His title is Kovid… and he's going viral – Khaleej Occasions

Thursday, Jan 13, 2022 | Jamada Al-Aakhirah 10, 1443
Printed: Wed 12 Jan 2022, 7:51 PM
Final up to date: Wed 12 Jan 2022, 7:54 PM
What’s in a reputation? “A rose by some other title would scent as candy,” English playwright William Shakespeare used this line in his play Romeo and Juliet in 1597 to convey that the naming of issues is all however irrelevant. However Shakespeare’s ethical aphorism seems to be anachronistic.
Look no additional than 31-year-old techie Kovid Kapoor, who was born in Allahabad and is now based mostly in Bengaluru, India, as his title has turn out to be a topic of a number of memes on social media.
Kapoor, an alumnus of India’s premier Indian Institute of Know-how (IIT), Bombay, holds a bachelor’s diploma in know-how in pc science (he belongs to the category of 2012) and has been sporting a self-deprecating humour in his sleeve ever for the reason that World Well being Group (WHO) introduced the official title for the illness brought on by the novel coronavirus: Covid-19 in February 2020.
He had tweeted wryly on February 12, 2020: “My title is Kovid and I’m not a virus.” However the moniker didn’t strike an on the spot chord. Kapoor, a co-founder of the trip-planning portal holidify.com, has been parrying off the jokes and memes with light-hearted banter, as his every day life has gone for a toss, because of the viral outbreak that echoes his title. His tweet on January 4, 2022, went viral: “Went exterior India for the primary time since Covid and acquired a bunch of individuals amused by my title… Future overseas journeys are going to be enjoyable!”
“My mom had chosen my title earlier than I used to be born,” says Kapoor. “Kovid is a phrase that traces its origin to Vedic literature and a Hindu spiritual poem, Hanuman Chalisa, in Sanskrit as kavi kovida kahi sake kaha te. Etymologically talking, it means scholar or a discovered individual,” he says.
He’s fast to level out how the “d” on the finish of his title is supposed to be pronounced and cites his linguist pal as an instance the purpose. “The Hindi alphabet () in my title is a dental cease as in when the tongue presses in opposition to the higher tooth. The () sound is made additional again within the mouth — someplace between the ridge above the tooth and the palate — and usually includes some curling of the tongue, which is named retroflex consonant,” he explains. “Kovid-dah”, not like the viral illness that has a hoop of laborious cease to it, is how Kapoor’s title needs to be pronounced.
“I all the time liked my title, its which means and the way it sounded. Looking back, I believed I had justified my title once I acquired an all-India rank of 76 for the IIT entrance examination (out of 450,000 candidates that 12 months). Nevertheless, my title has assumed a wholly totally different which means since February 2020,” he says impishly.
Kapoor, who’s fast on the uptake, “immediately realised the pun potential of the title after the WHO introduced the pandemic in February 2020”. Nevertheless, opposite to the favored notion, “actually, I used to be not bugged by it”. “I took it as a possibility to create a bunch of jokes and introduce myself with a little bit of darkish humour whereas assembly new individuals. I’ve felt that it makes for an ideal first impression!
It additionally helped me maintain my temper on the lighter facet through the preliminary few months of the pandemic. I attempted to ‘unfold’ the Kovid jokes amongst my buddies throughout these days,” he provides. Happily, Kapoor didn’t have a brush with “any adverse incidents, however plenty of small, humorous micro-interactions”.
“One current humorous incident was on the immigration counter in Bengaluru (I used to be on my method to Sri Lanka) the place the official on the counter noticed my title on the passport, smiled at me, and stated, ‘Kovid goes to Sri Lanka now’,” he recounts.
The confusion over his title had reached a crescendo when his tweet went viral just lately. “Reality be advised, I had by no means anticipated that I’d get a lot media consideration in my life! However I’m loving each little bit of it,” he says.
Kapoor has turn out to be an in a single day media sensation. “I’ve recorded over 20 radio interviews in India, Europe and New Zealand. I’ve achieved 5 dwell TV interviews in India and in addition some extra in Israel and France,” he rattles off.
“It’s been a fully thrilling trip, and I’d be dishonest to myself if I say I’m not liking it. I’m sort of simply floating by means of it, gathering extra jokes and memes. I’m having a whale of a time. There was a lot media consideration that the one loopy factor that may now occur is Bollywood celebrity Shah Rukh Khan recording a brief video clip educating me find out how to say my line ‘My title is Kovid and I’m not a virus’,” he grins.
Amid the all-round banter and foolish jokes and a few vile feedback, Kapoor’s startup, holidify.com, which he had cofounded in 2012, has been hit laborious by the pandemic. He narrates the downturn matter-of-factly. “Although we’re not a well-funded startup, we had been doing fairly nicely earlier than the pandemic struck. We had a crew of 25 individuals in Bengaluru and had been sure to scale as much as about 60 within the subsequent two years. We had additionally taken a brand new workplace area on a two-year lease on March 1, 2020. In hindsight, it was the worst time to improve workplace area,” he says.
Bother began, Kapoor recollects, from February 2020 onwards. “Our journey income slumped to nearly nil round that point. To make issues worse, a few our purchasers defaulted on vital funds that we had been anticipating. We had no choice however to drastically cut back the salaries and rightsize our employees energy. In the intervening time, we additionally picked up a couple of consulting initiatives with different startups in India and the US. These initiatives helped us trip out the monetary storm and maintain amid these laborious instances. Holidify.com has managed to carry off due to our collective grit and perseverance. I’m sure we’ll come up on prime quickly,” says the assured techie, as he sees inexperienced shoots within the enterprise enterprise.
Nevertheless, it’s the jokes and memes that he “created for myself” that acquired him going. “I typically make cool jokes about me in a bid to pre-empt others from passing foolish and imply feedback,” he explains.
Kapoor provides a sneak peek into his wry sense of humour: ‘Kovid constructive, since 1990 (the 12 months he was born)’; ‘Kovid’s 2022 decision is to be constructive in all instructions’; ‘Kovid, formally probably the most ‘sick’ dude on the Web proper now’; ‘Kovid is at present driving the ‘wave’ and spreading all around the world’; and ‘the one sort of Kovid you need to be ‘constructive’ with’.
However jokes aside, there have been instances when he has been concealing his identification to flee ridicule. “Generally once I’m in a little bit of a rush and never within the temper for an prolonged interplay, I exploit a faux title to get by means of unusual conditions corresponding to at a espresso store or at a restaurant,” he says. “I began utilizing the title of certainly one of my buddies that I used to be with, however I’ve just lately tended to make use of the title ‘Kabir Kapoor’ very often. Kabir simply because it rhymes a bit bit with Kapoor… and sounds cool as nicely,” he provides.
It’s his cool quotient and darkish humour that seem to have turn out to be useful to maintain the carpers at bay.
joydeep@khaleejtimes.com
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