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baba black sheep

This is what you get when a dyslexic (at least I suspect) sister is given the opportunity to say your name. How in God's name 'Alok' sounded like 'Baba' don't ask me. But to her it did. And sadly it stuck.

And it started a slew of unfortunate events (tragic seems a better word), which left my childhood bruised and battered in its wake. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me they say. Yeah right! I was the victim of 'sheep'ish names callings. From uncles, to aunts, to maids, to cousins, and even to strangers. Everywhere I went I was subjected to various imitations of what a sheep would sound like.

And then I shifted schools. A new school and a new identity. It was my very own Witness Potection Program. And it was my most closely guarded secret, one which I would take with me to my grave. Or so I thought. It was the very same sister who gave me away again. I remember the day like it was yesterday. It was right before our math exam, and R calls up to get his doubts cleared. And who answered his call? My very own traitor sister. She screams out to me (which was totally unnecessary since I was practically next to her), "BABA!!!!! Phone for you." And the cat (or sheep) was out of the bag. The next day, I was running up for a supplimentary sheet, when the whole crowd, like gleeful, vicious name-calling children, started in unison - "Baba, black sheep, have you...". And so the name calling continued. How did it all end? Well, don't even go there!

I didn't have any luck with my real name (it's an absolute riot when you put my first and second name together) either. Everyone had derived their own version of names for me; a different permutation and combination to add to that unholy phonetic list. From Aloo (Aishu) and Puri (Aishu and Su), to Bhel Puri (Mansukhani), Aloo Puri (this was a favourite) and Pani Puri (JS), to some really whacked out ones like Alkaline (Sam) to Alokede (the Late Mrs. Neelam gleefully exclaimed that it sounded like a vegetable).

It's now time for me to move on again. Erase my past and write another story on a clean slate. And more importantly, with a whole new not-so-teaseable name.

P.S. There does happen to be someone with a weirder name than mine - which sounds like 'Oinkdrella' (Cinderella's ugly step-sister I presume?). And kidding you I'm not. Her name sounded like something from a pen! "Heeerrreee piggie, piggie, piggie!"


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