Rabri & her 3 sweet sisters
Â Â Â Rabri (L) and Rabri (R)Pictures from rulers.org and flonnet.com
India is a country with diversity. We have diverse religions, diverse castes, diverse cultures and diverse traditions that are followed by diverse people with diverse names.
Newborns are often named after historical figures (Ashok, Akbar, Shahjahan, Mumtazâ¦very few go for Aurangzeb â for obvious reasons), mythological characters (Ram, Lakshman, Sita, Arjunâ¦again, no one touches Ravan, Kekai or Kans), modern-day heroes/celebrities (Kapil Dev, Sania Mirza, Shah Rukh Khanâ¦yes the full name. Who bothers to retain the family surname?) We have people who got their names from colours (Laal, Hariyar), trees/fruits (Jamun, Imli), flowers (Champa, Chameli, Gulabo), rivers (Narmada, Cauvery, Raavi), mountains (Kailash, Himalay), days of the week (Som, Mangal â there was one guy named âBuddhuâ coz he was born on Budhwaar/ Wednesday) and even furniture (Iâve actually heard of Kursi!). Funnily, till I was about 5, I thought I was named after a petrol pump â Vikas Petrol Pump! Dad then told me that I got my name from a family friend who owned that petrol pump.
We havenât skipped food items eitherâ¦though we seem to prefer sweets or desserts to any of the spicy stuff, with an occasional exception - thereâs an Achariya (Pickle) Devi in my village. These names are given usually as nick names for the inherent âsweetâ connotation that they carry, the most common being Laddu â (even Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan was âLadduâ in K3G). Thereâs also Imarti, Cham Cham, Burfi, Rasmalaiâ¦
The only woman (former) chief minister of Bihar gets her name from a milk based north Indian dessert called Rabri. Incidentally, her siblings too have similar âsweetâ names â Rasgulla, Jalebiya and Panwa (paan). I first thought that these were probably their favourite sweets when they were growing upâ¦or more logically, they could be their motherâs preferred desserts. I was obviously amused when I discovered that the four sisters were named after the first thing that their mother ate immediately after delivering them! Thank god, my mother didnât follow this unique âmethodâ, else Iâd be called Doodh Kumar (mom had milk the first thing)!