Thursday, July 14, 2011

What's in a name

As he randomly scanned one chat room after another, in search of someone suitable to strike up a conversation with - her name suddenly popped up on the screen: "Mihika_Sanyal joined the room"

His left palm started to itch. It was always a good sign. Unlike other times, where he would have immediately send a PM (personal message) to her, he waited...inhaling, holding his breath for 4 counts and exhaling deeply...just like his therapist had advised. After an agonizing minute, he typed in his text, worried that she might change rooms if he waited any longer. In chat rooms, the user name is no indication of gender, yet he felt confident it was a 'she'.

The pm popped up on her screen. She was about to click on the 'X' mark to close yet another unwanted invitation to 'chat', when the message caught her attention:

dark_knight: There is something about dewdrops which always soothes my soul

This was different. Not like the usual 'Hi. can we chat. a/s/l plz'. Whoever dark_knight was, he was different from the rest and his message had the hint of intelligence. She was sure it was a 'he'. It was one of the most instinctive rules of mating behaviour, whether in cyberspace or in real life. In all probability only a male would respond to a female username. Unless it was a lesbian, which would make it an exception to the rule. Also, the fact that he knew the meaning of her name 'Mihika' was a pleasant surprise. She had begun to take it for granted that most people would not know her name meant 'dewdrops'. His choice of words, style and the reference to the existence of the soul, pointed towards an intelligent, sensitive and probably creative or artistic kind of person.

The user name 'dark_knight' was also intriguing. As a student of psychology, her mind made a random connection. A 'knight' usually brings up the association of a brave warrior rescuing a fair maiden. However, this was a 'dark' knight. So did he believe he could delve into the darkness of the maiden's mind and rescue her soul? God knows her soul needed some rescuing tonight or else she would be prone to slipping into her regular bouts of depression. Rudraksh had stood her up, yet again! And this was the third consecutive time. She was getting tired of his lame excuses and had a feeling that their relationship was on the verge of a break up. He had already broken her heart and the official break up would only be the final straw.

She was desperate for some company. Just someone with whom she could have an intelligent conversation and maybe get Rudraksh off her mind. Anything at all to ease her pain. Tonight she was vulnerable. Dark knight might be the one to rescue her soul. This conversation could get interesting. 

As he sat nursing his drink, he waited patiently for her response. She would respond, he was sure about that. He had never been wrong in his assessment before and was a pro by now. The name 'Mihika' was uncommon. If it was her real name, it would have impacted her personality to a certain extent. She might be having a subtle pride about being the possessor of an uncommon name and that may have induced her to use her real name in a chat room where most people are comfortable with pseudo names. She would therefore try to keep up her preference for the 'different' or 'unusual' even if in a subconscious manner.

If her parents had selected the name for her then it reflected their preference for the unusual or uncommon. All individuals are influenced by their parents, whether they realise it or not. His own life was a testimony to this fact. She too would have some of this penchant for the unusual rub off on her, he hoped. And if she had selected the name 'Mihika' as a screen name then it was even easier. She liked to be different and would respond very well to someone who had a different approach from the rest.

The name meant 'dew' or 'mist' and reflected a sensual softness. He believed the resonance of an individual's name influence the character and nature as well. No wonder naming a child was such a big deal across all religions. He laughed as he thought about his pet name. He was affectionately called 'Bhukkha' by his family due to his perpetual hunger as an infant who needed constant suckling at his mother's breast. The name and the hunger had stayed with him. As he waited for her response, he felt the familiar stirrings of that unsatiable hunger, rise from within the darkness of his soul. Yes, he was sure he had selected his sentence with care. She would respond like all the others had.

His screen blinked as he heard the much anticipated 'ping' of a message:

Mihika_Sanyal: And what if the dewdrops need some soul healing for a change?

He smiled. The players were in place. The ritualistic mating dance had begun...