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Years back, when we, the L&M and I, were young, and our children still small, the four of us often speculated on what we should call our future home. Never mind that we didn’t have enough money yet to buy a house or an apartment even, but we enjoyed the time spent trying to find a name that was suitable, also special.

Many names were examined, meaningful names in Malayalam that either meant peace, blessing or retreat, but they were eventually discarded because someone we knew already had a house of that name. Peace, harmony and such seemed hot favourites with everyone!We wanted our home to have a unique name, not be just one among the many named similarly. We felt it should also incorporate something of each of the four of us.

Accordingly different permutations and combinations of our names were tried out. Nothing sounded right, had that perfect ring to it that spoke to us. Out they all went one by one except the one where we tried combining the first syllable of each of our names. Nope, didn’t sound right either. Besides, the first syllable of both the children’s name was the same. So it kind of felt odd on the tongue. Hmm.. no. Unless we….

We decided to use only one of the common syllables from the children and combine it with the first syllable from the L&M’s and my name. The resultant name didn’t mean anything, it wasn’t really a word in any sense, but it sounded okay and moreover it was unique and meant something special to us. So yes, this was it! There was no house/apartment anywhere in our near future, but the name..? The name was ready.

In the following years, with a house/apartment still nowhere in sight, the name we created made occasional forays into our online life in the form of a password for some chosen site or other, but eventually it was forgotten. For years together no one ever brought it up not until we were finally settled in our forever home, the new apartment.

How about that old name we coined, the L&M wanted to know. Hmm…We now had a new member in the family, the daughter-in-law, wife of the first born. We wanted to include the first syllable of her name. Then what about the name of the girlfriend of the second born? She had to be in too. This was frustrating. There was no way we could come up with anything close to sensible with all the different names involved.

That’s when I said, “To heck with all that. This is Shail’s Nest. Everyone is included in Shail’s Nest. There cannot be a better name than that!” The L&M agreed wholeheartedly. Of course, Shail’s Nest! No need to string unconnected syllables and try to come up with strange sounding names. Shail’s Nest was so apt, so Shail’s Nest it is.

The story doesn’t get over here. Or rather there is a tail end to the story that’s funny and needs to be shared.

Once the decision was made and the new name plate screwed on to the door of our apartment, I shared the picture with a friend (who by the way couldn’t guess the name in three tries. Neither could my blog brother. I am disappointed in both you guys! How could you not guess?!!! Anyways..)

“Your house number should have been 7D.” the friend said in reply.

He was probably referring to my own preference for staying on a higher floor, Maybe I had told him that 7D had been in the market at the time we purchased this apartment. I had certainly told a few how I had reluctantly given in to the L&M’s more practical approach of staying on a lower floor easily accessible without a lift. My friend was commiserating with me, I thought.

“I know, right!” I typed in reply.

I was busy typing more about the excellent view from the seventh floor to the distant mountains in the east, not to mention the beautiful sunrises never visible to the third floor people when his next message popped up. I read it and burst out laughing as realisation dawned. You better read it for yourself 😉

He was obviously pulling my leg. Or was he? Hmm.. What if he meant it? Nah! He couldn’t be. Sigh. I’d never really know for sure. But guess what, I am going around telling everyone who cares to listen how my friend thinks I am a seven dimensional person. After all seven is a higher number than three, so it ought to be good, right? 😉

© Shail Mohan 2022