My name is Singh, Bond Singh, James Bond Singh!

Sputnik? You’re having me on!!” I protest as I am introduced to a girl from a different school at an inter-school cul-fest. She is introduced with the name of this Russian satellite. “I wasn’t born yesterday,” I think to myself. “Don’t try to pass off an outlandish name like that to me!”

But it turns out to be true – she was born the day the Sputnik was launched and the parents, in their abundant (?) wisdom and satellite-struck state, decide to commemorate the day by naming their first born after the satellite!

I move from shock to curiosity. “So, how does it feel to have a name like that?” I enquire politely if not quite politically correctly! (Political correctness was born much later and I’m sure someone must have named their kid after that too!)

“Oh, it’s quite cool, actually. No one ever forgets my name,” she says quite proudly. Sets me to thinking about all the unusually named people I know and which of those monikers I’d prefer for myself. A childhood playmate called Subhaschandra Bose Raju (we Telugus are seriously star-struck!). Or how about Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi Reddy?! I once did a summer internship in a company where I had to interview an Eisenhower Subramanian!

How about “My name is Singh, Bond Singh, James Bond Singh”. For real, I promise!

How about the girl named Full Stop by parents who’d already had six kids and intended no more! Well, accidents happen and a year later, they had to dig around for a name and decide that this time they mean business – with a little boy named, hold your breath, “Period”!

How about this actual name on a Singapore passport – Batman bin Suparaman?! Wonder whether his son would be named Robin bin Sidekick?!

Or this skinny police officer in America whose nametag read, most inappropriately, I may add, Chris.P.Bacon!

Was thinking of this today when we ordered what in America are euphemistically called “Kid size cups” of ice-cream at this ice-cream farm called Erikson’s Icecreams in Maynard, Massachusetts (one of the prettiest little towns I’ve ever seen, btw!) – it would be a “large” anywhere in India! Wonder what they would call our single scoop cups in India – doll sized servings?

The most delicious ice-cream ever, btw! I had “rum butter” and took spoons out of everyone else’s – all yum.

Here’s a recipe for


  • Butter – 2 tbsp
  • Cornflour – 1 tbsp
  • Brown sugar – 1/4 cup
  • Whole milk – 1 cup
  • 1/2 cup rum – white or dark
  • Cinnamon – 1/2 ” stick
  • Vanilla icecream – 400 ml – leave outside the frig for ten minutes till a little softened.

Melt butter with the cinnamon stick in it. Mix the sugar and cornstarch together.

Pour over the butter and mix well, stirring continuously.

Pour in milk in a steady stream and continue to stir till it begins to thicken. Discard cinnamon stick.

When thickened, remove from heat and stir in rum.

When cooled completely, fold into the ice-cream and re-freeze.

And call it Osama bin icecream if you want – rum butter by any other name is as sweet!

(Pic: Courtesy internet)