Cautionary Note: Maudlin folk who cry during Hallmark commercials, be warned. Possiblity of tears ahead.
He brought home the little clown fish. The latest addition to his aquarium. He couldn't wait for his niece to see the little squirt. He hid the bag behind him as he walked in, and slipped the little fish in when his niece wasn't watching. After dinner, he was watching the news when he heard the squeal. Of delight? The patter of little feet, and his niece was standing before him. Her cheeks flushed. A worried frown creasing her face. Feet planted apart, all earnestness,"There's a new one in the tank" she confided gravely. "Really??" he responded with appropriate incredulity. "Yes, chachu. I just saw it. How dya think it got there?" He professed bafflement at its miraculous arrival (much as Mary must have to her querulous husband). They both stood in front of the tank, discussing the ramifications of the new arrival until it was time for her to go to bed. She turned back for a final glance, "Let's call him Nemo", she said. He smiled at the intrusion of pop culture into even this nook of the world, and nodded in agreement. It was a fine name.
He came home, to find her in a corner. All queries replied to with a shake of the head, and welling tears in her eyes. He thought the fish would cheer her up, and suggested they look in on Nemo. For a cup of tea and a chat, he quipped. She proceeded to burst into tears. Alarmed, he backed away. Tears frightened him. Made him feel clumsy. Helpless. His bhabhi rescued him, saying "She's been like this all day. Some fish in that tank of yours. Dead, I think." Casually, an offhand remark, of no importance but for its consequence. He went to the tank, in trepidation. Nemo was listing to one side, one of his fins ripped off. His eye looked at him, not in accusation, but in listless acceptance. As he stared, a small hand crept into his own. She was still crying.
Is it just me or do names take over the named?
Update: So, in the spirit of scientific enquiry and ratiocination and all that, I propose an experiment, brilliant in it's simplicity and general doableness. All I need are brave and noble human volunteers (but no scruples please, I can't deal with people with scruples, nuh-uh). Please step up, said b and n volunteers. Here is the plan. Sally forth (and no, Sally is not a girl) and procure some infants (or toddlers, but preferably infants). Select distinctive and characteristic names for them (these are important criteria, pliss to remember). Then, 25 years from today (please make note of date), we shall meet at the eldritch hour of 3 in the afternoon, at the haunted house in the corner of 9th and 88th (I will not tell you the specific city because in the tradition of the genre of movies to which Serendipity proudly belongs, if it's meant to be, we shall all find ourselves in that city on that date at that time), with the said 20-something year olds in tow. That shall be our finest hour when we will know for certain whether names take over the named or not. Suggestions for the names will be provided on demand - I have already thought of a few like Nietzche, Hawking, Bush (see, why I said no scruples?).
Update 2: Betcha the cuplrit's name is Danny Ocean. Any takers?