Garima had asked me about the kind of names that Mantam use to address elders in the family. I had told her that I would do a post on it. Here I am with the names and their significance 😀 Let me begin with my nieces first.
When our elder niece Ummi was born, Ma (MIL) was in her late forties. She taught her grand daughter to call her Didi instead of Daadi and rest of the grand daughters followed suit. When Mantam and I used to travel by office bus in my previous organization, they used to keep aside some finger foods for Didi after eating. One day, a co-passenger asked me if I had three daughters? Although I explained her, I smiled and secretly thought, ‘In a way, yes’ 😀 She is just another kid at our home 🙂
Next comes Abbas’s turn. Apparently Ma wished for a baby girl when she was pregnant with Abbas as she already had a son. But since he turned out to be a boy, she chose to give him a female nickname – Tumpa. Now this name Tumpa is so common among Bong girls that our housing in Kolkata had 4 Tumpas and Abbas being the only boy Tumpa My co-sis’s nick name is also Tumpa. So when we speak to her parents, they say our Tumpa and your Tumpa 🙂
When Ummi was small, she heard everyone calling Abbas as Tumpa. She began calling him ‘Pa’. My FIL had opposed coz ‘Pa’ means leg in Bengali but then Abbas preferred being called ‘Pa’ over ‘Chacha’ or ‘Kaka’. So both the nieces, Ummi and Mimmi call him Pa.
When Pa got married, Ummi began calling his wife ‘Aunty’. Again Pa didn’t like any conventional names. So he pestered his niece to call me ‘Pi’ and so we are now called PaPi when addressed jointly 😀
When Mantam were born, the question of how they will address BIL and co-sis came up. Ma suggested that since Ummi, Mimmi address us with ‘Hatke’ names, Mantam should not call them ‘Jethu’ and ‘Jethima’ as is the Bong norm. I said ‘They will call me Amma and Bhabi as Jamma’. Ma said ‘Ok then, Jamma and Jabba’. But Jabba reminded me of ‘Abba Jabba Dabba’ from the movie ‘Judaai’. Ma tranformed Jabba to Jumbo. Jumbo is synonymous with big, and since BIL is elder to Abbas, it sounded apt.
When we stayed with BIL and family, Tammu noticed that I address co-sis as Bhabi. She began calling her as ‘Bhabi’ too. Initially it used to sound so cute when she used to call her Bhabi and now she got habituated. But Mannu still calls her Jamma 🙂
So there, we are a family with a fetish for out-of-the-box names.