Since when did humans start coining names? Names of their own. Names of their work places. Names of the areas they lived in. Names of their cities. Names of anything. Everything. If it is true that, “Necessity is the mother of invention,” then, surely, separation must have been the necessity that led to the invention of names! It is a name, isn’t it? That separates, Ramesh from Suresh. Prahlad Nagar from Maninagar. Ahmedabad from Mumbai. Tin from lead, and the Earth from the Universe.
Ahmedabad, or to say it how most people staying in Ahmedabad pronounces it, ‘Amdavad’. This separates a city from any other city in Gujarat. After separation, which is top listed in necessities of naming, comes description. A description that accurately represents; just how dark clouds, represent the possibility of rain. The name ‘Amdavad’ should represent possible glimpses of emotions of people that have chosen to stay in Amdavad. If, on hearing the name, Amdavad, doesn’t give you a glimpse of some emotions of at least 5-6 people, is it justified for it to even have a name?
Do you, on hearing the name Amdavad, get to know the struggle it takes for every human, waiting on an Amdavadi signal to take a left from the next crossroads? Does hearing the name Amdavad tell about the enthusiasm of stock market discussions that happens at almost every Amdavadi tea stall, before, and after the stock market starts and end respectively? What about the romantic couples looking for privacy at Riverfront or Parimal Garden? Can you hear their urge, while hearing the name Amdavad? The over-crowded khau-galis, Manekchowk & Law Garden, I am sure you hear them saying,” we are being imitated by almost every food park,” when your ears hear Amdavad. Sound of coins, by which the inexhaustible cobblers sitting on Amdavadi foothpaths, just opposite to huge marketing boards of multinational company, without any marketing board, are paid, should reach out to you while hearing the name Amdavad. How about the setting-prone bootleggers that supply alcohol in an alcohol-banned Gujarat’s Amdavad? About the curses that the rainfall in Amdavad earns? The curses given people, no matter when the rain falls, during their work hours, after or before. Are they audible to you while hearing Amdavad?
If not hearing, how about seeing glimpses of places of Amdavad, when you hear the name Amdavad? Even that would do. The Fool Bazaar and thousands of sellers sitting outside with their flower-full carpets. Lal-Darwaja. The story of watchman who martyred himself on his way to seek Goddess Lakhmi’s permission to exit Amdavad, from the king. Does he picture-in? National Institute of Design, Paldi. The Tagore Hall. Relief Road and its, “Ravivaari” where people come with an expectation to get, what they get nowhere else at a price as cheap as there. The Transport Nagar where tempo drivers don’t like to go with goods in the afternoon thinking about the accumulated traffic of the summed up vehicles going to Transport Nagar and Kalupur Railway Statio, would exhaust them!
The inquisitive employees sitting in the office on an ideal day thinking, “if every employee protested for a leave, if the day is ideal, the boss would let us have one!” The Pakodi eaters. The Pakodi servers. The rickshaws who have transformed into shuttles. The image conscious “lonely car travellers.” The occasional lift giving two wheeler travellers. The “only money taking” beggars. Peddalors. Bus drivers. Truck drivers. Taxi drivers. Drivers for whom their vehicles ar not only their source of income, but also a bed at night. The evening and night Bankda (bench) seat holders.
The Lati Bazaar and the new cloth market shop owners. The shop owners, who own their shop in a mall. The Lahri owners. The soda shop owners.
I am sure. Even while counting these many. I left out so many. So, is there any use of saying Amdavad, if at least four to five glimpses of the people do not come into either into the mind of the one saying Amdavad, or the one hearing Amdavad? Isn’t this way of relating, “I live in a city named Amdavad,” “Oh! It’s a city! Just like other cities!” Isn’t it description-lacking? Remember naming is for separating. But isn’t separating, like a black-hole that demands description?
Naming. The shortest way of identification, used for communication. The way that cuts,” can-you-pass-the-circular-thing-that-has-circular-marks-inside-it?” to, “can-you-pass-the-bottle-cap?” The way that cuts, “they-were-dark-in-colour-and-they-sprinkled-water,” to, “clouds.” Is also the same way which makes, “the-man-who-likes-to-write,” “Rutvik.” The same way it makes,” I-live-in-the-city-which-is-named-after-Ahmed-Shah,” “I-live-in-Ahmedabad.” Clearly, naming, takes away the art of describing. Maybe that’s why Shakespeare said, “What’s in a name?”