If Sachin were Sourav Tendulkar, would he have been a great captain? If Farhan Akhtar were Shoaib Akhthar, would he be more alpha male? If Arundhati Roy had been Barkha Roy, would she have been pro-establishment? These are some fascinatingly pointless questions that keep bubbling in my cranium.
The Shakespearean School of Sceptics would snigger at such imputations by arguing that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Me, being an eternal believer in the possibilities that lurk in the unknown, I am of the view that researching the influence of names on how we think, how we look, and how we act, may reveal a whole new science.
For want of a better term, let’s label this still-to-be-born science as ‘Naming Genetics’ or the field that explores the many dimensions of the Name Gene.
To those who are intrigued by ‘Name Gene’, let’s define it for you. I would call it the ‘set of human traits contained in a name’. So every one of us is a walking, talking flesh and blood version of a unique name gene.
The ‘Sachin’ gene, for example, may be associated with a “weak” voice, soft spoken persona and the tendency to pass on the professional baton to the offspring. Music legend Sachin Dev Burman and the Master Blaster come to mind when one thinks of these traits.
From my observations, I can tell that the ‘Lata’ gene is a sure fire guarantor of musicality and tall stature (in terms of physique/reputation). ‘Meera’ ensures an independent streak and the stamina to outlast trials and tribulations. ‘Vijay’ infuses the resident with restlessness, positivity and introvertness. ‘Anand’ bestows nerdiness, cynicism and a love for sport. And ‘Lalita’ somehow breeds rotundity, cheerfulness, religiousness and responsibility.
Although my untested assertions may seem fairly dubious in nature, the best way to evaluate them is by looking around you and analysing if your acquaintances, friends and relatives sharing similar names, have any common behavioural patterns. My gut feel is you will. Because at the end of the day, we are all just vehicles for name genes to navigate the ocean of evolution.