If you were a luxury lifestyle tabloid, would you even think of publishing a weekly column on names? Especially, when you have other weighty choices like carrying eruditely written tattle on who is sleeping around with whom in the higher circles of excitement-starved Chennai!
Indulge from The New Indian Express, didn’t even hesitate for a moment, in deciding to run with Nama Sutra. On behalf of millions of my imaginative and imaginary readers, I’d like to thank the lovely folks at Indulge for indulging us. To commemorate the sixth anniversary of their Chennai edition, we shall raise a toast to six sparkling names birthed by the city in the last one year or so. In times like these, it’s best to sit back and enjoy the ingenuity of the immaculately engineered names.‘Sumar Moonji Kumar’ is our first awardee. Vijay Sethupathi played that character in the just-released Tamil comedy Idharkuthaane Aasaipattai Balakumara. Sumar Moonji aka ‘Average looker’ is not your usual lead character name. It’s quirky, in-your-face, very anti-hero and surprise, surprise, it creates instant viewer empathy for Vijay Sethupathi. To transplant a side-kick appellation to your trump card, requires audacity. And that chutzpah made us flip for it.
‘Kaapi Cheenu’ is another underdog we love. A home-grown play on ‘Capuccino’, the teensy little filter coffee kadai in Alwarpet also cleverly embeds the nickname of its founder Manu Srinivas.
‘Fishwaroopam’ is perhaps the best named pizza doing the rounds. Spawned during the Vishwaroopam controversy, the fish-laced pizza is a product of the much-adored Pizza Republic, who to their credit have been consistently putting out tongue-in-cheek names including Vegabond, Mushmellow and Prawnography.
For giving wings to a raunchy Madras slang word, the drink ‘Jalabulajungs’ at Zha Cafe gets my vote. It pushes the spiciness quotient up by a notch or two.‘Acoustic Rascals’ is the one local band name that caught our fancy. It’s irreverent, intriguing and fits into the ‘rascala’ stereotype that many Northies carry in their head about Southies.
Among start-ups, 85 AD is the one that gets our golden spoon. Simply because it offers the scope to tell a story that the company is a collective of 85 architects and designers. That’s it, guys. Time you cheered Indulge and the Super Six.
– Anantha Narayan