What’s in a Name?

- August 2, 2020


Long ago, people would give long names to their kids. It was believed that long names brought in good fortune. In a small Indian village, there lived a couple with their two sons. To call upon great fortune, the couple had named one of their sons Tala Bini Bendo Toko Miki Sembu Chima Chimena Kit Kit Kuki Muzi Pizi Hala and the other son was called Semu.

The two kids were very close to each other. They spent quality time playing and studying together. On an ill-fated day, while playing a ball game with his brother, Semu fell into a well.

Illustration: Bidya Pradhan

His brother panicked but quickly ran home. He said, “Mother, Semu has fallen into the well. We need help.” His mother was feeding the birds in the courtyard. Hearing the news she freaked out and rushed to her husband and exclaimed, “Semu fell into a well. Get a ladder soon!” The father got a ladder and hurried to the place of accident, “I am coming, Semu!” In no time, Semu was rescued from the well, safe and sound.

Everything went on as smooth as silk, until one of the fine summer noons. The brothers were excited to pluck ripe juicy mangoes from the tree. Tala Bini Bendo Toko Miki Sembu Chima Chimena Kit Kit Kuki Muzi Pizi Hala climbed up the tree. Semu pointed the ripest mango to be plucked. Alas! The fruit was very high up and the branch was too weak. CRACK!

Illustration: Bidya Pradhan

Semu hurried home to seek help, “Mother, Tala Bini Bendo Toko Miki Sembu Chima Chimena Kit Kit Kuki Muzi Pizi Hala is in danger of falling off the mango tree.” She couldn’t believe, “What? Poor Tala Bini Bendo Toko Miki Sembu Chima Chimena Kit Kit Kuki Muzi Pizi Hala.”

Illustration: Bidya Pradhan

She ran to get help from her husband, “Come quickly! Tala Bini Bendo Toko Miki Sembu Chima Chimena Kit Kit Kuki Muzi Pizi Hala is in danger of falling from the mango tree.” The three ran towards the mango tree. The father who carried a ladder to rescue his son yelled on his way assuring, “Tala Bini Bendo Toko Miki Sembu Chima Chimena Kit Kit Kuki Muzi Pizi Hala! We are coming. Stay put.”

Unfortunately, by the time they reached to rescue him, the poor boy had already fallen from the tree. They took him to the hospital where they got to know that his leg had been fractured. In the hospital, the couple wondered that they could have saved Tala Bini Bendo Toko Miki Sembu Chima Chimena Kit Kit Kuki Muzi Pizi Hala if only he had a shorter name. A couple on the next bed overheard the entire incident. The lady said to her husband, “We will name our child Mimi, Mi for short!” The incident spread in the village like a fire. Since then, people kept shorter names for their kids.

Read more interesting folk tales and legends on the ACK Comics app!

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