By Neel Anil Panicker

“Hey, what’s this thing about being cool? Looks like everybody wants to be cool.”

Jackie stopped, turned around and looked at his friend of twenty fours hours.

 “Look err …what’s your name you said?”

‘Sandeep…Sandeep Bandhopadhyaya.’

“Now that’s the problem. With a name like that you can kiss your chances of ever ending up as cool”.

‘But that’s what is my name? What can I do about it? It’s what my father and mother gave me when I was born.’

Jackie raised his voice to say something but checked himself just in time. The two were in the school hall and Mrs Saxena, their sixth grade class teacher was walking by.

“Good morning, madam,”  the two belted out in unison  as the portly lady with the thick rimmed glasses and unsmiling demeanour stormed past.

Seconds later, Jackie turned around.

“Hey, Mr Sandeep Bandhopapdhya, so you want to be cool, really cool, right? Ok, so tell me, what’s my name?”


“Right but wrong. Confused? Well, let me explain. My name, the name my parents gave me is Jai Kishan. But guess what? I hated it ‘coz everybody hated it. They thought it was so downmarket, as if I came from some village. Thought I was a buffoon. So, I pondered over it and then something clicked my brain. I decided to be Jackie. Overnight, I become cool.

And now, you need to do that too, buddy”.

‘So…what do I do to be cool like you?

“Simple, modify your name. From today you are no longer Sandeep Bandhopadhyaya. Instead, your friends have a choice. They can call you Sandy, or Bandy, or even Sandy Bandy. Can anyone get cooler than that?”


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