarily mean I have a basis to assume) so, I left USA and concentrated on Iran next. Nasrin from Iran, with my best regards for all the beauty she possess, at first attempt, called me Faaeez. The next look that she noticed on my face and the prolonged silence which accompanied it, puzzled her and when she enquired politely If I am ok, I assured her that it was mere the effect of her beauty that has made me speechless. Since then, to every Iranian I introduce myself as Faaeez. A much welcome relief. After two consonants replaced, now I have both the vowels replaced. I prayed to God that night, thanking Him for His mercy.
The list is really unending, and if I continue, you will certainly not believe a man can have so many names while everybody is calling him by the same name. Let me finish with another danger which I overlooked till now.
Faiz, which means blessing(or I hope that was the meaning my parents had in mind while naming me) means Bank Interest in Turkish. Not much later after having my first Turkish friend, (who is the best critic of me and no pun intended here) I came to know my name is a banned thing in my own religion!! Her innocent yet surprised question, is this your real name? Surprised me too when she explained the reason behind her surprise. Meaning was the last thing which nobody confused till now and well, the last defence is breached now. God bless my parents, did they ever imagine this humiliation for me for carrying a simple name which is made of 4 simple letters?
I wanted to end, but, this thing must be included here. A friend of mine, a young budding and enthusiastic linguist came to me after going to German class for 2 days. German is different you know? He was ecstatic and eager to teach me all the German epics he has learnt in two one hour long classes. ¨say for example, they write V but read it like F, like... like..they write volkswagon and read it like Folkswagon. And then their S is almost like Z¨ My heartbeat was increasing, fearing the unavoidable, it is here any moment now!!, I was shaking, and then , right that moment, he said, If I want to write your name in German it would be VAIS.

Any suggestion for a new name guys!!

1 comment:

sunil said...

interesting and quite hilarious ... very different from the usual serious things you write....