05 April 2008

what's in a name?

A name is everything. It is something bestowed on you by your parents with love and expectations; it is something that you would have to live with all your life; and in some instances, it is something that you have to defend as you would do with your honour. Hercules sought out to defend his good name when his half-brother stole his name/identity. We know of celebrities who named their children strange-sounding names (to most American ears). Shiloh and Suri are not really odd names when you are Asian or African. Barack Obama was called Barry in his younger days, for convenience, I suppose. His is a name that incites curiosity and perhaps a name that would make a grand story.

Seriously, my parents have thought of names like Bradley, Khayyam, Patton to give my younger brothers. Their choices show what kind of persons they are - romantic, movie-going, hero-worshipping, and in my father's case - sort of militaristic (Patton???). Ultimately, my brothers were given names of Omar Shariff (as in Hollywood's Dr Zhivago), Khadafi (as in the Libyan anti-west leader)- luckily, no one was called Bradley or Patton, then they would have to live up to their names' expectations - being in the generals' boots.

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