Sunday, January 13, 2008

About my name


My name is Kislay Chandra. The word Kislay is rarely used as a name, something which I have come to believe through my personal experience. The meaning of this word, Kislay, can be a young shoot, a bud or a new leaf. And the reason why I think it’s a rare name is because , first , when I say it out loud , the person on the receiving end finds it hard to comprehend what I said . And secondly, when his sense of hearing conveys the right message to his brain, it fails to process it as he has never heard of it before. I have not have had the pleasure of meeting a person whose eyes have lit up with knowledge upon hearing my name till date , and I sincerely wish it happens before I depart . My first name has been often misinterpreted, and the different forms it has taken are kiss-ley, kis-liye (which in Hindi means why or for what purpose), kish-lay, Krishna, and so on. When I was a child I was often teased by my family that I had been named Kislay because I had kissed a girl when I was a toddler. How I wish that was true. It would have made a wonderful anecdote, and would have been a feather in my cap as well. After I explain my name to my audience, more often than not the person exclaims “Interesting name!” which makes me wonder whether they really mean it or they just said “What a weird name” in their head. When I was introducing myself to my class on the first day of college, my teacher mis-pronounced it as kiss-lay and the class erupted, to my embarrassment .And the best part of it all, having a name like Kislay and a disposition somewhat like a lamb, ended up in me having a nick name like Chummi, which in Hindi means a kiss. Not very hard to deduce, eh? The perpetrator of this crime was my friend who I seriously think did it to pull my leg hard enough to dismember it from my body. It has been an embarrassing four years being addressed as Chummi, as it sounds really really stupid. There was a time when I almost forgot that I had been named Kislay by my parents and being addressed by real name made me think twice before acknowledging. To cut the first part of a long story short, I have started dreading saying out my name.

And now begins the second part of this story. My surname, Chandra, which means moon, and is more of a first name than a surname. It is actually the first name of my grandfather, Chandra Narayana Thakur. And how I, the grandson of C N Thakur and the son of A K Thakur ended up being named K Chandra instead of being K A Thakur is a reflection of the hideousness of one the more prominent evils of Hindu society in a state ridden with almost all of them. Casteism! It was by design that I am not carrying my family name of Thakur, which means Lord. Chucking out the actual family name and substituting it with one which doesn’t give away your caste has become a common practice in my home state. In Bihar, you can’t hit a brick without hitting some Kumar, and you come across people having names like Shiv Vikram, Sudhanshu Shekhar, Aditya Alok, etc.And this makes me very sad. It is not that I hate being called Kislay Chandra, but I hate hiding what I am. I was born a Thakur, but as the generations above me gradually pass away, so will my family name. When somebody fails to get a clue about my caste on hearing my name , they ask my father’s and to keep them guessing I drop the Thakur , and say Arun Kumar . It has happened to me a few times. Of course, I have come across few shameless idiots who have hit me with the question enquiring of my caste with such a straight face that I was absolutely dumbfounded. “There are all kinds of idiots in this world”, is what I say to console myself, and after mentally hurling a long string of invectives of the best kind, I let it go. Shakespeare said so – “What's in a name? That which we call a rose, By any other name would smell as sweet.” A person cannot become a great emperor like Ashoka, the Great just by being his namesake. But would Ashoka would have been Ashoka, the Great had he been named Aditya? The whole point of this rigmarole being that why do I have hide what I am. Even that name, which is not a part of me, is a part of me and has shaped me in some unknown fashion to be what I am now. It is a part of my identity and I don’t want it be lost. I wish I was consulted before I was named.

31 comments:

Pro said...

dude..... 4 years!!!!!! and u never told us the history of your surname!

Kislay said...

Hey , I did tell you guys , but in brief . This is a detailed explanation of why are things the way they are .

Anonymous said...

nice...I had an idea but never knew it had so much in it!
Shubham

Anonymous said...

hey
I am Sunil, But i have heard kislay bf4.

kislay is one of my recent friend, who is a delight.

He has used name to his advantage especially with girls.

I know of such a incident where in he met with Shiamak Davar in a lift
and shiamak end up saying...i am never gonna forget you and your name..

cheers

Kislay said...

@Sunil
Well that is news . Thanks .

Pinku said...

hmmm....firstly a Bihari, then a Thakur and finally an unpronounceable first name...u are born unlucky man.

Snap out of this yaar...my husband too has a difficult name that most people cant pronounce (even i managed after trying a lot) but so what he sticks with his name and if someone is uncomfortable with it, he forwards his nickname but after making it evident that how sad it is that they can pronounce a pure sanskrit name.

As for being a Thakur...if your family thought you are at risk guess they had a point but it sure is sad to have to hide your identity.

Kislay said...

@Pinku
I am not ashamed of being a Bihari , not at all . I like my name , I only find it a bit irritating when people don't get it . And as far as being a Thakur is concerned , what is bad about it ?

nidhi said...

i had a friend in school who's name was Kislay too :)
i guess i appreciated the name more when she told me what it means :-)
i think it's a beautiful name!

Kislay said...

@Nidhi
Was your friend a girl ? This is disturbing . I thought Kislay was a guy's only name !

ananya. said...

guess what...I was google-ing the meaning of 'kislay'and yours was the first search result.The point?I love the name,seen and heard people make fun of it...never understood why,so thought I'd look it up.

Kislay said...

@Ananya
Glad to know that I helped .

Indian Home Maker said...

The teasing bit can be very annoying, even traumatic. It sometimes happens even with simple names.
But you've got a very nice name and now that teasing is kind of over, I guess you can enjoy it :)

Kislay said...

@IHM
It was never traumatic . Irritating , sometimes . And inspite of all this , I like my name .

Solilo said...

Actually when I first read you name on other blogs I too thought you meant it to be 'Kis--liye'-- Why?

Kislay is a new name for me and it is nice to read the whole story behind your name. Kids are bad when it comes to name. They will find a way to tease you no matter what. Aah! part of growing up.

Kislay said...

@Solilo
That is one of the many variants of my name . :) And a part of growing up indeed . But I still like my name . Thanks for stopping by .

Indyeah said...

किसलय
यह शब्द हिंदी में काफी प्रयुक्त होता है, यदि आप इसका सटीक अर्थ जानते है तो पृष्ठ को संपादित करने में संकोच ना करें (याद रखें - पृष्ठ को संपादित करने के लिये रजिस्टर करना आवश्यक नहीं है) । दिया गया प्रारूप सिर्फ दिशा निर्देशन के लिये है, आप इसमें अपने अनुसार फेर-बदल कर सकते हैं ।

जो बहुत कोमल पत्ती जो हल्कि गुलाबी होती है , छुने से भी जो गिरजाये उसे संनसक्रीत भाषा मे किसलय केह्ते है। किसलय पेहचान है नई दशा का , नई दिशा का , नई आशा, नई उमंग का । और किसलय कभी मरता नही.............

Found this information here...
http://hi.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E0%A4%95%E0%A4%BF%E0%A4%B8%E0%A4%B2%E0%A4%AF


and this is what my shabdkosh says...:)

किसलय - कोमल पत्ता , कल्ला ,नव - पल्लव , कोपल

Beautiful name...:)

Kislay said...

Holy Mother of God . Thank you . A thousand times thank you . I never knew that . You ROCK !

Indyeah said...

:)You are most welcome...Kislay is a word I have been hearing since childhood...it's a part of mom and dad's vocabulary..:)
I know you love your name but wanted to make you see how truly beautiful it was...:)
Your name rocks too!!...:)

kislay said...

Well, nice blog covered up all that i too could ve written :) , as u might ve guessed , my name is also kislay, and i think its popular only in bihar, i am from bhagalpur

Ford said...

MY NAME IS "KISHLAY RAJ" AND I HAVE NEVER FACED SUCH PROBLEMS LIKE BEING TAUNTED OR MAKING FUN OF MY NAME...YA SECOND PART IS CORRECT...IT IS HARD FOR YOU TO MAKE IT UNDERSTAND IT IN FIRST SPELL...BUT I HAVE GOT ONLY POSITIVE COMMENTS ON MY NAME..I AM ALSO FROM BIHAR AND I AM PROUD OF BEING A BIHARI AND AN INDIAN.

Kislay said...

@Ford

Glad to know that . I like my name as well , am a proud Indian and Bihari .

kishlay said...

me too Kishlay & from bihar without surname.

godloveyou said...

after reading dis..i laughed badly specially the kislay part..but dude..there's nothing in name so relax..i agree with shakespeare...what's in the name..?? but what i liked is your way of writing,,way of expressing ...awesome..keep it up :):)

kislaya said...

To say that I can relate to the first paragraph would be an understatement. Exactly what happened to me in my childhood. I'm still proud of my name because it is rarity, though increasing number of kids are being named it. Good Blog though, came to it while searching for my name. Hehe. Keep it up buddy.

kislay said...

i m also the victim of misunderstood name.my story is dito of urs 1st para

Unknown said...

i m also the victim of misunderstood name.my story is dito of urs 1st para

Unknown said...

gud

kislaya said...

kislaya is a beautiful name, my name is kislaya too and i have always received, compliments, appreciation and an unforgettable touch to my name by various people i have met.....it directly means spring bud, but if you look at its hidden meaning it means spring bud, which is the promise of a new beginning, hope and positivity in life.....

Kislay said...

Hey my name is also Kislay. It is amusing to see when people didn't pronounce the name correctly.

I remember, at Vasino Devi, a girl named Kislay. Maybe because Kislay is part of a tree and tree are neither male or female so both gender can use this name.

Kislay Kishore said...

hey mate i am kislay too. kislay kishore. actual sirname is rai but doesn't use.i am a bihari and a bhumihar brahmin but it doesn't matte.i have faced similar difficulties. but i am proud of my name as it is a sanskrit word often used in poetry and has beautiful meaning. i am rather concerned about those who does not have proper knowledge of a significant word and who mislead it with a mixture of hindi and english.

Kislay Usha Chandra said...

@Kislay Kishore: Nice of you to drop by. Thanks for your comment.