Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Devilish Streak of D

If the 26 letters of the English language were herded into a classroom and a professor named Noah Webster Samuel Johnson were to be persuaded into picking the most dangerous, delinquent, and debauched character from the lot, in all likelihood, he would not hesitate to bestow that title on Mr. D.

Because ‘D’ has a history of initiating the most debilitating words known to mankind. ‘Downturn’ and ‘Depression’ are the most unwelcome visitors in the world of economics. ‘Dictators’, ‘Despots’, and ‘Dynasties’ are responsible for half of our political woes. The blame for the other half could be laid at the door of ‘Democracy’ – a creaky, leaky system that deludes us into choosing the daftest dullards as our demagogues.

‘Divorce’ has caused more heart aches than heart attacks. ‘Diabetes’ has killed more people than bullets and bombs. ‘Death’, of course, is still the Dreaded No.1 in most societies.

In war and sports, no individual or nation relishes ‘Defeats’. In the bloody domain of crime, cops are forever obsessed with ‘Dons’. In cricket, batsmen dislike ‘Ducks’ and bowlers get livid when their catches get ‘Dropped’. Even in the make-believe moviedom, everyone is shit scared of delivering box office ‘Duds’.

So if the D-word were so dark and dismal, then how come people are happily naming their children as ‘Dennis’, ‘Diana’ and ‘Diwakar’? I have a theory for that. ‘D’ is just like the Devil. It may come with a discernable negative aura but it packs a lot of positive power to perpetuate the seven deadly sins. That’s the reason why you have the ‘damsels’, ‘desires’, ‘diamonds’, ‘delicacies’, ‘daredevilry’, ‘dynamos’ and ‘distinctiveness’ in our universe.

Ergo, the most famous D-names are linked in some way to these delectably diabolical traits. Drakkar Noir, De Beers, DKNY, Dolce & Gabbana and Dom Perignon reflect the ‘desire’ dimension. Demi Moore, Drew Barrymore, Daniel Craig and David Beckham exemplify the ‘dazzle’ aspect. ‘Dunkin Donuts’, ‘Domino’s’, and ‘Doritos’ represent the drool factor. ‘Duracell’, ‘Drogba’, and ‘DHL’ cue dynamism. ‘Diesel’, ‘Disney’ and ‘Discovery’ stand for distinctiveness. One can go on and on. The thing to ponder about is, ‘Is the fourth letter, really demonic? Or is this all pure dog poo?’