Home Columns Anantha Narayan Namasutra – Best names of 2013

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    Mediocrity is easily the most infectious disease in the world. The reason no one talks about it is because it’s so commonplace that our eyes and ears have stopped taking note long, long ago. Which is why the mind sends 99.99 per cent of the things it sees into the recycle bin folder and stores only the truly remarkable.

    Names are no different. Much of what is created is muck. A select few, however, shimmer through like a distant star in an ocean of darkness. We’ve got to celebrate the brilliant ones or else, we’ll be encircled by a sea of ordinariness.

    Douglas Coupland’s satirical novel Worst.Person.Ever is a twinkling example of genius nomenclature. The title will beguile you into reading the book whether you’re in a bordello, bathroom or bookstore. I can’t think of any other tome with an equally arresting name.

    Among Hollywood movies, three titles caught my fancy: Sharknado, Blue Is The Warmest Colour and John Dies at the End. While I liked the fresh bite of the shark flick, I loved the audacity of the deliberate ploy to reveal the plot with John Dies. Why would they do that? The itch to solve the puzzle would make anyone take the DVD home. And that’s what great film titles do.

    The mesmeric cadence of Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola and the overt projection of cheeky protagonists with Kedi Billa Killadi Ranga also appealed to my senses.
    Relatively speaking, bands didn’t have such a good year. I had to really dive deep to fish out a few pearls from among the new kids on the block. Diarrhea Planet, the Nashville-based rock-and-roll band that dreams of being the worst group ever, won the sweepstakes for the most oustanding name by besting the proudly uncool hip-hop duo, The Underachievers.

    The celeb baby name of the year, in my book, is Shakira’s Milan. Her nod to the Italian fashion capital sounds way hipper than Kim Kardashian’s baffling choice, North West.
    And finally, The Brand of 2013 is, without a peg of doubt: Oddka Vodka, the spirited drink from Wyborowa Company in bizarre flavours such as Caramel Popcorn, Fresh-Cut Grass, Apple Pie and even Electricity! With a name like Oddka, your year is bound to end on a guaranteed high, don’t you think?

    Anantha Narayan

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