What’s in a name?

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A couple of weeks ago, I met up with a friend with whom I share a very special relationship. It is special and will never want to name it or define it.  That led me to think the importance we give to naming anything – be it a person, an object or a relationship.

As soon as a baby is born or rather days after it is conceived in the mother’s womb the prospective parents, family and kin begin the search to find an appropriate name for the baby. When young children are gifted teddies they ask you to help them name their teddy. The same applied to naming relationships. The moment we meet a person we name the relationship we share- friend, acquaintance, lover, colleague and many more. Within the ambit of one relationship we tend to categorize them further – a friend may be a best friend, ‘just a friend’, close friend etc.

Today you may be a stranger to me, tomorrow an acquaintance. It may hardly take a few days for you to become a friend. Is it important to tag all these stages at every level? May be it is for many. When two individuals are seen together or their names are taken together the first question that raises invariably is the name given to the bond they share and the intensity is measured by the same.

I remember once, years ago a friend asked me whether I consider him one of my ‘best friends’. I refused to answer the question.  I still do not understand – What’s in a name ?

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