Growing up as i did, with so many people having the same names, it was difficult, to call each by his real name, and not end up getting mltiple replies. This happens with almost all of us. Thats where the magical words- nicknames come into picture. Most of us end up getting a nickname or two. I have got god knows how many nicknames! but the most prevailant is "Chinya". I guess every chinmay gets called chinya. its the easiest thing to do in marathi. get the first part of the name, and add a suffix -ya to it... so chinmay becomes chinya, manoj becomes manya, rahul becomes rahulya etc etc.
Sometimes nicknames are derived from surnames of a particular person like Joshi becomes Joshya. But more often than not, people are referred to by their surnames. I was almost exclusively called Datar in my school. My cousin, rather than being known as Rohan is known as Soman(Surname) all over.
On the other side of the coin are some weird people who call out by taking the first name, that too formally. Mr. Datar, Mr. Chinmay! i dont think ive ever responded to such things! calling by first name, is OK, but in a crowd may again cause confusion. so nicknames come in handy.
But there are some nicknames which stand out from the everyday, commonly used standard nicknames. Ive known people who have been called some extremely weird things. Things like Chhakkya, dhunganya, kullya! eww! imagine if we apply our preceding postulate of -ya to these words! imagine if some one was called Kullya, he could actually be Kulleshwar!
Some others are totally irrelevent, although more sobre. For some reason or another, people are given some weird nicknames, and surprizingly, they stick! I know some people like that. A friend of mine, Tejas, is called Bidya. another one, Amit is called all over as Bhamtya!Aadinath is called Chaddya! Even stranger is a guy called amey is called as Kadi!Another guy, Rohit is known as Kallu!
Recently, in college, a wave of two superb nicknames has spread. Madhura is now known all over as MadB. Hats off to the person who came up with that! its really different. And Virendra is now being called Veerbhadra! some macho nickname! (credit for this goes to madb)
College nicknames stick forever i guess. I mean names like NPower, N95, Tatya, Lakshya, Mhais, Actiwate, Mhasoba,Butukya are hard to forget!( these are Neha, Neha, Tejas, Alok, Rohini, Gautam, Rao,Siddhi-Prachi)
Some pranksters, since their school days, have an audacity to even call out their teachers by nicknames. This was extremely prevailant in my school. We used to refer to teachers with names like wally(short for Walrus), Yam(as in yamraj), Balyaa, Badhya, Hemu, Nago, Kaku etc etc.
Nicknames, i must say have become must! how do you address someone informally otherwise!! Creating them also brings out the creativity in a person! so people, instead of doing stupid things, start coming up with some good nicknames! u can start from me if you want!(and no chini-mini please! its extremely contradictary to what i am..)