Shakespeare had said, “What’s in a name?” You have the painful answer to that!

That ‘cute’ pet name lovingly bestowed upon you by your parents has put you on a roller-coaster ride called embarrassment. The very mention of the name that shall not be named sparks an evil glint in the eyes of the listener and what follows is a lifetime of face-hiding. If life has trolled you with a silly nickname, you’ll be all too familiar with these hardships:

1. You NEVER mention your nickname to anyone. But there’s always that one kameena childhood friend who lets the cat out of the bag. And it really catches on.

2. Once people find out, it’s a leg-puling spell that will last a lifetime! All your efforts to get people to stop using your nickname are in vain.

3. Sometimes, people may not remember your name. But everyone remembers your nickname!

4. Some people don’t even know your real name!

5. Side characters in Bollywood comedies, trucks and autos often feature your nickname.

6. The more you try to hide it, the more people get to know. You’ll never know how this happens, but it does!

7. There’s that one trick: ignore the jokes and people will stop. You’ve tried it and it doesn’t work.

8. And here’s another trick that doesn’t work: justifying it. Nobody cares what it means; why you were named so or how it’s ‘cute’ and not ‘funny.’

9. When you find somebody else with a funny pet name, you bond over the shared social stigma!

10. You have given yourself a ‘cool’ new nickname, and work on popularizing it. Nikhil becomes Nick, Daljeet becomes DJ and so on.

11. When people can’t remember who you are, one mention of your nickname triggers instant recall.

12. Over the years, many shayyaris and songs have come to be dedicated to your embarrassing pet name.

13. People use your pet name to troll you on Facebook all the time.

14. When you invite your friends home, you give your parents strict instructions not to call you by the ‘bad’ name.

You’ll never admit it, but you do find your nickname cute. Don’t you now?