Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Beti B Naming Contest

They say over 30,000 girl babies are born, every day, in India. If you do the math you’ll discover that nearly 480,000 girls have been hand-delivered by the Stork Exchange ever since that epochal moment, when you first heard about the birth of Beti B, and this very second when you’re reading my mundane words. That’s about 4 times the lexicon size of Hindi! So we’re in a sticky situation here - of having more babies than names.

Given this name famine, parents are under immense pressure to come up with something unique and creative. Perhaps this was the trigger for Abhishek Bachchan’s now-famous tweet requesting his fans to post their suggestions for the new born.

The ad man inside me feels, that Junior Bachchan, missed a trick by not announcing a ‘Naam Aapka, Beti Mera’ contest. He could have easily tied up with Idea for this and done a 360 degree advertising campaign to generate names via SMS. All the submitted names could have been uploaded onto and several media partners could have been roped in to prune down this massive database into a manageable Top 10 through a viewer poll. And then the final announcement could have been made on ‘Ash you like it’ - an hour-long reality show televised nationally. Alas, what an opportunity lost!

Anyways, coming back to Beti B. A little birdie tells us that the Rais and the Bachchans prefer a name starting with ‘A’. That rules out Kolaveri - a killer choice by any standards!

Let’s look at some other possibilities: Abhiwarya is an enticing option considering it fuses the best of dad and mom. Anamika (nameless one) might make a lot of sense as Jaya Bahaduri once essayed the eponymous role in a Bollywood movie starring the unforgettable Sanjeev Kumar. Amita (limitless) is interesting as Amita Bachchan sounds every inch like Big B. Ashi (miracle) will make a great fit as that was Aishwarya’s name in Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya. Aaina, Avatara, Antaratica or anything else might sound equally good. But the key question is: will the Guru say, ‘Lock kiya jaai’?