What Happens When Your Name Means NO in Local Language

ILA, is my elder sister’s name, like Ila Arun the crazy looking singer(No, disrespect ma’am but you do look kinda crazy but on second thought my sister is crazy too so I guess it’s all in the name), Ila means Island in French, Ila was also Lord Manu’s Daughter, it also means earth. So basically my Parents were very thoughtful when they named my sister, they gave her a traditional yet modern name infact if you search this name on goggle you will find many foreigners with the name Ila. She is a happy go lucky kind of person which is ironic because her nick name is lucky. Well, not so lucky with that name in South India. Why? Will get to that.

ILLA, notice the double L, means NO in Kannada & I guess in Tamil too. Basically it’s a negative word, literally. My Parents never actually had slightest idea that her name would backfire in Southern part of our country.

Although people got confused with her name in north India too, many thought that she was Muslim & her name is recited in a Verse in Holy Quran, “la ilaha illallah muhammadur rasulullah”. Getting confused with religion of a person is acceptable, but thinking & giggling that your name means NO is not. So to give you the bigger picture of her messed up northern Indian Name totally thrashed in South India, I’ll narrate two incidents.

The Gym Signatures

There are various interpretations of a story, depending on the number of people involved. In this case there are only two people. My sister, who is confused that why the gym receptionist gets confused whenever she writes or sign her name in the gym register. And the Gym receptionist who is confused & thinking that why this girl writes NO in name & signature column, this gym register is in English then what’s  wrong with her, maybe she is one of those illiterate north Indians, Must be from Bihar (*Laughs*, *Self High five in mind*). But wait; is she intentionally hiding the identity? Do I look like a creep? Does she think that I will send her a friend request on facebook? Quick, I have to react now before she thinks that I am a stalker who self-talks way too much.

“Ma’am, please don’t write NO every time you enter the gym”.

“No???”

“Yes Ma’am, it is compulsory to fill in your details in gym register every time you enter.”

“But I always write my name.”

“So you are saying that your name is ILLA”.

“My name is ILA, and it’s not what you think it is.”

“*Giggles like a little girl*, it’s a very funny name ma’am”.

The Bangalorean Aunty

“Aww, She is such a Sweet, Cute little baby, what is her name?” asked the Bangalorean Aunty after pinching Nishka, my Sister’s 2 year old daughter for the 5th time. My Sister was in a neighborhood park with her daughter where she met Bangalorean aunty.

“Nishka”, my sister replied while slowly putting Nishka away from the clutches of pinching aunty.

“Good Name, What does it mean?”

Then my sister proceed to explain the meaning of the name which for certain reasons, I keep forgetting, it’s a complicated name and I have already asked my sister many a times so now I am waiting for Nishka to explain her name to me Cause I am not asking my super hyper sister again who used to beat the crap out of me when we were kids and can still do.

*Name Explaining Happens*

“I must say, it’s a very good name, so, what is your name beta & do you live in HSR?”

“Ila and yes aunty, we live in HSR”

“HSR is a good place to live in Bangalore, so are you a housewife or work in those IT Companies. By the way you didn’t tell me your name”

“Ila, I used to work in HCL but now a days I am taking care of Nishka”

“Beta why you keep saying NO whenever I ask your name, is something wrong?”

“No aunty, everything is fine, my name is ILA”

“Strange, your name is very negative, it means NO in Kannad”

“Yeah aunty, *Sigh* I know.”

So when my sister narrated me these two incidents, she told me that she is one more awkward conversation away from getting a tattoo on her hand which would say

My Name is ILA & I am not a NEGATIVE”.

Well, Good luck Sister.

This is Prakhar Gupta, Have a Nice Day & Make sure your kid’s name isn’t something funny in all the 18 Official Regional languages & 780 other languages of India. (Source- The Internet)