That’s long back I guess, someone called me “Chulli” for the first time. Chulli by word in my native language means a dry skinny branch or a kind of plant seen in coastal Kerala having thorns in every part of it, except for its beautiful blue flower. Coincidentally, it has a philosophical association to my life that looks like a beautiful flower to me, despite the thorns around it which I had passed in its early stage.
Why I think of it now? Well, on the other day, one of my colleague was talking to his friend who I worked with in Poornam and happened to discuss about me as I share a common identity of being a colleague to both ‘them. While the latter was trying to refresh her memory which filled with so much of Aruns, my surname Chullikkal happened to be the reason for her to identify me. Many misunderstand by my name that I belong to a place called Chullikkal, (@ Fort Cochin), while it’s my surname only, which the name Chulli derived from. It is when my colleague was explaining the difficulty of identifying a person who has the most common name like Arun out hundreds and thousands, I thought about the nickname Chulli and its origin. Thanks to Noisy Room C.
Noisy Room C, was a developers area in Poornam which was officially marked as Room C. Mostly filled by developers in it, I was the only non-developer and had been there merely due to a project associated to billing and receivable management system. We used to crack jokes and laughed out loud, while other sides of the floor were in to serious thinking about admin side of Poornam. Besides, one of the dominating singers in Poornam, Gopika Krish was a member of Room C, who used to sing while coding and rest of us hum along with her. All these created a complete noise on the floor and notoriously name as Noisy Room C. There , out all the noise and laughs, born the name Chulli.
AIM was the chat client were using commonly in Poornam and I created an ID named ArunChullikkal in AIM which is in line with my other online network ID’s. I don’t remember what exactly made Ceelia James to call me Chulli. Might we were making fun of each other’s chat ID. All of a sudden she just shouted, “Nee Poda Chulli (dry branch)”. It created a big laugh inside the Room. Well, that’s the beginning and thanks to Prajeesh (who is ‘addicted to design’) and other developers @ Noisy Room C to propagate the name.
Finally, it flied along with me to Dubai and the Corporate Office of DMH used it to greet me. My feelings to the name Chulli was initially something that is irritating. But sooner I started loving it. Now, I seldom here someone calls me Arun; Chulli has superseded Arun. An year or two ago, I went to attend a Birthday party. It was of David, son Blessen. Most of the invitees were from Poornam and they kept on calling me Chulli. It’s got registered in a new but a small brain. On the way back to home, after the party. I heard a new voice calling me Chulli! It was my two years old son Allan. He was replacing “Papa” by “Chulli”.