Thursday, February 22, 2007

Pankaj..Bata and the French ladies...

Some managers never grow up. For some people it happens out of the blue that the brain decides..’I cant handle it anymore.. Quit.. No more value addition!’. Freeze…stop growing…'

Recently I overheard the story about this high profile manager talking to another equally dumb client manager. It often happens that when you talk to foreigners they find it hard to pronounce names. Tell them to say 'Venkatapathy Raju'..You will see a amazing variety of ‘naatyashastrams’ and ‘bhavams’ on display…So this client friendly manager in order to make life easy for this Mr. Hamilton began spelling his name. Somehow this 'one of a kind desi manager' managed his sur name though he struggled a bit because he couldn’t think of a country which started with ‘D’..
Already exhausted after testing his brains to the limit he started of with his second name..

P for Pankaj’

Rumors say we lost a client after this disastrous display of spelling proficiency..

By the way the Scripps spelling bee contest where you see kids effortlessly spell words like 'chiaroscurist' and 'staphylococci' gives me those mediocrity blues…How do they comprehend spelling them when the guy in the opposite chair tells him that the word is of Spanish origin and with that tinge of Chinese influence .

For something as simple as ‘Xbox’. The quizzer will come up with pronunciations like


By then even the guy who invented it would be grappling with the manual to check how he had spelled it..

And if you noticed recent winners of the spelling contest are expat kids who are from Andhra. When you have named the kid like ‘Sathya Naryana Venkatasubramania Bhaama Reddy’ the kid is destined to be a spelling whizkid.,..We poor malayalees often don’t get to learn all the alphabets by the time this Andhra kid has by hearted the names of his grandma and grandpa!!!Nor the ‘northie’ who have effortlessly named the kids ‘Bunty aur Babli’……I mean ‘Bunty ‘ or ‘Babli’….

And when I talk about words I should mention how obscene German language is. You can see the word ‘fahrt’ all over German roadways. Apparently the word means ‘drive’. But the word give altogether different connotation to a English friendly desi..Those famous autobahns in Germany had to be sealed of after the world cup when the British hooligans who came driving by the autobahn got ‘inspired’!!! And with liberal usage of letter ‘Z’ in the language you keep grinding your teeth every time you talk…try saying ‘Gesamtbetriebsrates zur verschobenen..I don’t know what it means. But a few like these means that you don’t have to go to gym ..they burn calories like anything!!’

I mean who would have bought a Volkswagen if they spelt it like it was supposed to be..

Salesman from Stuttgart: ‘Introducing our new model Volkswagenwerk Aktiengesellschaft Model T100 ’

By the time he finished that our Guy from Jamshedpur would have easily managed at least 10 Tata’s..You see what a brilliant marketing trick to name the brand as ‘Tata’…Imagine how many times the jamshedpur salesman would have said Tata by the time his colleague from Stuttgart finished one ‘Volkswagenwerk Aktiengesellschaft Model T100’
Only brilliant strategist’s think like that..

It is like how *Bata* dominated our shoe market..
And *Data* is the buzzword in software industry..

But all these companies should pay tribute to the humble malayalee who inspired them to coin these brand names. It was apparently a mallu lady who screamed ‘Paataaaa’ on seeing a cockroach in the corridor that gave the inspiration!!

Nevertheless moving forward I ll like to tell you that I am lucky to see lot of French ladies in office..not exactly like Paris Hilton…but wannabe Hilton's!! :-P
And these amazing ladies have a habit of pecking a kiss to everyone’s cheek every morning in office. But sadly this custom is restricted only between the French ..Not even Germans get a chance. For that matter they don’t care…
Neways there is nothing bad in hoping for.Inspite of discouraging colleagues, A friend of mine made it a point to straighten his neck every time a French lady went past him. He looked like a Ostrich peeping out from its grove and after a week this ritual gave him nothing but a stiff neck!! Sad isn’t how desperate people can get!!

Back to the old story of word jugglery it is worthy to mention

Youtube came with their name when someone found that they showed copyrighted videos and the shocked music company guy blurted…..’Eu tu Brutus’
..Almost like how Rediff might have got its name when some disgruntled writer might have told the management..’Uh....Read if only you got time!!!!’ Or the Japanese who came to Kottayam and heard the mundu clad guy in the junction say ‘Auto..Auto’ in a feverous pace. See how some get inspired and make brands like Toyota…There are countless example including like 'Reliance' seems to take its cue from 'License Raj'….striking similarity isn’t…
Only if you know how difficult it was for me to find any similarity in it! :-P

When the last remaining brit soldier left the country some time in 1947 he must have regretted something. They taught the Indians 'English'…In spite of all the phunny concoctions we make out of the language it isn’t a exaggeration to say that we have arrived in the global space thanks to the odd Brit…

Of all the odds against us ..of all the adversities we face there is always something for us to cheer about!!Atleast we having a thriving economy now..And I guess 'English' is quite a reason for that..

Finally sitting in the office and when I write this and my colleagues thinks that am writing some kind of specialized document for cutting edge software applications to be deployed..

aah that evil sense of satisfaction for some time well utilized!!! :-P


starry said...

Enjoyed reading this post and all the fun you had with words and names.Was really interesting.How do you come up with this stuff. We have to thank the Brits for leaving the english language behind.

alakananda said...

auto ingenious. :)nice change from the usual 'tappi nokku' which became tapioca and kashinettu(cashew nut)... sure u've heard that hollywood movies are inspired by mallus too. 'tightaanu enikku' which became titanic and 'anakkam undo pambe?' which became anaconda.

and the andhra names reminds me of this joke i read somewhere. anandaraman subramanyam kept waiting and waiting to hear his name called out somewhere by some sayippu. finally turned out they were calling him...'anotherman superman' :) u've probly heard it already, anyway...

Unknown said...

Good one. Actually I have always been firm that all other words in every other language were coined some or the other way from malayalam. And i always give examples like PAARA METER, DEBO NAIR and PHENO MENON. :-)

When i was in Pune, the places there also sounded like malayalam words. Analyse this - PAASHAAN, MUND VA, KONDU VA, PIMPRI, KIRKEE and MAGAR PATTA. Magarpatta.... dont sound like malayalam? ok i will explain the story behind how a mallu named this place.

Once a group of people were tired of walking and they asked a guy on the road (who was a mallu)

Paani milega kya?

Mallu - Nahin. Magar PATTA Hai.

The group - OOOOOOOOHHHHHH this place is MAGAR PATTA.... :P

Unknown said...

btw can you please figure out why your comments feed doesnt have the latest comments published? Check out your comments section in blogger backend.

If the url is wrong please let me know


N A R I YA L C H U T N E Y said...

Funny Post :) . LOL . Malayalis are not far behind when it comes to discovering words . The read if for rediff was good and no wonder because the CEO / founder is also from Kerala :)

There was a state committee that was formulated once by Kerala government to create Malayalam equivalents for commonly used English words .

For switch they suggested " Vaidyuthigamanagamananiyanthranayanthram " and for the express (the green KSRTC bus ) they suggested "Thwarithavegathilodunnaharithashakadam" . This is what actually happened and no wonder we are still using Switch and express .

Do you think Germans , Japanese , French (Why I was not born in France , I dont know ? :).They have such nice practices from your post ) or anybody else can beat us in naming ? :)

silverine said...

LOL goood one!!!! So funny. The Volkswagon name sounds like our mallu names :) I am sure the salesman must be panting after mouthing the full form :))

And three cheers to the "time well utilized". Please use your time judiciously like this more often.....

p.s I am plagiarising this errr... I mean I am 'inspired'.


mathew said...

@starry nights

something good they did after all..although not intentional!!


heard the superman ones..but the other ones are new info...thanks to are coming up with 'pheobish' songs!! :-P


Thanks for dropping by..
Lol!!I have heard a few of em!!
Magarpatta' could someone think up that one..btw it seems to trouble with the blogger feed..maybe another of their silly days!!

@NC.. goodness..Did we have really these unsensible people around by!! :-O

@Anjali much u like to see me get kicked out from the job?? :-P

point noted..your wooner! :-P

Priya said...

Its so fun to play with words isn't it. Its always either way when people are unable to pronounce. Most of desis keep their name short - if someones name is chandran, they call themselves "dan" as its easy for others to call him.

Lidia said...

I know...I'm horrible at pronouncing and spelling names - especially Indian ones :( It's a bad habit of mine which has evolved from me being a terrible linguist - and i still can only speak one language!

I find it incredibly weird about the french ladies though - why do they only greet other french people with the peck on the cheek? Seems abit like french snobbery to me :) Haha...i love Germany and the German language though - i saw this German comedy once and it was so hilarious but also at the same time very beautiful because of their language :)


flaashgordon said...

Hehe good word origin stories !! btw hope u've heard of Babu murali from Alappuzha who went to the west indies and became a singer - yeah ok.. they pronounced his name as Bob Marley. And there was an ikka from malappuram -who was selling sand, cement and metal. Later he decided to concentrate on Metal alone and he came to be known as Metallica...Well know more stories such..Mebbe will have a post on it soon

Neway keep bloggin- looks like ur deutsch is as good as my Japanese :-)

VIDYA said...

:-d was an awesome read .

i can still visualise the mallu woman screaming 'paaattaa'


crumbs said...

tee hee!
this was hilarious, must have taken some serious effort to dig up all those connections...
paatta and bata!awesome!!!

Anonymous said...

LOL!! aah that evil sense of satisfaction for some time well utilized!!!