My name is Raahul

Sep 14, 2014, 09:35 IST | Rahul Da Cunha

So with the stock market hitting new highs under Modiji and Jaitley saab, I decided to meet my investment manager

So with the stock market hitting new highs under Modiji and Jaitley saab, I decided to meet my investment manager.

“I’m looking to reap some rich dividends. Would you advise I rob a bank, dabble in real estate, or just invest in Reliance Capital?” I asked him with part jocularity.

“You should change the spelling in your name” he shot back seriously.

My portfolio manager then showed me his colourful visiting card.

Illustration/Amit Bandre

Illustration/Amit Bandre

“My name used to be Jagdambarprasad Bangera. It’s now Jjagdambarprasad Baangera. My profits have doubled since I changed my name.”

I understood the logic behind changing one’s first name of Jagdambarprasad to something like Jiggs or even Jagger (to impress NRI clients).

But to add an extra ‘J’ to an already spectacularly long name, was confusing.

However I decided to take his advice and change my name from Rahul to Raahul. I wanted my luck to transform, my business to boom, and the best way, it seemed, was to simply add an extra ‘u’ to my name. Not work harder, just rework my Christian name. Easily doable.

(Plus, I didn’t want to court the same bad luck as the Gandhi scion. If only he’d changed his name to Rahhull or say, Arnab, who knows how the Congress would have fared in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections).

At one level, my name change wasn't such a bad thing. Rahul has now become so commonplace it’s printed on the back of every taxi (second only to ‘DREAM LOVER’), restaurant, jewellery store and tyre repairing shop. ‘Rahul’ was also SRK's screen name in his first 50 movies.

At least now with ‘Raahul’, my name will be unique.

When I was young, every boy I knew was either Anand, Sanjay, Rohit or Rahul. Of course, there was the odd Mahavirsrikrishnabhakt, if the kid was named after a great grandfather or a village in interior Karnataka.

The Punjabis named their first born Gobind Singh Dhillon which soon morphed into Lucky.

Gujjus were fond of Jignesh, Kalpesh, Bhupesh or Rakesh (with the ‘h’ silent).

But Rahul was Buddha’s son and you wore the name like a badge of honour.

The other day I went to a naming ceremony.

“What’s the plan for the boy’s name?”, I asked the father earnestly.

“We’re thinking of Duryodhana,” he said beaming proudly.

“You’re sure that the only option in your head is the villain of the Mahabharata. Imagine the pressure on your kid to be named after the antagonist of India’s greatest epic. How do you expect him to pick up women at a bar? “Hey I’m Duryodhana, can I buy you a drink?”

“No, no, it’s not Duryodhana. It’s Dduryodhana with a double D,” the father reassured me, suggesting immense cleverness.

“Of course, we did consider Abhimanyu, Ashtavinaayak and Aashirwad, but felt they were too religious. Then there was Armaan and Arav, but they were too filmi. We thought of Anand and Rahul, but they are too common,” he added.

“Ah, but did you consider, Raahul? That’s Rahul with an extra ‘a’ for good luck, abundance of wealth, and an assurance that he will go to heaven.”

Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at rahuldacunha62 The views expressed in this column are the individual’s and don’t represent those of the paper.

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