What's in a name?
Naming anything, however insignificant, is difficult. I had trouble naming my favourite pencil when I was in class 3.
The little chicken I had as a pet ( who incidentally died the day after it came to us, *adequately sad Sigh*)...well...let me not even go there. I was awake the whole night thinking of a name for him/ her ( I never really found out the gender and I am not sure how you do that in the case of chickens). I finally decided that 'Chooza' would be an appropriate name and dozed off in the early hours. Only unfortunately Chooza was dead by the time I got up.
When I was in class 6, we got a not so small puppy. A girl puppy. I recall that we, as a family debated for days and days without being able to decide the name of the girl-puppy. It is a different matter all together that the puppy refused to respond to any name except the one it was used to. And it is again a completely different matter all together that the name the dog used to respond to was, of all names possible, 'Shweta'.
And it is again a completely different matter that at that point in time we knew 3 human being shwetas including a very dignified Shweta Aunty who incidentally stopped visiting us as regularly after we got Shweta.
Shweta Aunty. Poor Shweta Aunty. She came to meet us soon after we got Shweta. During her stay I had to (and I repeat, had to) say things like:
'Stupid Idiot Shweta'
Trust me I had to say all of this. The situation demanded that. Shweta Aunty gave us a superior condescending glance and walked away not to return for a long long time.
You wonder what happened to Shweta? Did Shweta and I form a lasting bond that we humans can form only with dogs? Did Shweta live for 15 glorious years bringing us much joy, love and laughter? Did I feel that a part of me was gone forever when Shweta was put to sleep?
None of this happened.
She ran away. She ran away with a mongoose. And no, I am not making this up. 2 months after we got her she ran away with a Mongoose. Our neighbour saw her elope and alerted us. We searched and searched in the near by slums:
'Bhai Sahab, aapne ek oodbilaw aur ek kutte koh saath dekha hai?'
Yes, we asked this question to the slum dwellers who looked at us as if we were mad. A little naked boy running in the mud was the only one who said he had seen the pair and took us to the sewage pit.
'There?' my Mum asked.
'Yes' he said. And laughed. And ran away.
Anyways, so the girl puppy ran away.
Anyways, I digress.
So the point is that naming anything is quite difficult.
Naming your first book is Oh-My-Gawd difficult!
So many many many months back when I had hardly even started Chapter Number Two of my book, I went to watch a movie here in London. As the credits rolled I literally jumped off my seat.
Because somewhere on the screen was written 'Happily Ever After'.
It was music to my ears. It was magic to my eyes.
That had to be the name of my book. Happily Ever After.
So that is what I named my book straight away. Right there, unfinished bottle of pepsi in my hand, no idea where the story would go, but the book was named.
Happily Ever After by Ram Pyaari. How lovely!
A couple of months passed. Wonders of wonders, with a full time job also, I managed to finish the book. The lovely people at Rupa & Co. agreed to publish it (God Bless those kind souls).
And then it happened.
They did not like the title of the book.
In the meanwhile I asked around. As it turned out a LOT of people did not like the name. Some said it was too girly, others said it was plain boring. Some even said that they would not pick up a book called 'Happily Ever After'. (Apologies to authors who actually have a book called 'Happily Ever after')
So I had to agree with my publishers. Maybe, I thought ruefully, it was not a great name after all.
So I brain stormed and came up with new names. That list included potential disasters like 'Marry who?' (Yes, I thought of that name as well. I shudder now.)
I sent the names I thought of to Sid, my brother and Nikhil. Nikhil rubbished most of the names I had suggested and came up with a list of names he could think of.
Sitting on number 2 on the list sent to me in an email was a name with which everyone now knows my book by- The(In)eligible Bachelors.
Who is Nikhil? Nikhil and I worked together for about 3 months, both left the company but the friendship stayed on :) And this post was actually an introduction to Nikhil who will be writing the next post!
Here is the link to Nikhil's blog :http://solitaryduel.blogspot.com
If you like this, please do come back on Sunday as he will be posting his first guest on my blog :) Come back and encourage him with your comments!
I need to say just one more thing about the title now. Three words. Heartfelt and genuine.
Thank You, Nikhil.