Monday, 19 November 2012

What is in a name?

Name the tower in New Delhi
Foundation of ‘New’ Delhi was laid down a century back and yet it remains ‘New’ to this day. And within New Delhi we have interesting names of shops, roads, buildings etc. Take for example Tilak Nagar area predominantly occupied by Punjabis who migrated during partition. We have a popular milk vendor ‘Lahore Dairy’. Obviously must have come from Lahore where also he might be selling milk & paneer.

So is Des Raj who runs a shop ‘Pishori Tailor’. Hailing from Peshawar & specialising in Pathani suits. He is grand old man now & has been in touch with his friends in Peshawar. He says that similar names are being used by his friends there – ‘Dilli Tailor’, ‘Lakhnavi Kebabs’ etc. 

Then we have ‘Pind Baluchi’ restaurant whose owner hails from a village in Baluchistan. There is a ‘Frontier Bakery” of a family from frontier near Afghan border & a popular eatery ‘Pindi Chhole Bhature’ hints to Rawal Pindi. They also serve a sweet dish ‘Karachi’ Halwa.

Certain house building societies (HBS) of Delhi have odd names origin of which is based on places in Pakistan – Mianwali Coop HBS, Bahawalpur Coop HBS, Bhera Enclave. Near Bhera Enclave there is a bunch of flats named Nagin Lake Apparments! Neither there is a lake nor Nagin!

In western Delhi there is Najaf Garh & Bahadar Garh(in Haryana). Story goes that Najaf Khan & Bahadar Khan were brothers & Subedars in attendance of Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last mogul king, who rewarded them with land around these two villages. These villages have grown into tehsils now bearing names of Najaf Garh & Bahadar Garh.

After coming of Metro, Delhi is dotted with ugly pillars. Interestingly the  shop keepers are using such pillars in their ads & visiting cards - ‘Opp. Metro Pillar No. 420’! Metro disappointed while naming certain stations as ‘East’ ‘West’ like in Janakpuri East & Janakpuri West. There was no dearth of names but Metro didn’t bother. Entire list of names of Nehru / Gandhi family are available for christening pillars, stations, buildings, airports, canals etc.

Then there are Gates in Delhi, beginning with landmark India Gate. There is Ajmeri Gate, Lahori Gate, Mori Gate, Kashmiri Gate & even Dilli Gate!

There are some exotic names which you may not find elsewhere in India such as Karkardooma, Patpar Ganj, Gali Paranthe Wali etc. Adchini is in south Delhi & has nothing to do with chini the sugar or chini the Chinese. The name Shalimar Bagh is an improved version of Saalamar Bagh where Saala (brother in law) of a local nawab was got murdered (by the nawab) in that Bagh!

This couplet is already circulating in fb & narrates similar views:

यह कैसी है दिल्ली भाई।
हमको कुछ समझ आई।।
पहाड़गंज में 'पहाड़' नहीं
दरियागंज में 'दरिया' नहीं।।
चाँदनी चौक में कहाँ चाँदनी?
और धौला कुआँ में 'कुआँ' नहीं।।
नई सड़क पुरानी दिल्ली में।
और किला पुराना नई दिल्ली में।।
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