Friday, October 30, 2009

Why bother with real names when Bu Bu and Manu and Junny and Nolu and Shamtu and Gogo are what’s personal?

On Wednesday I was at a beauty parlour (Madonna, Vasant Vihar) at 9.30 in the morning for a manicure, pedicure and possible facial. (I like to get there early and be done before the whole place sounds of hairdryers and gossip). Vain as I am about my hands, I’ve never had a manicure done before, but she did a decent job and gave me a big second-smile when I tipped her. The first smile was when I asked her name and she said a little coyly, “Gudiya”.

Once, a Billo threaded my eyebrows. (Sunflower, Khan Market). She was sweet too. I asked her if she’s called Billo Rani and she said she was fed up of the song. Nowadays I go to Neelam (of Shal-Tina, C-block, Vasant Vihar fame) who knows exactly how natural a shape I want for my brows. Once the crucial arches are dealt with, and excess hair pruned, we chat about skincare and yoga and how much water is enough to drink.

I’ve digressed from what I was getting at but my point is I like to know people’s pet names, what they were called in school, and how distortions become the norm. A distant nephew who goes to school in Boston was named Valmik by his epic-loving parents with not very good foresight because the child is now going through a “call me Mickey” phase. Mickey, the name I feel, is too readymade for an alternate career in Hip hop. I like to call my friends by their kiddie names, their strange bilabial sounds Bobo, Momo that must have been given by mothers and relatives out of so much love.

As a teenager I wouldn’t let anyone call me by my so-called pet name because it was embarrassing, especially since it wasn’t one of those stylish short ones like Ash or Divs, and heaven forbid if some boy I had the hots for overhear me be called a name that sounded like a variation of a gurgle. No, pet names were just not cool. In college a boy once made me feel better by default after having confessed to still being called Laddoo at home because he was as a fat child with a sweet tooth. I felt the trauma he must have gone through, but surely everyone reaches a stage where embarrassment just becomes funny, no? The stupidest nick name I’ve heard is Dudi, (like dude-E). I was called Nunu. What was your pet name?

8 comments:

Perakath said...

I was called 'Bunty' as a kid.

Nimpipi said...

I don't know Per, I wouldn't have taken you for a Bunty...

Anonymous said...

Nunu = schlong! pls go chck that up; one of the reasons i hated my pet name when i was kid. nice to know thr are more.

blogTROTTER
:D

Anonymous said...

"Nunu" means "kind" in Vietnamese.

That's not bad.

Nunu sounds cute too

Inayat said...

So I must've crossed up in Madonna and not even know it. Interesting..except I hate that place now. I dislike parlours as a rule. None of the barber shop, queen latifah, black people love their hair crap. (Sidenote - you should read Kabul Beauty School,interesting biopic, well written and a different angle.)

Inu Baba was my pet name, I like it though, because that meant the mum and dad were feeling the love. When I was called by my actual name - it was like oh oh, I stayed out too late to play or I didn't lay the table etc.

Now it is more of a cajoling mechanism. IB please send this email, please xerox this document, please pick up my blouses.

Sigh.

In other news, facebook won't even let me search for you.

The Mystic said...

Nunu :P My nick name is Anshu! I thank god my parents never nick named me Pappu or Titu!

a n k | t said...

I never got one... :( my name was short enff - ankit - but my aunts sometimes called me anku beta....
my fav nick name "PET name" is cholle from cholle bature... this kid from our skool had a thing for cholle bature n hence the name... :]

Anonymous said...

Mine was really Funny, "Gappu...!" - meaning, the one who talks a lot. And Apparently, my folks had decided on the petname before my birth..