Goa: Rich tapestry of names

Quick quiz! What was Bobby’s surname in the Raj Kapoor blockbuster, Bobby? What was Kareena Kapoor’s surname in the recently released rom-com, Ek Main Aur Ek Tu? And final question: Archana Pu

Published: 07th April 2012 12:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 07:22 PM   |  A+A-

Quick quiz! What was Bobby’s surname in the Raj Kapoor blockbuster, Bobby? What was Kareena Kapoor’s surname in the recently released rom-com, Ek Main Aur Ek Tu? And final question: Archana Puran Singh played a flirtatious college professor in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. What was her moniker in that movie? If you are as clueless as Manmohan Singh now, let me reveal the solution. The answer to all the three posers is: Braganza! See, as always, Bollywood has turned out to be utterly predictable. If you talk to people from Goa, they will reel out many more instances to showcase the limited imagination of our screenwriters. Here are a few samplers: when in doubt, it’s either Albert or Anthony Gonsalves; if it’s a brother, it has to be Fernando; a sidekick always means Fonseca or Mendonca; and all licentious Goan women get labelled as Julie. Fortunately, the tapestry of Goan Christian names is far richer than we can imagine. So maybe next time, when some ‘Anurag Kashyap type’ sits down to write a screenplay, it might just help to mull over the nomenclatural beauties on offer before freezing on a suitable name. For instance, if the character is a wily fox, he could be called Lobo (meaning ‘wolf ’). A sailor can be a D’Costa (Portuguese for ‘from the coast’). A wild guy can be a D’Silva (from the forest). A pastor can be termed a D’Cruz (from the cross). A mine owner can be a Ferreira (one from the iron mine) and a thirsty-for-success bloke could be a Sequeira (from arid land). In case the hunt is for a little exotic surname, the choice could be between Simoes (son of Simon), Couto (from an enclosed pasture), Brito (from Brittany), Miranda (wondrous or lovely), Saldanha (from Saldana, a town in Spain), Correa (one who trades in leather fastening goods), Perreira (surrounded by Pear trees), Carvalho (oak tree) and Moraes (living among mulberry trees). When none of the above works, try Dias (son of Diego), Gomes (man), or just gulp some feni and your pride, and settle for the evergreen Gonsalves (one who fights without weapons) or simply Pinto (the speckled one)!

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