All of you know that I use a pseudonym for my blogging. Which I think sounds much better than my real name or so I think. My real name (first name + last name) has 24 letters in it. Yeah, just two short of the total alphabet set, but thankfully not all of the alphabets are used. It is not an uncommon name, but it is definitely pronounced wrongly even by most South Indians because it kind of rhymes with a God’s name who is a male deity. My last name (which is my dad’s) is not a common one and it is quite lengthy too. I didn’t think my name would give me stories to tell about until I moved here.
I had to fill up some government applications for which I had to first call them up and give them my details. I did spell out my name, all 24 letters and all, but when the postal application came through, my name on the address had the worst spelling ever. All my ‘a’ was replaced with ‘ay’ and the next letters missed. All in all, except for a few letters which cannot go wrong, all the other letters were wrong. We had a good laugh at that and were thankful that they chose to not fill the form with that name and let me write it. Small mercies.
Next came the gym. When I went there to enquire about the membership I told the guy at the helpdesk that I had been using their gym during my other trips using the weekly passes so I would be on their system. He asked me for my name and when I told him, he asked me to spell it. When I started on my last name after say about 6/7 letters he said ‘that should be enough. I am sure there wouldn’t be anyone else with that surname for sure’ and voila! there I was on their system. He looked at my documents and asked me why I haven’t taken my husband’s name which is much smaller and easier to pronounce. I told him that we weren’t looking to do that and this way we can have some fun looking at people’s responses. He then asked me how long it took my husband to learn my name. Not too long actually. Even though he is Irish, he is aware of Indian culture, religion etc…so he did pick up my name and its meaning faster.
One consultant who called up called me by a totally different name (I think he shortened my first name, but still it sounded so different) and I had to ask him twice before confirming that it was indeed me, even though I don’t go by that name and then continue the conversation.
I know that this is just the beginning and there will be so much more incidents to come. I can’t wait for it. I am gonna carry a small paper with my full name and what they can call me instead, like a visiting card. I think that will be much easier considering the alternative. My husband (I better refer to him as Mr. M from now on) suggested me to learn the NATO Phonetic Alphabet which will come in handy when I have to spell them out so that ‘a’ will remain ‘a’ and not get modified to something like ‘i’ or ‘y’.