My 2nd post & I intend to make this a bed time habit each night .
I am a Sindhi with a seemingly non-Sindhi surname : most Sindhi surnames end with ” —- ani ” ( viz : Mirchandani / Hiranandani / Ramchandani etc ) . The name ‘Kanuga” is often mistaken to be an Odiya name but bears no relationship with the Odiya Kanungo ( viz : Nityanand Kanungo ” ) .
My late father often gave me what I knew even as a kid, to be figments of his imagination , several seemingly plausible explanations whenever I asked him why we were Kanuga & not Kanugani , as a true Sindhi ought to have been . His favourite was the one about a modern day corruption of the title “Kanoon Goyaan ” conferred on one of our ancestors : RIP : by a Mughal emperor in recognition of his amazing command over then prevailing laws of the land : I wonder where Ram Jethmalani’s ancestors were at that time !! Probably sipping a good Single Malt in Scotland.
But let me not digress & get down to a seriously focussed narration of the results of extensive research .
First , the name Kanuga . A certain search engine transported me to a place in , hold your breath , the United States of America. This place has a huge estate called the Kanuga Estate , has a High Street called Kanuga Street ( much like the MG road in most Indian cities ) , & has a Kanuga Convention Centre where the Rich & Famous ( that rules out most Kanugas I know : some are rich but not famous while others vice versa ) get together to solve all world problems by asserting that there are in fact no problems to be solved : understandable when you are Rich & Famous !! ( In another environment they could easily pass off as “Yojna Nigam Upadhyaksh” : yes ; the very same who designed the world’s most expensive Toilet & removed poverty by redefining it. A couple of centuries in the rewind mode introduces us to a good hearted American who bought vast tracts of American Indian real estate ( the Red Indians : just in case you thought NRIs & PIOs existed even then ) & did not quite know what to do with the estate when he was precariously old. That is when he came across an early morning ritual followed by the Native Indians who worked on his estate. They , so the search engine tells us , would gather in a circle & chant ” Ka-nu-ga : Ka-nu-ga ” several times to invoke Divinity in a rising crescendo , till Sunrise ( late Sunrises must have meant prolonged chanting of the Ka-Nu-Ga Mantra !! ) Ka-Nu-Ga _ The Cherokee invocation. ( the invocation in Cherokee script is made up of three symbols : rather like our very own A-U-M : which look like @-a computer screen : & a $ sign. That inspired our precariously old Estate owner to call his estate the Kanuga Estate , to host Convention Centres & Training Institutes for Rich & Famous seeking spiritual upliftment. Who knows , may be one of my ancestors went to US on a tourist visa , fell in love with a Cherokee babe , & raised the first Ka-Nu-Ga family in the world before getting deported back home !! A possibility my late Dad would have loved to let his imagination go berserk on !!
Cheers for now , & I will post a blog on Sindh tomorrow ( I was born post patition , in India & have never been to Sindh : however the aforementioned engine of search can in fact take you o places a travelk itinery simply would not reach.
Have a Good Night