In the halcyon days of yore , when short pants we wore …. (And this , unfortunately , is where the rhyme gives way) everything around and about was such fraught with simplicity and un-quirkiness that no one , and I say No One , when it came to names, thought of anything other than the time honoured quotidian names and banal titles . Whim was a sin. Take into account General Motors and General Electrics , for instance . These were names so big and yet , so ‘general’ , their entire essence stood upon the cornerstones of ‘generality’.
Wordsworth says it best of all-
” simple living , and high thinking .. ho ho ho… ye kids , old sport ,.. ho ho ho… (and yet-eth I’m not-eth Santa , ho ho ho , chums) never mind-eth my archaic laugh.”
Now , however , times have changed utterly. Gandhi isn’t around , Mandela is no more and I too, haven’t been feeling sound of health lately. The almighty twenty first century has closed in upon us and brings along a penchant for eccentricity . Just by the coming of it , something , a need , dawns upon us like an epiphany , for quirk. This is the new epoch of globalization and industr…. Well, suffice it to say , a whole lot of other –isations and –isms which ask more of you than just promise of service . Which ask for charm , which run on charm , rather. Apart from being good , which yearn to sound good and look good , too , the latter being the bigger concern.
Admit it, once we have crossed the Rubicon , there’s no going back from here. There’s a world of charms out there, with ‘likes’ surrounding us on all sides . We live in a half-virtual world , and everything yearns to be clicked and we succumb , inadvertantly . We end up clicking on everything that looks good or sounds good . Quirky is the new good and clicks are contagious .Now Quality seeks charm , charm asks for the aforementioned ‘likes’ and for ‘likes’ , looks are a must .
In the wake of which , the status quo is-
What my deceased grandmother needs , is a decent pair of glasses to watch TV in the extraterrestrial realm above.
What her yet-alive grandson needs, is a decent pair of eyeglasses and a funky cloth to wipe any dirt off it , and a tinselly box to keep it in and a quirky name written over it (presumably Maa ki aankh dot com) and nacho chips and some-percent cash-back with fifteen others ….. and Biryani!
What his filthy dog wants , in the subterranean realm of hell , is a box of food , of which he doesn’t give a flying shit to the brand-name printed over the box ( for the laudably simple reason that he is illiterate. )
So while ‘Lipstick on my lips’ would be too banal a title for a movie to arouse curiosity , ‘Lipstick under my burkha’ ( inside which , are my lips so which means , ultimately , lipstick under my burkha , and on my lips) would effortlessly draw hordes of voyeurs.
That being said , let me add that – THIS IS GOOD! . This is good for those in the creative niche if they come up with quirky ideas because it enhances their worth. But that too , as long as they don’t renege on the promise offered by their quirky names and looks. The worst example of which are blogs where Lazy chums take up the best blog names and do nothing except turning days into months and turning gallons of oxygen into carbon dioxide. But this cannot be the case for more serious occupations , because for the record, Indian start-ups have a bee in the bonnet for a quirky name and end up in ruins just months following their birth.
Take this article itself , for example. The title is half quirky . But now, it’d be an outrage if I set out writing a corpus on actual optical lenses and their history and blah and blah …
So , at times when I’m unable to think of a good title , I simply name it ‘Eglaf’ , because eglaf is a word which can be used in the place of any word.
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