Saturday, 16 April 2016

N is for Nero


is for Nero




Nero was no fiddler

A most unpopular man was Nero
he may've been a Caesar but no hero
no fiddler on the roof
cause there is ample proof
that his fiddling quotient was close to zero.

He may have been one peculiar geezer
but no way  could he be a fiddling Caesar
The fiddle didn’t exist
untill 1556
however eager may have been the beaver.

Of course the violin isn’t the only thing
that can be fiddled or twiddled by a king
the selection’s quite wide
thumbs, body parts aside
there’s other stuff to scrape apart from strings.

All I’m saying here is that I’ve learnt
he wasn’t playing music while Rome burnt.
He could well have gotten
up to things far more rotten,
but not a violin – that much I’ve discerned.





N is also for Name and my name, Nilanjana : which is difficult to pronounce. Tough on a child who spent her childhood outside the comfort zone of her Native tongue.  I had a hard time explaining the pronunciation (Nee-laahn-juh-naah) when I went to Delhi, and it was mispronounced by everybody. I got asked endlessly about what it meant. The various interpretations took yonks.   Then there were the misspellings. Uribbaas!! as we would say in Bengali.  

I went to Nigeria, from the frying pan to the fire; globalisation, child-raising by villages, multiculturalism, were far into the future. The Delhi practice in explanations came in pretty handy. My classmates had as much trouble wrapping their tongues around my name, as I had wrapping mine around theirs.  But in time, both sides learnt to do it, and we were both the richer for it. Some classmates shortened it to Nila, which was my Nickname anyways, and some even further to Nil.

I went back to India after high school, graduated from Delhi, got a job in Kolkata, got married and settled down among Bengalis where my name was commonplace, I did not have to explain the pronunciation anymore.  Then suddenly one fine day we upped and moved to Arablands, and I had to learn the Arabic names, and the Arabs who I came in contact with, had to learn mine.  Story of my life, boss!  

So. Would I change it for a lighter, Neater, more portable, travel-friendly one? Nope, No, Nah, Niet, Never!! And that was the same way when I had to spell it out for the Ninety-ninth time in class as a Nine year old. Nilanjana (girl with blue-kohl lined eyes; the colour turquoise; lightning), Nila (sapphire), Nil or Neel (blue), all of them so me! Even though I've never lined my eyes with blue kohl till date, but who knows? one of these days I might just! :)




Nuts! that was quite a Non-post slushfest Now, wasn't it? Nonplussed - going the memoirs way, Not a good indication of possible age. :D Tomorrow is a No post day.  I'm going to use it to catch up on my reading and rest, it's been a big week offline and on.





Posted for the A-Z Challenge 2016 






44 comments:

  1. Nero definitely fell on the Nasty rather than the Nice side of the equation. And is fascinating, in a car-crash type of way.
    I also delighted in learning how to pronounce your Name. Thank you.

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    1. He was quite a keen musician...but quite Nasty, Nothing to disagree there :)

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  2. Names do have a way of irritating us. Even mine gets mangled, but I hate the shorter Yo! LOL
    And I know I've murdered the names of others, so embarrassing. During my radio show I made sure I asked my guest ahead of time to avoid that faux pas.
    Nero was a beast, for sure!

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    1. Mangled names give us the advantage of extra keen ears when it comes to others' names :) I've grown more easygoing with name mangling with the years - mostly people want to do it right, it's a honest mistake when it occurs and therefore totally worth overlooking..Nila can't be mangled anyways...thankfully!

      Nero was a bit of a weirdo. You have a good weekend too, can't imagine what it's like with 2-3 blogs in the fest!

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  3. I liked the explanation of your name, Nila is easier. And so, Nero didn't fiddle the fiddle while Rome burned but he might have fiddled something? Hmmm, like you said, probably up to no good.

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    1. If he did play music then it was on the kithara not the violin...but there is no evidence of his playing music at all while Rome burnt...at all other times he was a keen musician and apparently hosted musical contests at which he himself won :D

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  4. Lovely and so is your name. Good to hear your story!
    Cheers,
    Seena
    #AtoZChallenge- N is for Naming the baby

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    1. More like a bio now that you mention it :D

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  5. N is also for Name and my name, Nilanjana

    Yes, Nilanjana if it was only after 1556, then the fiddler was a long standing anachronism. It was similar to the reference of a clock striking 12 on the wall in one of plays when clocks were not invented yet. Great limericks set!

    Hank

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    1. Yes it was an anachronism absolutely...unless the original idiom started out as using 'fiddling' to mean 'doing nothing in particular'. Very long but interesting article here

      Thanks for visiting!

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  6. Hi Nila - good to know how to try and pronounce your name .. to me you've been Nila (or Nila'njana) ... so now I might try and change when I see you posting ...

    Love the poem and the history of your life and Nero who couldn't fiddle for his life ... but you've brought it all to life .. congratulations on that - cheers Hilary

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    1. Nero fiddled, but not with the fiddle as we know it :D

      And between friends it's always Nila!

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  7. No idea about this Nero guy and no plans to google him....still if he's anything like Niro....then maybe I will! Your name is lovely and exotic!
    Ohh, Sunday where art thou? Damn....wish I had pre-scheduled all my posts so I could just enjoy Sunday catching up on reading :(

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    1. Good heavens, no, Nero wasn't anything like Bob :D

      Have a good Sunday!

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  8. I love this! And I'd heard that about Nero before but forgot the fiddle wasn't invented yet. Wonder how that legend got started? And I love your name! Isn't it interesting how a name we may consider commonplace is unique in some places and vice-a-verse?

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    1. No-one knows... :) the theory I support is that fiddling was meant in the sense of doing nothing constructive...

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  9. Nilanjana is a very beautiful name. Nero, on the other hand, was a terrible person.

    #AtoZchallenge
    Meet My Imaginary Friends

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    1. Thank you. Names are just something one grows into...like one's own skin, the looser the more comfortable.

      Nero certainly was a shady character!

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  10. I love the contrast of today's post. Nasty Nero and then the lovely Nilanjana. Such a beautiful name.

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    1. Contrast is a way to get balance, isn't it? Glad you like the post, thanks.

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  11. I think it's a very pretty name -- yours, not Nero's -- and I was pleased to learn that I've been pronouncing it correctly all along.

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    1. Very few people manage that :) Nero's name is not bad if you strip it of the associations and look at it cleaned

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  12. Good point! How could he fiddle when it didn't exist? At least, he couldn't have fiddled with a musical instrument...

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    1. There is no incriminating evidence to pin on him :)

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  13. N is for nice
    Enjoyed this thank you for sharing

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  14. Delightful poem about Nero. I've had name issues as well. My name is always mispronounced. I can relate.

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    1. That is something most people face at one point or another. A second issue is the spelling - even for those with a mainstream name, say John - is it spelt with or without the h? Name problems are endless :)

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  15. N for Nilanjana and Nero. Loove the mad mad poem and post. You made such a fun, quirky and awesome adventure:)

    www.vishalbheeroo.wordpress.com

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    1. Nero would be turning in his grave if he knew that he was being called an adventure! Fortunately ancient Rome cremated its dead.

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  16. I'm proud to announce that I've been pronouncing your name correctly.
    My thoughts about Nero? Nothing. Nil. Nada. Nooit. Negative. He's probably a nincompoop.
    My brain is blank (it's taking the day off...)
    Writer In Transit

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    1. Haha that is hilarious! Nincompoop Nero indeed! :)

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  17. Nilanjana is one of my favorite names. It is the name of my Kindergarten best friend, plus the song "Laal phite sada moja" makes me love it even more. Great choice for "N".

    Archita from
    A Journey Called Life - AtoZ Participant

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    1. Personally, I couldn't do without it :D

      Thanks

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  18. love your name and your work. You've had quite a life so far.

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    1. Name given to me on as is basis, no credit for that, but fully responsible for my own work, here and elsewhere :) thanks.

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  19. I, for one, am Overjoyed (because it's already Sunday when I post this comment and I missed Saturday O-day) to learn a little about your wandering ways! Nigeria! How did that happen???

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    1. Saturday was N, today is O, nO pOst on Sundays :) Nigeria happened because my father worked there, and very glad I am too that he did! I had a wonderful time.

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  20. I'm not sure which is more delightful - your poems or the commentary afterwards :)

    A very interesting historical detail. I confess it's something I've never given any thought to

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Nonymous comments prized more than rubies :) Anonymous comments shall be deleted as soon as spotted. Just so you know.