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What's in a name?

Suhail Sahrawat

One of the first questions people ask me when they are trying to make small talk is “what does Garuda mean?”

Garuda is a mythological bird-like creature featured in many different cultures including Indian.
But more importantly, Garuda was the logo of my father's battalion in the Indian military.

Garuda

In each culture Garuda is depicted slightly differently, sometimes it's a bird, sometimes half man half bird, but my personal favourite depiction is still the one I see on my dad's military trophies.

trophy

So why did I choose to name this brand Garuda? Look, I’ll be honest… the name was not on the to-do list at all, all I cared about was making the product as good as it could be. But around July 2015, two months before the launch of Garuda I realised I had to lock in a name so I could send out invites to the launch event. Garuda was one of the first things that came to mind and I decided to just roll with it.

I grew up with trophies and statues depicting Garuda from my dads time in the military all over my house, it was imagery that was always around me. I remember I would call it an eagle as a kid and my dad would always correct me saying “it's Garuda”. I’d always think to myself “that's so weird why is it called Garuda isn’t that like the main character from Crush Gear’s little toy car thing?” But I never really cared enough to ask him more about it.

Another reason I chose Garuda for the name was that it sounds both French and Japanese, and in fashion, that’s always going to be a solid move.
I also read more about Garuda’s mythology and learned that the enemy of the Garuda was the snake species named Naga. So I did play around with that as an idea too, variations like “Nagaruda” and so on, but all my close friends who knew what I was working on said Garuda sounds good and is the move.

plate


It also felt right since I’ve mentioned in the past that making this brand was in part a way for me to deal with the sadness of the loss of my dad.

At the launch event in September 2015, we hung my dad's commemorative trumpet which had a banner attached to it with an embroidered Garuda and also gave all my close friends pins with images of Garuda from my dads time in the army. When my dad passed my mum was pretty keen to get rid of most of these things but I forced her to keep a few, which worked out well.

That's it, end of transmission.