July 2, 2009

What's in the Name? Dude, Everything!

What's in the name, you ask? Well, I'd say Shakespeare had no sense of sound-vision synchronisation. I was mighty pissed off by the unnecessary and juvenile brouhaha over naming of the newly made sea-link on the Bombay seaside. To be frank I really liked the name The Bandra-Worli Sea Link or just The BWSL. It suits the structure. Take a look at it once, I mean, really take in the majestic view of it standing in the sea. Although it's not some haute couture architectural feat, it's certainly got a definitive style that suits Mumbai. When I saw a picture of the grey python stretching across the sea, belittling the sun behind and rooted firmly in the matching dirty grey waters of the Arabian, the first word that escaped me was 'wicked!' It is a thorough masculine work of construction with no hint of art and beauty. It has got that rugged look that only an engineer devoid of an artistic instinct can give it's baby creation. It's not painted red or yellow or blue on the advice of some nancy designer or astrologer (who, btw, are dime a dozen here) to supposedly represent the spirit or energy of Mumbai, but it has been left as it is - raw and bare - to camouflage itself with the waters in which it stands sturdily and promisingly.

After this description, what name can one think fits aptly for such a structure? For me The BWSL sounds coolly perfect and so international (I dunno why, but it reminds me of YSL). Of course the article 'The' should be there; it adds to the uniqueness. But no! that is not the same way our politicians look at that structure, apparently. Sharad Pawar, being a perfect toe-licker to Sonia G, wanted it to be named after the Rajiv Gandhi. Omni-farter motormouth Raj Thackeray wanted to name it after Jyotirao Phule or Shahu Maharaj or the Dalit leader Dr Ambedkar.

Now I adequately respect Pawar and Thackeray. I support the latter's ideology and trust the former's intellect as our Agricultural Minister. But I do not endorse their sense of style. OK fine, Rajiv Gandhi was an idol for the youth and will always remain so. Hence, it is rightly an honor to name an award after him and give it to extremely talented individuals. And after all, even a name, especially of a highly honoured man, has a value which depreciates because of over-familiarity. And the name Rajiv Gandhi relates to youth power and reformation (he was the one who ushered in the IT revolution in India). I wouldn't vote for the sea-link to be named after him with all due respect.

And with even extra respect than what is due, just to evade the ire of the sensitive, I would rather vote against the sea-link being named after Jyotirao or Shahu Maharaj or Ambedkar. I see the structure the way I have described above. It's a fixation for me I daresay. Looking up at it, it commands awe and amazement, and hence certainly deserves a name suitable in the same manner. I consider it a sacrilege of the masculinity and a snubbing to the architect's creation if a humongous work of passion, which is also crucial infrastructural achievement, is named Shahu Maharaj Setu or Phule Pool or something tacky of that sort. It's a sea-link for heaven's sake, not a bridge! And how would it sound in an international city like Mumbai where property prices are amongst the highest five in the world, if the sea-link is named after the beacon of the Dalits, Ambedkar? I can even imagine the Dalits swarming the sea-link on Ambedkar jayanti, disrupting the traffic. It's a fat chance that that might happen, but if the tactless ex-CM could introduce chatt poojas in Mumbai, such a fiasco is not beyond imagination.

Anyway, I just hope the foul name-game dies down within a short time, and the people themselves unofficially name it as The Bandra-Worli Sea Link.

The Titanic (the ship) made history with its size that stretched into robust vanity. The vessel was christened as it was, titanic. It wasn't named Queen Elizabeth or Queen Mary. It was named Titanic! The point is that the name does influence how you perceive a particular thing or a person. Probably the ship wouldn't have been as breath-taking had it been called by some other common name. There is a lot in a name. It decides the brand value. It plays with one's involuntary senses when one hears it or says it or reads it and projects an impression that lingers around the object like an aura.

Shakespeare: What's in the name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet!
The Blithering Idiot: Rubbish! It would have been impossible to visualise Romeo and Juliet as romantic had they been called Ted and Lucy instead.


ॐ Vincy said...

Now I adequately respect Pawar and Thackeray. I support the latter's ideology and trust the former's intellect as our Agricultural Minister.

Cha'mon dude! you jokin' rite? ideology and intellect are the words which these farts haven't heard of! forget its possession..
But, i otherwise agree to every letter you've typed (hope u haven't used the backspace key here either) and about the Name and the brand value, who better to ask than people who know marketing!
Even after erecting a marvel of engineering our government lacks professionalism itself. Of course, Im sure that Hon. Sharad Pawar dint even draw a single line while those engineers were projecting the BWSL's excogitation...
Still, it hardly bothers me as we live in a democracy where people prefer holidaying on elections, forget their intervention when these maladministers are combating...

So our "freedom to speech" falls on a deaf ear..

is someone hearing???

Saadi said...

Hahahaha....yeah, you're right man!! I used to throw around that quote around like some literature master here n there fr a random conversation!

But yeah, now no more! Romeo and Juliet would indeed not have been so famous if they were named 'Ted and Lucy'!

Really nice, man!

Shruti Mukundan said...

never really though about the importance of 'name' so far.. but then ur post inspired me to think about the importance of names.. yeah they r important n as the first comment here goes... marketing ppl would clearly know the importance.

i kinda liked the description u gave for the 'sea-link' good work.. nice post.

Ash D said...

Abt Thackeray and pawar, Not something I want to comment on. About the name, yeah man, Bandra Worli Sea Link suits me just fine. Fancy names are not necessary. check out the Millau Viaduct! And naming everything after people is a little too cliched as well in India.

Ankit Gupta said...

nice one...

am a Delhite. Here too Govt. has named a very famous CP crossing as Ragiv Chowk. Now the prob is you have Ragiv Chowk appearing in one than one positions in Noida, Fbd and gurgoan.

Unique identities have to be promoted so tht if an outsider comes to town, he is not confused.

Keep article..

CRD said...

the NAME is a powerful weapon in Indian politics.

Whether or not the dead soul who's name is used would feel any allegiance to the group callin for the name to be used, the name stamps a party's political power, or its claim to such power.

Some names being suggested were Rajiv Gandhi, Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj (the name's been done to death just like mahatma gandhi or Sardar Patel), and Veer Savarkar. The Bandra Worli Sealink is the best name. Everyone thinks so, exept the damn politicians..


Tasneem N. said...

yeah even i prefer the bandra worli sea link to any other name. This link is the welcome change for all the mumbaikars and worth watching too!

divsi said...

this is not for ya post:)
well mannered non teachin staff!!:p lol
omg are they the same evrywhere??;o hehe

Anonymous said...

You are so good at blogging, why don't you start writing professionally. I am not promoting it, but Orangy Consultancies always does pay well.

Anonymous said...

good work but the truth is more evident than your blog about bwsl! try visiting the site at late night or by early dawn, it's the most beautiful sight you could get to see in this country and then you just run out of words! but yes bandra worli sea link sounds normal.
keep writing.
-your secret admirer

Robinsh said...

Great Job !!