“Chunnu”- my mom called out in the middle of a busy street. I looked around, everyone was looking at Chunnu. And Chunnu wished that he would just vanish in thin air. I looked at my mom. Her innocent face wiped away most of my anger and irritation. Still, I walked up to her…
“Why? What’s wrong with that name?”, mom asked.
(“It sucks BIGTIME!”,I thought)
“Everything”, I said.
It reminds me of those nursery ryhmes wherein our protagonist would either be fighting with his more pathetically named brother, Munnu, over a silly rasgulla, or he would be doing some other stupid thing. Chunnu the moron! I don’t want to be a moron!
Anyway, don’t think my mom stopped calling me by that dreaded name since then. She can’t. She has been doing it for the last 21 years. Old habits die hard. This one would surely attend my funeral. Relatives would be crying and saying, “Oh dear Chunnu! Why did you leave us?”
One of the worst nightmares of my life is that I am rich and successful.(That’s not the nightmare, that’s the dream). I am getting some big honour and my mom is sitting in the front row and clapping.(That is also a part of the dream). Then suddenly she stands up and shouts-“Well done Chunnu!”. The whole auditorium is silenced. Then everyone burst into laughter and the whole world comes to know about my disastrous nickname. Can you imagine my life after that? That, my dear fellas, is some pant-wetting nightmare!
And what if anyone from the family calls out my nickname at my wedding? The bride would surely run away. Whoever would like to get married to Chunnu?
I remember how I saw this hot young girl at my cousin’s wedding. But before I could make a move, my dear mummy called out- “Chunnu, mere liye 1 plate dahivade le aana”!
I am sure that girl must’ve thought I am the family servant, who has been dressed well for the occasion. The last I saw of her, she was looking at me disgustingly and I felt like I was the most miserable thing on the planet.
Why Chunnu? Why not any other name? Varun is a pretty small name in itself. And it also perfectly cancels out all possibilities of public embarrassment.( Until and unless, someone pronounces it as Barun. My school rickshaw wallah used to do that and most of my relatives from the countryside still make that costly error…)
“It is a sign of affection”– says grandma.
Sorry Grandma, but I would like to take this opportunity to correct you. “It is not a sign of affection. It is a sign of the worst form of mental harassment that could be inflicted on a human being”
I believe the biggest insult to someone is to pronounce their name wrongly. And you can totally demolish them to the point of no return if you have given them a nickname as stupid as mine!
Whatever I do, my family and relatives are not going to change this habit.Not that they don’t want to, but they can’t. I have to carry this curse my entire life…maybe in my afterlife as well!
PS- All you Golus, Bittus, Babloos,Chintus,Chinkus….amongst many others…I understand your pain! But Shanky, I can’t even imagine what you go through! (I mean, come on man, people give their dogs a better name!!)