did not have a name till the age of 3, yeah this means i did not have any proof of my entry into this world(in other words… a Birth certificate!) & no evidence for existence till that tender age! Since my father was an auditor working for the municipal governing bodies, getting a proof of my birth wasn't quite an issue at all.The only paramount problem that troubled my parents from the time of my arrival was the task of "embedding" a suitable name on my self! Since, it is a normal practice to put 3yr olds to school, this naming nuisance bothered them even more….They spent dark sleepless nights & equally gloomy dreary days trying to decipher a suitable, sensible name for me! Now, the question that arises in the mind of all ya readers must be…. What the hell was this devil called then, all these years? or whether people never bothered to call her at all?!! Hmmm… well… i was called Hooty, Tooty, Tweety, Sweety, Inky, Pinky, Ponky, Monkey, Donkey & a host of other cute names….. the most commonly used & the most familiar assembly of phonetics being…."MANI" (no not mini ) till the formal christening happened… To this date, my parents & all my blood relations call me & know me as MANI!! And some of the not-so-close relatives (belonging to the back-biting league) call me "Mani Kutty" just to project their closeness & fondness towards me! i dont know whether my parents meant the delightfully rhythmic ding-dong bell (or) cute tiny beads that resemble my beautiful eyes (or) the omnipotent much-admired "money" when they took to addressing me by that awful name "Mani"!! Only when i grew up, i came to realize that this name is mostly attributed to the male population…. and is a bit tooooo common in our locality! From ages of yore till current date, the situation at home is such that… whenever my father calls out for me "Maniiiiii!!!!!…." from one end of the house, it is usually a 40-yr old Mr.Mani (our tenant) or my ever-obedient mom Sasi or our cute dog Blinky who comes leaping & running to my father in response; similarly, when my father summons our little Lhasapso Blinky, it will most probably be my mother or self who answers his call fervently!! To add onto all this clutter & confusion the milkman, the newspaperman, the postman and the "coconut -plucker" (hope you understand ) are all known by the blasted name Mani!!
So, as i was saying…. by the time i was 3yrs of age, my parents were on a full fledged hunt for a befitting name for their darling child! It so happened that some very distant (about 682.32kms i believe ) relative of ours landed at my home…. cast his eyes on the "Apple of everyone's eye" and in the click of a second, suggested this disastrous name "Sowmini"!! And sources say that he was much appreciated & acclaimed for this stupendous invention & his hyper-brilliance for having named me after my maternal grandmother…. just by removing the "dha" out of the name Sowdhamini! Thank my stars! he didnt think of a nomenclature based on my paternal grandmom's sweet name…. "Chellamma"!! My heart bleeds in its chamber, my eye balls pop out of their cavity & the haemoglobin freezes in my veins… when i imagine life with any kind of permutation or combination of that name assigned to me!!! (For eg: Chellam,Chamma, ammache, ellamm, lama….) I controlled my craving desire to bite him (& tear his flesh apart)…. only bcoz he also presented me with a beautiful glowing gold ring….. which I proudly wore for 10 more years, before it broke off! Throughout school days, i used to wince with pain & shame… when the teachers ask me to explain the meaning of my name, coz it sounds very strange & different & interesting (& yeah piggish)!! During the initial phase of my career, i worked for a Technical call centre for a couple of months… and then, every time i picked up a call i had to clutch my eyebrows, grind my teeth, but still adorn a sweet smile… and say "Welcome to
. I am SoWWWmini! How may i help you?" Gosh! pronouncing that name everytime was one terrible exercise for my vocal chords and eventually-twisted tongue & mouth!!
After thanking the so-called benevolent soul for solving their itching problem and having derived this sad name, my parents christened me "B.K.Sowmini" – B for Bhagavathy alias Sasi, my mom and K for as-u-know Krishnamoorthy! i roamed around the world (Ok… only India… the southern part to be precise ) with this peculiar name, hearing several abbreviations of it (most of them abusive)…. till the time i was in 7th or 8th std. Then came the turning point in my life…. when my parents consulted a numerologist, who suggested absurd variations in the names of all three of us (in fact he changed half of my father's name! 8-O) based on some Name-Value pair & associated algebra he had learnt in his Pre-school! As per his superior analytical theory, it was decided that only my initials be changed to "S.K." and my horrible name be retained as it is…. (for his numeological quests could not find a even more pathetic variation of the already spooky name!) My parents happily agreed to this…. coz we always had the convenience of saying S stands for Sasikala, my mother's pet name or even for "Sankarapillai" my father's father!! So, this novice name with modified initials came into effect, with some publications in the official gazette (dont know if this appeared in the BBC, CNN, NDTV & leading newspapers…. ) Till completion of formal education, no darned soul asked me to expand my hideous initials… and i thought i could live happily ever after!
But alas! as if to test my memory retention capacity & respect for family heritage, it is the Cognizant ppl who for the first time asked me to state my name fully, with detailed expansion of both the initials! Little did they know that the first initial indicated nothing but the skewed intelligence of a funny, disoriented numerologist who attempted playing around with innocent people's names & lives! Thus, everywhere inside Cognizant i came to be known as "Sankarapillai Krishnamoorthy, Sowmini", a name lavishly longer than my self! i was alarmed on seeing my Mail ID for the first time…. and so were people outside the organization, who wanted to mail me the resume of his/her sister's husband's brother's nephew's sister-in-law's son for a suitable opening with this esteemed concern. Also imagine my fury & resentment when the client in my previous project gave me the mail Id firstname.lastname@example.org!! I would have loved to spit fire on them….. but my professional ethics & code of conduct prevented me from doing so! No soul, alive or dead, bothers to send me a single mail to my Cognizant ID even if it means a short courtesy email saying Hi or Hello or Bye, for fear of recollecting & typing the entire email ID containing all the letters of my expanded name! The only relief is that the login for all the internal network sites can be done safely with moi Employee ID and does not need the exhaustive typing of the complete name! My passport too has the name written in full glory…. and so…. little Mani is gonna be called Ms.Sankarapillai Krishnamoorthy Sowmini all over the world….wherever she goes
As we have reached the end of the story, here are some pictures of the main characters in this post!
The author of this post, with her parents, all oblivious of the impending doom…. errr…name Sowmini!
The ever-inquisitive Blinky, deeply involved in her research of the world below!
Sorry, i did not get the exquisite opportunity of photographing the inventor of this name, the numerologist who gave it a trendy twist, my namesakes….our tenant, the milkman, mewspaperman, postman & coconut-plucker!!
Update: To all you ppl who commented about Blinky….. BLINKY IS NOT CAMERA SHY!!!
P.S.: Now, i dont want any excited goof to go about counting the number of words in this post…. nor do i want any PJ kings (read: Aravind & Sudhakar) to eat my brains… by stating that a picture speaks a 1000 words and hence, the length of this post = 1000 + 1000 + 1000 + the no. of words counted by Goofy = 3000 + X!!