Home Columns Anantha Narayan Taking names

Ita��s been a rather odd year. No onea��s been able to nail it in one word. Merriam-Webster thinks a�?Isma�� is a pithy summation of 2015, because the world was obsessed with terrorism, racism, feminism, and Trumpisms.

Dictionary.com sort of concurs but has chosen a�?Identitya�� as its Word of the Year. In the land we belong, Ia��d say a�?Beepa�� is more like it, as wea��ve been grappling with multiple forms of intolerance regarding what we say, what we wear, what we eat, what we view, and what we sing.
Now that wea��ve provoked you from your New Year slumber, leta��s turn your attention to the most original names developed in the last 12 months. Leta��s start with the best Tamil movie title: Vellaiya Irukiravan Poi Solla Maatan (Fair Skinned Never Lie). Inspired from a racist quip in a Vadivelu comedy track, the name brings an immediate smile and is a great way to draw people into a comedy. Among the Malayalam flicks,
Oru Vadakkan Selfie (A Northernera��s Selfie) was the clutter buster. Ita��s catchy and contemporary nature felt just right for the thriller. A Shyam Gopal Varma Film was my pick for the smartest Telugu film title as it feels every inch like a spoof on Ram Gopal Varma.

141 was my number one choice for the best Kannada title. If you get the cryptic a�?one for onea�� touch, youa��ll appreciate this lesbian romance better. Balkia��s ingenious portmanteau Shamitabh towered above other Bollywood drivel like Kaagaz ke Fools and Yaara Silly Silly. In case youa��re wondering why I havena��t yet covered English movies, well, The Man from U.N.C.L.E made it to my list due to the intrigue ita��s suffused with. The fascinatingly dreary Microbe and Gasoline topped my foreign films compilation.

The arrestingly in-your-face Galileoa��s Middle Finger was my non-fiction book title of the year. In sharp contrast, the more evocative A Spool of Blue Thread was the numero uno among novels.

Cut to music. Club Meds a trippy pun on the resort, outscored all other albums in terms of stickiness and recall. The immensely unusual Car Seat Headrest was easily the best new band name a�� for its sheer audacity of being consciously uncool.
Jibo (Japanese for a�?compassionate mothera��), the first-ever family robot, was my selection for the new product moniker of the year. And a�?Vistaraa�� (Sanskrit meaning: to expand) emerged clearly as the most endearing new Indian brand name. Hope the harvest will be as good in the coming season.


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