Growing up, I lived in erstwhile Calcutta, where having a “daak naam”(pet name) and “ Bhalo naam” (good/official name) are par for the course. So Tatai, Jhimli, Bulan, Rimpi coexist with Atrayee, Sharmishtha, Moushumi, and Sreemoyee.
Legend has it that when I was born, my dad loved the sound of the name “ Rinku” (I love it too!). The fact that it was also Sharmila Tagore’s “daak naam” added credence and so I was named. In the years that followed, whenever I was asked my name, there was always a supplementary question. “Rinku is sweet but what is your bhalo naam?” My retort to that was almost always – Rinku is “bhalo” enough, depending of course on the level of my exasperation! I do remember going back to my dad on some particularly annoying days, demanding what the meaning of my name was. To which his response was that “you will create your own meaning”. On days that I didn’t go back happily with a “56- inch ka seena” on that reply and would pester him further, he would say, “Rin means sparkling white (I only realized later that the etymology of that was the tag line of a popular detergent bar brand – “super rin ki chamkar”) and Ku means koyal. So your name means a rare white cuckoo bird.”
Legend has it that when I was born, my dad loved the sound of the name “ Rinku” (I love it too!). The fact that it was also Sharmila Tagore’s “daak naam” added credence and so I was named.
Moving to Delhi when I was 19 (and Dad no more with us, to answer my myriad queries), I would often see “Rinku di gaddi” written behind trucks or a “Rinku tyre wala,” proclaiming a quick fix. Each time I would look up at the sky, smiling and wondering what dad would make of that! Since then there hasn’t really been a dearth of hilarious episodes with taxonomical origins. The least among them to do with telecallers whose memorized script did not allow the “sir” to be changed to “madam” even when they heard my voice, lest the interruption in the script led them to beginning with it all over again! To be fair some particularly considerate ones sometimes asked if I could hand over the phone to Rinku Sir! This of course was prior to “Rinku Bhabhi” aka Gutthi taking the telescreens by storm by way of the Kapil Sharma Show. My name then got a female avatar albeit a raucous one! The latest in the series of gaffes was when Twitterverse went crazy over “ Pinku and Tinku” as mascots of the Day/Night test match, held where else, but at Eden Gardens, of course!
This of course was prior to “Rinku Bhabhi” aka Gutthi taking the telescreens by storm by way of the Kapil Sharma Show. My name then got a female avatar albeit a raucous one!
I must admit though that the most “unkindest cut” by far, has been the whole country going crazy over “ Rinkiya Ke Papa”. (For the uninitiated it is the same bloke who claimed to win as many as 48 seats in the latest Delhi Elections). Dad and I would have shared some crazy laughter over it, am sure!
Also Read: Stand Up Comedian Neeti Palta Is Having The Last Laugh
That said, well done #AamAadmiParty! I have never been more in love with Saddi Dilli and its thumping mandate against toxicity. Rinku tyres and gaddis, notwithstanding!
Rinku Paul is a published author of three books and a life coach who extensively coaches women professionals. A nearly two-decade long stint in media, building and managing some marquee brands and thereafter a successful transition to entrepreneurship, define her career story.
The views expressed are the author’s own.
PC: Kyle Gregory Devaras on Unsplash