Hey, Nilofar, Mala, Rashmi, Nargis, Bijli, Laila, Nilam and now Fani. These are not names of actresses from the silver screen, but names of tropical cyclones that have occurred over North Indian Ocean in recent years.
A name is always better than a technical code or number.The naming of tropical cyclones is a recent phenomenon, compared to the century old practice for Atlantic storms and hurricanes.
The process of naming cyclones involves several countries in the region and is done under the aegis of the World Meteorological Organization.
For the Indian Ocean region, deliberations for naming cyclones began in 2000 and a formula was agreed upon in 2004.
Eight countries in the region - Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand - all contributed a set of names which are assigned sequentially whenever a cyclonic storm develops.
The name Nilam was contributed by Pakistan, while the cyclone that occurred last week was called Murjan - a name that came from Oman. The next in line are Mahasen (from Sri Lanka) and Phailin (from Thailand).
The list of names India has added to the database includes Agni, Akash, Bijli, Jal (cyclones which have all occurred since 2004). The Indian names in the queue are Leher, Megh, Sagar and Vayu, while those suggested by Pakistan include Nilofar, Titli and Bulbul.