Kochi Metro Rail Limited thought it would be a good idea to run a contest to name its mascot elephant. But little did they anticipate that such an innocuous move would open up the Pandora’s box.
As the contest deadline draws near this evening, KMRL’s Facebook page has been inundated with name suggestions… none so more popular than ‘Kummanaana’ suggested by Wollongong-resident Lijo Verghese.
Lijo says he meant it as a joke, but the name has garnered over 35000 likes, making it a top contender for the contest.
Kummanaana bears a striking similarity to the name of BJP State President Kummanam Rajashekharan. Kummanam was the butt of nary a joke after he took an uninvited ride with the Prime Minister and Chief Minister on the Kochi metro.
That incident had added a new word to the Malayali lexicon, ‘Kummanadi’ meaning ‘to boldly go where you are unwanted’. To the trolls of Kerala, who mock anything and everything under the sun, ‘Kummanaana’ has been a Lijo-given boon.
Kummanaana’s popularity prompted many others to come up with equally funny - or unkind, depending on your political colour - names. Another trending has been ‘Kannanthana’, a play on Union Minister Alphonse Kannathanam who is a favourite target of the Malayalam troll industry.
In a fix KMRL, which had promised to pick a name from the 3 top contenders, was forced to add a caveat – Contest entries defaming any personality or insinuating against any person is not encouraged & will not be considered for the selection.
But not to be outdone, Malayalis have been inundating its wall calling for ‘Kummanaana’ to be made official. They point out Kummanam is a place in Kottayam, and there is no reason why an elephant should not be named after a place.
The KMRL contest concludes today. From the looks of it, the company is unlikely to pick Kummanaana. Names like Kesavan, Metraana, and Komel could emerge frontrunners. No matter what KMRL calls their elephant, as far as Kochiites are concerned the naming ceremony seems to be over.