My Name

Since I get this all the time… people asking what my name means since it’s not your typical Indian name, here it is. The name, Pari (पारि, பாரி) comes from Pari Vallal, the legendary 9CE Tamil Chola king (and later turned sage and philanthropist). In Tamil Nadu the story of Pari has been a long time tradition and a standard exam question for little kids – “What did Pari do?”, with the rote elementary school reply being “பாரி முல்லைக்கு தேர்க் கோடுத்தான்” (i.e. “Pari gave his chariot to a mullai plant”). The story goes that one day as Pari was going through a forest on his golden chariot, he felt the desire to quench his thirst and so stopped near a stream. When he returned he found that a mullai plant (a wild jasmine creeper) had entwined itself around one of the wheels of the chariot. To move the chariot would mean to break the tendril. Sometimes it just takes a trigger to bring on enlightenment, and to Pari it came at that moment in time. So he actually gave his golden chariot to the plant, and he walked back to his palace. Henceforth he gave away all his riches. He became known for his love for nature and his philanthropy (he was one of the seven Tamil kings known for nature conservation).

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