Skip to main content

Alphabet soup


Names : funny names , weird names, down right ridiculous names. All sorts keep coming to a doctor’s opd.
 So there I was with a file in my hand and the name ‘QUIXOR’ written on it. I dared not pronounce the name so I asked the patient ‘nau kay?’ (what’s your name in konkani) .He answered back ‘Kishor’. Huh??!!
It turns out that that is how the people of portugese descent spell their name. with an exotic twist and a dash of mystique, to make even the most hackneyed of names seem like a character from the Arabian Nights.
Recently another case paper had the name ‘YAZHINI’, I started calling out the name ‘Yaazzz…. Hmmm’ , then held myself in check and asked ‘per enn?’ (what’s your name in tamil?). she answered back “yalini”. The letter zh is actually supposedly a tamil L which sounds very much like the Marathi ‘figure of eight L’ ; the tongue rolling L which ‘aamchi Marathi‘ people hold so dear to their hearts it seems has a country cousin in Tamil which has it’s very own English translation too.
Yaazhini, the parents of the girl explained is a stringed musical instrument in Tamil.
Goa, is notorious for such exotic spellings of seemingly benign phonetics. There is a street called ‘Xambhaji road’ or ‘Xamrao road’ , which translates to the colloquial shambhaji and shamrao. I still remember the day I first visited my friend at her home in ‘Quepem’ (pronounced kepe ) to a dinner of authentic Goan chicken ‘Xacuti’. Gosh I felt like the anchors in travel guide shows as I road pillion on her scooty down the narrow lanes of ‘quepem’. In a land which starts with Q to eat a dish which starts with X ! the ‘Xacuti’ it turned out was a delicious but nevertheless simplistic dish of coconut based gravy, which was pronounced ‘shakuti’.
It reminds me of the time we used to play ‘name place animal thing’ where we had to write words beginning with a particular letter. I remember my brother and I making up names of places and people and quite militantly proclaiming ‘ yes it is a name/ place in Russia/Slovakia’ all sorts of tongue twisters and hotchpotch jumble of alphabets were promptly converted to members of the erstwhile Soviet Union. Now I can write ‘Quixor’ and inform all doubting spectators that it infact was the name of a man of portugese descent who lives in a place called Quepem (no not pronounced like Quebec).
I do believe that as a look at the gaping faces of my audience I will end with ‘BAZINGA !’

*Alphabet soup : is infact a soup made of alphabet shaped pasta.
*Bazinga : is a word popularized by the character Sheldon in the Big bang theory.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Good show Kuheli!
bkunal said…
It could be also named as ' alphabet khichri'.
bkunal said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kannan said…
'In a land which starts with Q to eat a dish which starts with X !' - what a delightful way of putting it. Your sense of humour and way of expression are fantastic!! Looking forward to read more of your blogs!!!
kuheli said…
thank you Mr Kannan. I do hope you have enjoyed reading my blogs so far.

Popular posts from this blog

Birthday retrospect : potential energy versus Kinetic energy

A few weeks back I tried to enrol my name for a Leadership program which was looking for ‘people with potential leadership qualities’, when my application was rejected. Turns out I was too old for being a leader; they had a cut off age of 31. But on further retrospection, I realised , they weren’t saying I was too old to become a leader, but were saying that If I had the ‘potential’, then at my ripe old age of 33 I should be well on my way of becoming a leader. And on that note begins my this year’s birthday retrospect. I would like to call it my ‘pre mid life crisis ‘ birthday retrospect. It was triggered by the word ‘potential’. It took me back to my high school physics; potential energy and Kinetic energy. Potential energy is the energy that is stored within, it can be  a ball held at a height above the ground, or an object being pulled on an elastic string like an arrow, or a stone in a sling. The more taut the string on the bow is, the further the arrow will travel that is the t…

mommy mood swings: A boys love for cars

Mommy mood swings : boys and cars, perpetuating a stereotype? 
He used to call them gree, may be because I used to call 'car - gadhi ' while we went on stroller rides. His favourite book was an atlas , with vehicles like planes and cars . Till 18 months he had no screen time, and on his 18 month he was crying inconsolably in the car when his uncle / maamu showed him a video of wheels on the bus. That moment , sitting in the car, driving from Palvolem to Margao, my son fell head over heels in love with the rhyme. We have heard it for 6 months straight now, everyday all day sometimes. For a vehicularly challenged mom it is amazing and amusing for me to see him tossing in his sleep saying ' purple car, red double decker bus' and no one has ever said " green garbage truck" with such love and affection.
I have always been very vocal about Gender equality and while I grew up never being denied or forced to take up on any particular gender activity, being pregnant ha…