Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What's in a name? Bahut Kuch!

When Shakespeare wondered aloud “What's in a name?”, he sure mustn't have been aware of the complications of modern day affairs. He had no cheques to be cleared, for I assume, the man slept on bundles of notes. He never had to shell out taxes, and for that purpose, never had to wait for his TDS certificates. He did not need bylines, he did not have to get bank accounts, pan cards or passports to be made. His life was Simble. One explanation for “What's in a name?”

Zoom ahead to THIS day, and Mr Shakespeare would've had second thoughts. A rose probably would have smelt differently if was called a lily. Yes. Now, we have menaces like bank formalities, bylines, and press cards, and there is certainly loads in a name. Ask me!

I've been having trouble with my name, ever since...well never mind. “K G. Parvathy”: thats what Mommie dear and Daddy dearest chose to call me. Parvathy is kinda ok; what's with the K.G, I don't know. Most southies have the name of their village and their dad's name as their initials, and my parents did not seem to play trend -setters here. Hence, we followed the rest of the herd, and “K.G. Parvathy” it was. Signed, sealed, delivered.

Moving on. I'd always been the butt of ridicule, all thanks to my name. “Kindergarten Parvathy”, “Kilogram Parvathy”: and my creative little friends had more to offer. More on that, later. I'd mastered the art of ignoring these demons, and quite blissfully so. Yay!! Not for long though. Come college life, and we had bundles of forms to be filled. And then a certain college peon popped up the query that had me fuming. “What's your name? KG or Parvathy?” I was muttering curses under my breath, at the same time, astonished at the fact that someone could be so friggin' dumb!

Urgh-ness was coming. I grew up; not an extraordinary phenomenon, for most of the world also did. From a gawky student, to a gawky journalist, I had been in three different cities, and the name game had almost ceased to exist. But when I filed my first ever story for The Times of India, it came back to haunt me. My seniors were of the opinion that “KG Parvathy” in the byline would look errmm... a little tacky. So, to make it less tacky, I chose Parvathy Gopalakrishnan. Standard, I thought. And convenient too, since I had a facebook account by that name.

The decision was taken, and for the rest of the four months, I happily continued to file all my stories under my “less tacky, more standard” name. Internship stint was over, and it was about time that I stepped into a new job. It happened and I filled all the forms with my new, standard name. And then the trouble began. All my official papers were under the new name, while my certificates bore the old one. My bank account too, was by the name of KG Parvathy, and cheques were being issues in the new name.

Realization struck later. Money screwed, pan card screwed, press card screwed, bylines screwed, and if there was anything left, that would be screwed in installments. If ever our dear Mr Shakespeare's ghost happens to read this blog post, the the infamous lines would be reconsidered.

PS: I like my name, its just that the complications tagging along with it piss me off, BIG TIME!