Now, Sharabh means ‘cheetal’ in Bengali. You know, the deer. I thought that was apt enough, because he does have nice-shaped eyes, and he moves around quite a bit for a prematurely-delivered newborn. Actually, he moves around quite a bit for any baby. Anyway, so I thought that was that.
My father returned to Madras last Monday, looked into the matter more thoroughly, and found out that not only does the same word mean ‘octopodal dragon who eats lions’, but is also used, in rarer usage, to refer to camels, crickets and baby elephants.
My poor son!
In the meantime, he had already been given his informal name, what we Bengalis call the daak-naam. The day he was born, an uncle of mine got tickets to a play called Bhaebla-i Bhalo. That means, say, “Bhaebla is the good one, after all”. V saw in it an omen, of course, and promptly christened his son Bhaebla. Non-Bengalis may inquire, what is the matter with that? Well, it amounts to a Southie calling his son Gundu, or Pandu, or some such nonsensical name. I can’t think of an equivalent in Hindi offhand, but there must be one. And of course, in no time at all he was called Bheblu, and Bhabbles, and Bhabs and even The Bhaeblet. I fought it, and have decided in time, when he acquires a shade more dignity say, I shall call him Rahul. You know, because it means ‘son of Buddha’ (stop that grin right there, WT!) and like his father, The Bhaeblet has longish ears.
Of course, ‘The Bhaeblet’ kinda grew on me, so that’s what I’ve been calling him as well. But I daresay I shall work myself up to the Rahul in time.
Anyway, the latest update on The B, as the blogworld will know him, is that he had his first real bath this morning. For once, we did something at which he didn’t try to scream the roof off. Felt quite surprised. In fact, he seemed to tolerate, if not actually enjoy, the water splashing over him. He didn’t like being dried so much, and showed no inclination whatsoever for the Mohawk I kindheartedly made him.