Saturday, January 10, 2009

Mohammad Ali Jinnah

It is quite amazing what unique names parents give their children. And it needs to be mentioned what led me to think of this...

I am sitting at the airport, waiting for my flight to be announced when I hear this... 'This is a paging call for Mr. Mohammad Ali Jinnah passenger travelling on flight XYZee... Mr. Mohammad Ali Jinnah (MAJ), you are requested to proceed for boarding through Gate Number 2 on the ground floor immediately!' And as I glanced around, I saw, like me, tens of pairs of eyes looking expectantly at Gate 2, waiting to catch a glimpse of the unfortunate MAJ. Among other passengers were a group of college guys who were seated beside me. Within seconds of the announcement, there were bets on how MAJ looked.

... "Hatta Khatta hona chahiye... Naam jaisa" (Should be well-built, just like his name);

... "Height toh goga hi" (Must be tall);

... "Hope he is tall, dark, handsome (TDH)", one of the girls gushed..

"Yaar, pata kaise chalega kaun hai MAJ?" (How will we know who is MAJ?).

Promptly, one of the guys jumped up and walked towards Gate 2. In my mind, Fatty, the master of disguises and secret seekers of Enid Blyton came to my mind. Within minutes, a smart, suited person approached the Gate. All our eyes, the group and mine, flew towards our secret service agent (SSA) who very subtly leaned towards the counter pretending to ask about the flight schedule, to catch the name on the ticket. He then turned towards us and gave a thumbs down. The girl who had gushed about the TDH bit, almost stifled a sob.

By then, our excitement was high. Any passenger movement towards the Gate immediately drew our eyes towards our SSA. And finally our patience paid off. With a repeat of the announcement still on, we saw a small man, no taller than 5 feet, dressed in blue jeans and a bright orange shirt rushing towards the gate. We were so sure that, after our big speculations on the TDH bit, there was no way he even came close to our mental picture and so some didn't even bother to look at our SSA. A small gasp from the girl made us look up. With a face full of incredulity and humour, SSA was walking towards us with a thumbs-up and a grin.

Made me think of all the times I have pictured and expected things to be in a certain way and got so involved with the mental picture that I would start believing it to be true and being bitterly disappointed in the end when things turn out very different, giving little thought that things were always the way they were and it was I who conjured it up differently in my head.

Anyway, had a good laugh on this, both at the situation and myself. Poor MAJ, he must be the source of disappointment to lots of passengers in many an airports!


  1. haha, wonder how MAJ would have felt!

  2. how brutal parents can get. i remember a kid, very cute kid, in our colony was called tootai. i felt for him. he was really small. so one day i asked his mom what his good name would be. pronto came the reply - oh his good name is papiyo. poor fellow! what was his fault!
    nice read dew drop! :)

  3. Something on a name.

    Thomas Beecham says 'Mr. Ball. How very singular?'

    Good it was not Mohammed Ali. You would have looked for somebody with boxing gloves.

  4. nice post!! exactly same thing happens with me. I draw an image of clients or other persons in my mind, when speaking to them on phone or chat or any other medium but I must say, most of the times, it does not get absolutely wrong :) needless to say right now I am drawing a pic of yours in my mind ;0

  5. would be when he's in school/univ.. and teacher/parents wants to scream at him.. it couldn't be big controversies and next day newspaper headlines>> "Teacher in school was angry & talking bad about Mohammad Ali Jinnah"..;)

  6. hehe .. gave you (and us) a chance to laugh!

  7. MAJ ...... ROTGL n ROTFL !!! Nice one .......

  8. Good one !! Have linked this to Blogbharti here.

    Keep posting.

  9. Expect the best, prepare for the worst.

    Btw, the above advice given by MAJ..the original one.:)

  10. @ dolphin : :) yeah! If he was one of those kinds who get easily embarrassed, he'd ensure never to daley boarding ever...

    @ Sam & @ Life 24*7: Thanks!

    @ ~anu~ : Yeah! In fact, I think bengalis have the most creative and funniest of all pet-names! and they just so completely stick on!!!

    @ nsiyer : :)

    @ Scattered Thoughts : Yeah... visualization is a powerful tool of the human mind... I think we remember more in pictures than in words / sentences. Its like a photographic memory.

    @ iamyuva : Hmmm... :) good point!

    @ Jinxed Pixie, @ preeti, @ Rahul Viswanath : :)

    @ Cuckoo : Thanks for that!!

    @ indicaspecies : The advice is apt for the situation of MAJ!!!

  11. I am glad you mention Fatty as being the master of disguises as well as being a "secret seeker" in Enid Blyton's Mystery series. Well, I am also glad to inform you that I have published a book on Enid Blyton, titled, The Famous Five: A Personal Anecdotage (
    Stephen Isabirye