Monday, February 21, 2011


It is not a commonly known fact that my first name is not Ramani (rum-uh-nee). I was blessed and cursed with the royally distinct, very Indian name of Aditya (aa-dit-ya). If you are surprised, I don't blame you.

I have had this thing going on for a while now. Back in 4th Standard when it first happened, I was rather pissed of about it. You must sympathize with me as I was young and was the only one being referred by not my first name. It was so annoying to me that I had once even severed ties with a kid for his failure to correct what he called me. Things changed however, as I grew older. It was still a bit weird, but I started seeing the funny side of it too.

Over here, we must pause to understand the nomenclature system of Tamilians.

Folks, we don't have a surname. Big surprise, but it is true. Our system is to simply give the kid a name(often 8-12 syllables long, but that is not the point) and provide the dad's name as an initial. The Iyers and the Iyengars are what Tamil immigrants seeking jobs elsewhere conjured as there was a surname column and it couldn't be left blank.

So "Ramani" is my dad's name. Over a period of time, it's usage for me has become almost surname like. It feels good sometimes to be referred to by this name, a name which I respect a great deal. Occasionally however, things get a bit funny.

The following are true incidents.

Scene 1: PTA, Report Card Collection

Teacher (to my Dad)- He has done well sir, but can improve so much more. But don't worry, Ramani is a very good student!

Ramani (Dad)- Okaaaaaaay!

Ramani (me)- Yeah...Dad...Good Student!

Scene 2: Sunday afternoon, Dad and I at home watching TV when the phone rings and Dad answers it.

Caller- Hello, is Ramani there?

Ramani (Dad)- Yes, speaking. Who is this?

Caller- Dude! Whats wrong with your voice? And you don't recognize my voice you idiot!

Ramani (Dad, to me)-It's for you!

Then there is the Sindhi aspect to it. A small change in pronunciation and it becomes Rum-aah-nee, straight out of USA(Ulhasnagar Sindhi Association, for the uninitiated). So to the president of USA, I'd like to say, My name is Ramani, and I am not a Sindhi!

So people, call me what you will. Just remember NOT to call my home asking for Ramani!


  1. LOL.. I can recollect other funny situations as well...

  2. This LOL ... :) Ramani , u \m/ :) i was always referred to by my surname and some of the school teachers even called me publicly by the name which my mom uses to call me and it was damn embarrassing ... but then my frnds conjured up HC .. and since then its all \m/ though i liked being called by my surname as well if ppl can pronounce that properly.. otherwise HC is better... :)

  3. lol.....I distinctly remember why I started calling you by your father's name......I was calling u from a distance and you did not then I said RAMANI and u were like WHAT???? hehehehehe :P