Friday, 17 June 2011

That's not my name!

It’s been two years in Shakespeare’s country and I find myself mulling over his famous question- What’s in a name?

Plenty, as I will now proceed to tell you.
So the name Prerna means inspiration- all well and good. But did it have to be such a tongue twister. Yes I could have changed, it. I had even toyed with the idea at age 10 when one chick decided to call me Priya because she couln’t manage Prerna. Lazy biatch. And then I changed my mind and stuck to it. Of course, I did not have the guts to face my granny who bore no such nonsense talk in her house. Of course I gloated secretly when two of my cousins changed theirs in a few years time.

Anyhoo… years later in moved to Southern India to study- and was rechristened PrerAna….notice the extra “A”? the two years I was there I fought tooth and nail to restore my name to its northie spellings and just about managed to graduate as Prerna.

Four years later I married a Kallarackal and moved to the UK.

I am sure that had I taken the husband’s name, this name calling would have gone to a whole new level! Imagine their horror when faced with a first name and surname that would have been.

But hey, I am being uncharitable. People here have borne the pain remarkably well. When encountered with the alien nomenclature they try very hard to get it right. Some are apologetic, others amused but most of them are very keen to know if they did well. It’s refreshing to see people here making the effort to get it right, even though I am pretty sure I will be the first and last Prerna they will ever meet.

If nothing else, I taught many a gora (both inside and out) how to pronounce my name. They still can’t manage as well as I would like it. But they are leagues ahead of certain fellow hindi bhaashis who still can’t manage the correct pronunciation. I have lived with Prena, Prema, Preema, Priya for 28 years. Lovely names all, but they ain’t mine.

The name itself emerged after the mater and pater waded through various options thrown at them. Amongst them was Rosy (or was it Ruby). Phew… narrow escape there. The final battle was between Prarthana and Prerna and we know which one won.

So you can see the name has been trying to establish its true identity from a long time ago. And the quest has now entered the digital age. Typed in small letters you can be forgiven for reading my as Prema and not Prerna… yea.. two completely different names... sigh. The battle continues.
As for the question at the beginning about the post- well you could say its much ado about nothing, or in my case - a comedy of errors.

And now I proceed to make a song and dance about it. Or at least the Ting Tings will, on my behalf.


Sengemo said...

prarthna? Good lord, you are saved woman! hahaha

ssstoryteller said...

this is a great piece to mull on...a name is a name is a name...
the beginning and ending of Identity....i believe we become our name...:)

Shalini said...

Great post Prerna... as always makes me wonder how you manage to turn mundane topics into interesting reads.

Prerna said...

Thank you ladies!
@Nangsyal: :D Imagine Prarthana Kallarackal! They would not even give me a visa! :
@Ssstoryteller: To be hoenst, in spite of all what i said (which was in jest of course) I do like my name-a LOT. And hence, I quite like myself too :D. Thanks for stopping by. I have a lot of catching up to do on your blog.
@Shal: You are too kind my dear! Thanks for writing in.

Cosmopolitan Gypsy said...

Oh the horror..the horror!!i knw the feeling!u cant even imagine the abominable versions of my name that people come up with!! Rose-less to begin with!!

Prerna said...

I hear your pain sistah! Btw I have a new candidate in my list, "Preraaa" Sigh...