Far far away, nestled in the virgin hills of Assam, lived the three infamous siblings – the Elephant warriors, busy raging wars against each other in the frontyard of their home. While the family dog Tiger would be jumping along, mutilating fallen opponents by its dripping saliva- laden licks.
Clang khachak Dhisoommm ... after a black a eye and some hair loss, the mother would often intervene. A wriggle of ear and warning that they won’t be allowed to even get a whiff of delicious Hakka Noodles, was enough to make them put down their weapons, which in this case was a bamboo stick, a broken ladle and rolled newspaper. Often the warriors were involved in hand to hand combat, usually sparked by incidents like the youngest secretly wearing the t-shirt of the eldest to a birthday party.
When Shakespeare said “What’s in a name”... he couldn't have been more wrong. Imagine living your whole life with Hati (“Elephant”) as your surname. My ancestors belonging to Ahom dynasty were overly enthusiastic to display one’s occupation in the name. Centuries later, their relentless love for Elephant as the surname, landed yours truly in the middle of every school’s ridicule program. :P I have seen my teachers stutter and stammer whenever they read my name aloud, wondering if HATI could really be someone’s name.
And then, years later, I met a wonderful “Peacock” and spectacled “Moonjely” in Sydney. Well, Hati sounds pretty cool now.