Sunday, September 13, 2009

On Interesting and Unreal Place Names

A lot of wailing and gnashing of the teeth has manifested itself over the years among the anti-cognoscenti in this country over the naming/renaming of landmarks and roads and places and other eyesores that pop up from time to time. The majority market share has remained with the Gandhi family with a spot of competition from assorted regional and mythological players. In my book its a crime at par with defacement by photoshop, another national pastime.

Indian cities are such a repository of exquisitely named places, its a pity that very few have been analyzed or dissected in great detail. For example the Kempegowda Bus Stand area in Bangalore, is popularly known as "Majestic". Someone coming across"Majestic" for the first time might imagine that the city probably has more places like it - "Splendid" perhaps or "Pathetic" or even "Far-Fetched". Another favourite of mine in Bangalore is "Michaelpalya" which is just a very cool name.

Its hard to think of any Indian city that I have been to and not found a name that's profoundly WTF and memorable. Agra's Chippi Tola ( a place that sells springs of all sorts), Gadha-Pada, Man-Tola and Raja Ki Mandi; Lucknow's Bakshi ka Talab and Narahi; Raipur's Lendi-Talab, Mumbai's Chinchpokli, Tulsi Pipe Road are just some that I can think of right now, but I am sure there are hundreds more.

Will probably do a more detailed list of all such names that I can recall, later perhaps.