Names.

My daughter in law Manjiree’s mother had been out of Pune and was returning by train on Monday morning. On Sunday night Ranjan asked her in my presence as to what arrangements had been made to receive her at the station. She said “Dad will pick her up and take her home.” Now this was the first time that I came to know that I was supposed to do that and so asked for details of arrival time, platform etc, only to be told that Manjiree meant her natural dad and not me. Phew!

Manjiree calls me Dad or Baba and also calls her father the same. I call Ranjan Baba and that adds to the confusion. At least to solve the problem of identifying between two Babas, she has decided to call me Baba Kalyani and her father as Baba Apte. The logic is that I live in Kalyani Nagar and her father’s home is on Apte Road. There is a problem with this also because Baba Kalyani is another person who is our neighbour here. In fact, our locality is named after his late father Neelkanth Kalyani.

42 years of calling Ranjan as Baba is difficult to give up but I am trying to. When Manjiree talks to our help and mentions the name Baba, both tend to get confused as for them too Ranjan has been Baba for the past twenty three years. Now, Baba has to suddenly become me, who for them has always been Papa.

Can you picture some of the hilarious situations that can arise because of such confusion in calling people within two families now connected through a wedding and sharing common addresses?

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14 Responses to Names.

  1. Ashok says:

    In kannada, father is typically “appa” and elder brother is “anna”. In my home I call my father anna and the frame of reference is often confusing for others especially when I discuss something involving my father. Your predicament is far more confusing I admit 😛
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    • That sort of confusion occurs in Tamil and Marathi also. For instance my father’s eldest brother was Anna and all of us from my generation as well as our children called him Anna! Since there were also other natural Annas quite some amusing things would happen.

  2. Nandu Pillai says:

    Just as I could call my wife “Priya ki Maa ” , Manjiree could call you :Baba ka Baap” ! 🙂 Quite a mouthful so I think Ashok’s suggestion of Appa is great !

  3. Grannymar says:

    Ask Manjiree to call you Ramana or Rummy. Problem solved. Both my grandmothers wished to be know to their grandchildren as Granny. My paternal grandmother became ‘Granny Kildysart’ after the village she lived in, in County Clare, Maternal granny lived in Dublin and was in and out of the house several days a week so she was known to us as ‘Granny’.

    Mammy and Daddy chose to be known to Barbara and subsequent grandchildren as Nana & Dan, within months we called them that too.
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    • In India, that system has not yet come Grannymar. Young people are uncomfortable calling elders by their name. You have already come across this from Anu and Ashok who used to call me Ramana Sir and Pravin who calls me Uncleji!

  4. MGH says:

    This comment is auto-reflective … we live in such difficult times don’t we 😀

  5. tammyj says:

    yes! I can see it making a tv comedy show!
    I vote for baba ran for ranjan and baba rum for you!
    beautiful names for two beautiful men! see what manjiree thinks about them! oh. okay.
    here’s another exclamation point. just in case you need another one!
    tammyj recently posted..a sweet little day

    • Exactly Tammy. A nice sitcom! She is likely to end up calling me Appa. That is Tamil for Father. She has also been advised to call me Rumpa by a fellow who I thought was my friend.

  6. Goodness, that sounds like a lot of fun could be had, almost like an Abbott and Costello routine. One would think she’d just say “my dad” whenever she was talking about her father.
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