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Image from www.alternativecontrolct.com

By Nury Vittachi

People with memorable names, such as Canadian house broker Wendy Wacko, have a huge advantage in life. I once told people my name was Wazzupp Nindood. The default greeting of that era was “What’s happenin’ dude?” so I was famous at my new school for a while.


People who find it hard to think of fake names just copy signs. Years ago, I had an army cadet friend who adopted the pseudonym Private Keepout.

The topic of fake names arose when a reader told me about a scandal in the US state of Massachusetts. A pharmacy boss told staff to write fake prescriptions which “must resemble real names”. But staff typed in the “names” Coco Puff, Filet O’Fish and Bud Weiser. They got caught. This seems unfair. I don’t know any Bud Weisers, but there’s definitely a real guy called Bud Light.


Image from www.alternativecontrolct.com

Image from www.alternativecontrolct.com

On my early journalistic visits to China, arriving passengers had to fill in endless forms for officials who clearly read no English. My colleagues and I signed in as Disney characters, the Beatles, various US presidents and Pope John Paul II. Once I just wrote Fake Name as my fake name. (These days some read English and have guns, so do NOT try this now.)

In 2006, when Gmail was invitation only, an Indian civil servant named Manesh asked me to set up an account for him using his middle name (Vinod) and mother’s maiden name (Sarkar). A year later, he set up an account using his real name, but I forgot to delete his fake one.

After 12 months, the non-existent Vinod Sarker began to evolve in the primordial slime which is the internet. With no help from me or Manesh, it subscribed to newsletters and junk mail, then it joined LinkedIn, opened a Facebook account and started getting lots of friends. After three years, it got a mobile phone. Recently it opened an account at ING Bank. Its bank statement (which is copied to me) says there’s three million rupees in it, which is about $48,000. I am offended. It’s a web glitch and it’s putting aside more cash than I am!

Anyway, its existence is proof of evolution. Would my children PLEASE NOTE that it grew from a single fake name to a successful, active socialite with zero financial investment. It can be done.

The people I feel sorry for are real folk with names which sound fake, especially if they match their jobs. I just hope Anna Sasin never becomes a contract killer, Warren Peace never becomes an author, and Cara Sterio never goes into automobile music system sales in places where they speak Italian English.

A colleague forwarded me a news clipping in which retired British military man Stan Still complains that his commander used to shout “Stan Still, get a move on,” and then start laughing. Poor him.

When I retire, I am going to buy three budgerigars and call them Itza Bird, Itza Plane and Itzu Perman. And to ensure a happy retirement, I’ll set up another fake gmail account and pray that it evolves into an account holder at some fancy Swiss bank. From now on, please address me as Wazzupp Nindood, former celebrity.

(IANS)


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The aim of the book is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

By Siddhi Jain

Delhi-based author Pritisha Borthakur is set to release her new book, 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories'. The 1,404-word children's book was put together to address a new kind of societal debacle in the family system. The author says the aim is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

The author who named the book after her twin sons -- Puhor and Niyor -- is a parent who has seen and heard the tales of ridicule and discrimination suffered by many in India and beyond. She says the book is an artistic illustration for kids that details how different families can live and coexist. Whether it's children with two dads or two moms, children with a single dad or single mom, and even multiracial family units, Borthakur's book teaches love, understanding, and compassion towards unconventional families.

Beyond race, gender, color, and ethnicity which have formed the bases for discrimination since the beginning of time, this book aims to bring to light a largely ignored issue. For so long, single parents have been treated like a taboo without any attempt to understand their situations; no one really cares how or why one's marriage ended but just wants to treat single parents as villains simply for choosing happiness and loving their children.

Homosexual parents, a relatively new family system, is another form that has suffered hate and discrimination for many years. Pritisha emphasizes the need to understand that diversity in people and family is what makes the world beautiful and colourful. 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race, and even differences in background

four children standing on dirt during daytime 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race and even differences in background. | Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash


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