I happened to stop at one of the U-Haul truck rental couple of days back with my friend to rent a small size truck to pickup a mattress for my home. The U-Haul rental where I stopped was part of a public Storage company. The person who owned the facility was an Indian Gujarati old man with sharp features, all grey and scanty head, and a toothless mouth. “Hello Sir, I need a small size truck,do you have one to rent?.”, I asked. “Yes, we have one and when can you return it”, he asked even before renting it. I thought, like any other stingy businessman he was expecting me get the truck sooner than the scheduled time so that he can rent it to others. I asked “Isn’t that I can keep the truck for an entire day as per the rental policy, once I take it? Are you going to reduce the price, if I return it back in lesser time?” I asked. He said “No” and then asked me “What do you do for living?” I said “I’m an IT professional”. Immediately he asked me smiling, “When you charge for a project, do you reduce the cost of software if it was developed in lesser time?”. I just kept quite smiling back at him, thought in mind he is a shrewd old businessman.
While he prepared the paperwork for renting the truck, he kept talking. He wanted to know if he creates a website for his business how he can have Google display his company details on the top of the search when people search for storage companies. I was surprised to hear that. He had a good point. There are thousands of storage companies like him. Who would bother to look for a company that is listed way back in the search result. He just defined a good business rule “Merely having a business doesn’t help in modern world; it should be easier for people to find it too, if you have to utilize internet technology to enhance your business”. I asked him his age, to which he replied “78” years. I was impressed with his internet and computers knowledge at this age and also his curiosity of learning new technologies. At his age when most old men like to relax and not bother about what is happening around, here was a 78-year-old dude who was thinking about expanding his business with new technology. Impressive enough. (more…)
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet.” wrote Shakespeare in the memorable novel “Romeo and Juliet “.
Off course, the person would still remain the same even when called with another name. Neither a good name would make a person good, nor a rich name would make him rich. “BUT“……!!!! Shakespearean definition sounds logical only in his classic novel, not in reality. The name gives a person his identity. It is the integral part of who you are , not considering the physical aspect of the person. It is what identifies your personality. Not all who are named “Gandhi” are revered as “Gandhi”. When we say “Gandhi” we co relate the name to the messenger of peace “Gandhi”. That’s how the name engulfs the personality. Our name is so dear to us that mispronouncing it or misspelling it , hurts us. Not just hurts, but causes severe consequences in some cases.
Our culture and society gives a lot of importance to the name of a person. When a child is born people like to name their kid with a name that is very unique and unheard of. That unique name makes the parents feel that his child is special among others. Lot of rituals go with naming a child. That’s the reason we always hold our name very close to our heart and cannot tolerate to hear it mispronounced or misspelled. However, many times these beautiful names are butchered because of the way different languages are pronounced. Spelling names of persons from other cultures or languages sometimes becomes difficult to a person belonging to some other culture or speaking a different language. Take for example the African name “OLUWAKANYINSOLA” (means “sweet” in South African language) or the Thai name “APICHATPONG WEERASETHAKUL” (meaning “Holy“) . Some names are not just difficult but if not pronounced properly give a totally different and weird meanings, though in their native language they would mean something very nice. Being an Indian and knowing meaning of most Indian names, I’m particularly amused and sometimes irritated with the way native American English speakers butcher Indian names. They do not mean to deliberately do it. Most of the time, it is because they try to pronounce them the way they speak English phonetically. I have heard some names pronounced really funny and sometimes embarrassing, by native English speakers. (more…)