Who is this blasted hAAthi?

If you’ve ever visited my blog, wondered why the letters H-A-A-T-H-I stand out tall right on the top. If you stopped to wonder why, felt puzzled and given up, this post is for you.

My memory fails me now, but I know it was when this boy and this girl randomly started calling me Haathi, it just kind of stayed. Summer of 2002, I think it was. That’s close to a decade ago (wow, I only just realised its been that long). Randomly being called Haathi, somehow just felt snug and apt. Soon the birthday rolled on and a grey stuffed toy, the sweetest elephant I ever owned (still do, as a matter of fact), was presented. And it has never been discarded since. Much like the name itself. Its gone places with me, become a part of me, and is today a part of a fast growing herd of elephants of all kinds, shapes and sizes that dot the parts of my life.

The fact is the name sort of just happened, but since then it has stuck. In fact its turned into a weird kind of self-branding. I have elephantine jewelry


Books and stationery

Haathi mugs!

Curios, gifted to me by people, who seem to think of me instantly when they spot the odd elephant. Here are a few, by the DVD player. The yellow one with the adorable flower on its trunk, was given to me by Udaya when she visited Thailand. The orange one, my mum found somewhere in Bangalore. The green and red ones were gifted to me by Ranjan, when he went to Delhi, and the blue one, Advait lugged back from his trip up in the hills.

By the corner lamp

Sitting pretty on my washing machine is this beauty, handpainted by he who refuses to acknowledge me anymore. Sigh. Double sigh.

When Sheel left last month, she made us these most gorgeous hand-drawn notebooks, and look at mine!

The ease and familiarity with which people now call me Haathi is almost like its actually my name. Haathi Upadhya. Kind of has a ring to it, I’d say. I’ve been asked this question only a million times before. I continue to be asked why Haathi? Where did it come from?

Hindi for elephant, most people can’t fathom what connection there could possibly could be between me and an elephant. But you don’t have to think hard. It is exactly what you think it is. It alludes to the fact that I’m built big. Yup, in a pachydermous kind of way, if you know what I mean. I also have a ridiculous memory for all things irrelevant and otherwise forgettable. This is a place where I chronicle the tiny miniscule and not so significant details of my life. This is my elephantine repository for memories. Also, have I told you how I’m unstoppable with peanuts? Put a bowl in front of me it will be gone before you can say Haathi-Mere-Saathi. Put all of that and my general love the outdoors together, and you have the perfect answer, I guess.

That’s really how the name just came to be. It was a random comment, I think. Quite possibly an observation about my backside or some such. The rest of the long and winding explanation just seems cool and fitting in retrospect. I guarantee this impeccable reasoning had little do do with the very first christening. But hAAthi is is. And hAAthi it will be.


When I began guest-blogging at Vie Hebdomadaires, I wanted to do a post every day, come what may. But after three days of dedicated posting, work took over. Throw in an awesome Shakti Gig one evening, and I found myself with no time to catch up. So here’s my fourth post of the week.


25 thoughts on “Who is this blasted hAAthi?

  1. Thanks for passing this link. And I was pretty sure it has something to do with the famous haathi memory too. :) n the junk haathi jewellery looked awesome n the yellow elephant too with the flower on its trunk.

    I used to own similar ganapati branding stuff when in college, pendants, tshirts, kurti, bags, folders, show pieces, but have long given up of tht. Nice to know a bit more about you.


  2. Okay so that explains the name. Now can you tell me why the AA is in caps? I tried to decode it, thinking it could have a deeper meaning, but then I gave up. So tell please :D

    And did I tell you, your expression in that pic is uber cute!


  3. I always wondered about your blog name but never really got around to asking you. Thank you for this post. :) Was a fun read!

    I love elephants BTW and collect them too. :)

    PS: You DO NOT look elephantine in any way!
    PPS: Why the ‘AA’ in hAAthi?


  4. akshay

    Dude there’s a ‘slightly wide’ line in there somewhere.

    Also, if you start a brand and rake in the moolah, don’t forget the little peeps! :p


      1. akshay

        you’re slitely wide –> slitely aa? im not *slitely* wide –> slitely, like an elephant –> you mean a haathi? –> hmmmm

        and the rest…

        i’m ok with cheques, btw.


  5. You know… I was wondering that jussst the other day (when I added you to my links on the side of my page. I was wondering whether to call it Haathi or Revati and settled for Haati, since that IS the same of the blog. :)

    Now I know.
    I guess I would be a lion, if I were to be an animal (cos I’m a leo)… but I wonder what kinda self-brand I’d create. hmmm…. Interesting! I’ll have to think about that!


  6. Nice blog and funny post! There’s this organic paper and crafts called Haathi Chhaap that makes paper, coasters, photoframes, cutesy toilet rolls, fridge magnets and what-have-you using elephant poo! Go figure! :)


  7. AHA! Of all the (one/two?) years that I’ve followed you on blogger, I cannot deny the fact that this question fluttered in and out of my head once a while, and then I’d forget to ask why :P
    Haha this post was pretty funny and awesome! And photo updates always make me happy :D


  8. Pingback: Brand Haathi « Vie Hebdomadaires

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