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Last week while returning from a look at our new apartment, the L&M stopped at a junction awaiting his turn to make a right turn when I saw something across the road. It was a sign board in Malayalam that read ‘adholokam’ (underworld). Wait, what again? Even as I chuckled, I dived into my handbag for my phone while fervently hoping that the L&M would not get an opportunity to make the turn. Luckily I got my chance and clicked a picture.

More than a year back the car we were in was caught in a traffic jam and idly looking out of the window I saw something that spurred me into action. It was the name of a shop. ‘Game of Juices’ it read. A spin off on the famous series Game of Thrones, it caused some mirth among my friends when I shared the picture on social media.

Ever since I have been on the look out for more such amusing names. It intrigues me how and why people come up with the names they do for their businesses. I am curious why someone would name a shop Oman. Did they work in Oman and love the place very much? Same question for Beirut and Istanbul. Then there are the very transparent apple enthusiasts who seem to be enamored of ‘i’ as a prefix. Whenever I see ‘Ridges Hotel’ I tend to think the ‘B’ in the name has fallen off! Once I noticed a ‘Facebook’ somewhere, a shop that sold readymade clothes, which unfortunately I missed on my return journey, so no picture of that one. And do you know people, NASA has an electrical shop in the capital of the southern state of Kerala? No kidding.

Here are the few I managed to click in spite of the pandemic, from some of the regular routes we have been taking. They were all taken from a moving car.

Β© Shail Mohan 2021