Friday, May 31, 2013

Mr. Prefix


For several years, many thought the ‘Sri’ in my name was a prefix – as in Sri (xyz), or Sri (zyx). Many of them still do. And every time somebody wrote my name, I had to point out, ‘Err..the ‘Sri’ is a part of the full name, please’. It got to me after a while, and I became immune to it. So, in non-government organizations and other places where it didn’t really matter, I just let the guys knock themselves out prefixing the ‘Sri’. Big deal…

You see, though my name is primarily a Sanskrit word, fairly pronounceable, or should I say, ‘should be fairly pronounceable’ by Indians, I realized a particular letter in the name was just as hard for my north indian friends (and classmates when I was in school) to pronounce (There are two ways of phonetically saying ‘na’. It’s there in the hindi script as well, but well – many of them don’t use the other one colloquially, so..we were back to square one). One blogger (many years ago though) even thought I was a woman! Said the name sounded like a woman's! (I still haven't been able to figure this one out)

So they’d take off a vowel before ‘n’, flatten the 'na' some more and suit themselves. Even that was OK with me.

But problems cropped up again when I joined the software industry and had to work with my American and European counterparts. And now, the very ‘prefix’ which used to get my goat, became a balm of relief. 99.99999999% of these guys couldn’t get even a part of my name right, forget the entire thing. So, this time round, Mr. prefix came to my rescue. ‘Uh, you could just call me ‘Sri’’, I’d suggest, and they would go ‘Oh. Sri! Yes, that works, that’s cool. Hi, Sri,’ they’d say over and over again (Shwee, Shwee that is)  as if they’d got hold of their PT master’s whistle.  And I’d go ‘Ah, what the hell..’  Big deal…again.

And over a period of time, the shortened ‘Sri’  became quite the norm – my mom, sister, wife and many close friends call me that. And yeah, even you guys know me by that name. It’s probably just as well, because it’s easier to say Sri than try and roll the entire name off your tongue. No complaints.

But when I was small, I’d frown at my own name. ‘Why couldn’t my parents have given me an easier name which could be easily pronounced?’ This one was so much drama. But then as I grew up I realized, though a little difficult to pronounce by a few people, this was a name that was my identity. And my parents had some (my mother mostly) emotion attached to it. Of course, in southern India, this name is not a big deal at all. I know many folks having it. But in a global platform, when people have to pronounce my name, and fumble, all I do is spring up Mr. ‘Prefix’.

After all, what’s in a name, right?

17 comments:

the little princess said...

oh yea! this master story teller with any other name would still be a rocking hit!

PT master's whistle...? that was hilarious! btw , i hope u don't mind me using the anagram of ur name that i do...:)

Soumya said...

What's in a name, when the person is a genius! :D

My wedding card looked very funny to me with the Sou. Soumya bit :P

Uma said...

now, you got me wondering about your full name! :-)

Kanthu said...

Hi-five for sharing the same Mr.Prefix. :D Although my complete name isn't that difficult to pronounce, the monosyllable Sri seems to the favourite for many people after 'Cheeka'. :P

I knew a person whose name was Pughazhendi Azhagappan. Now think about that. The 'Z' here is pronounced as 'Lha'. Tongue twisters as name. :-)

Me said...

True that....

Whats in a name if you are addressed with loads of love in any form ?

;)

Erratic Thoughts said...

I can understand this so well...
For my American and European counterparts, my name is 'Man'-si or Man-aa-si as my name is spelled as Manasi... & well I don’t mind it at all when I hear them pronouncing names of my other colleagues...it’s hilarious sometimes :D

phatichar said...

Princess: :D Certainly not

Soumya: Genius? Solpa jaasti aithu Sou.Soumya avre :P

Uma: You'll get to know shortly :)

Kanthu: Oh, those names are killers :P

Me: True, true... :)

ET: :D

aks said...

i call you Ramana ;) the name is dear to me ;) I might believe that just naming you after Ramana might have made you special :P

Ayushi said...

How interesting would it be if we could name ourselves :D
However, I certainly love your daughter's name ;)

phatichar said...

aks: Yes, of course - that feeling grew on me when I myself grew up :) But it's just so funny different people trying to get it right :)

Ayushi: Hello, welcome back..it's been long. I'm sure my daughter would love your name as well :P

Tongue-fu Lady said...

I like Phatichar the best.. It has got character ;)

Mystical Skeptical Me said...

Ah! Mea Culpa :P :D

Visha said...

Shri Sriramana, as they would call up North. Some might even believe you are one of the cult of Sri Sri :P :P

To make everyone's lives easier, I have asked my abroad counterparts to address me as V, at least some respite some times :D

Ayushi said...

I'm sure too :):P

Aditi Ray said...

ohh my!! I've missed sooo much!
I went off to my vacation with ur intermission...and now look...i've got a hoard of things to read!
everything is temporary, & so was ur break!
bt trust me, u cant separate the writer frm writing fr too long! ;)
so welcome back (belated I mean!)
and I welcome myself back too! :P
PS- I cant believe u've strted the BOT-thing all over again!!! :O

Dwiti said...

:)
What is your full name ?

phatichar said...

TFL: Ha ha..that's so typical of you. I expected that. :)

MSM: Why, oh why.. :P

Visha: Ok, V...whatever you say :P

Ayushi: :)

Aditi: I'm so sorry about the late reply...been really swamped. But hey, good to have you back here too. About the BOT thingy..I'm really sorry, but it stays for now :(

Dwiti: You'll know :) shortly