Wednesday, July 27, 2005

What's in a Name?

I think it was shakespeare who said this in the very famous in the play Romeo And Juliet... But I am sure he would have never ever thought how much troubles lay in the very small,yet the most important attribute of a man - his/her name ..
I am livid right now thinking about this very particular thing.
Every Region in India has its unique own way of names. In North, runs the tradition of a family name being attached to a person's own name, in the South , it is usually the Father's name before marriage and Husband's name after marriage. In some parts, like Andhra, the tradition of Village name being attached to one's own name exists ..
This is not what I am upset about ... I don't care what name your parents give you, or what attachments get added on to it at every stage of your life .. It is when the 'government' part gets involved with a name that troubles start ...
I have had so much trouble with names in the recent past, that i wish everybody's name was just 1 or 2 letters ... GRRRRRR .....
It all started when five years after the passport was issued, everybody suddenly woke up to find that my husband's given name and surname was interchanged, and this posed the most important problem in our life ... Fine , we set about solving this .. Taking 100s of unwanted, unrelated, useless documenatation, proof for this -that(including a proof that we existed , to proofs for the fact that we breathed , ate, slept etc... ) we arrived at this most esteemeed travel agents place, who with a big beaming smile and a very assuring attitude told us that we need not worry for a single thing anymore .. and that he would fix every single problem in our life ...
We came back as happy as a pair of larks and forgot all about it ... the usual police check happened and we churned out 300/- ... kept checking the web-site often for the passport status ... In all this our Mr.Fix-it-all would hardly be available to answer any queries... and why would he - he got the money he wanted so it was time for him to make the dissappearing act... It would be infruiating to ring his number twenty dozen times, not getting it 15 dozen times, the phone being cut another 3 dozen times and being given excuses like "he is in the toilet", "he is drinking water", "he has just stepped out for a cigarette", "he is just eating the last morsel of food" ... and so on for the other 2 dozen times ....
We finally saw light today, when we were summoned to the Post office to pick up the passports .... With a very happy mind, and a beaming smile i met the post master, gave him my best dimpled smile upon getting the passport, which changed to the worst frown, the instant i saw my passport ... (in all this i forgot to say that in our enthsiasm of getting married, we even asked for spouse endorsements on our passports) ... My NAME which was all the while absolutely, perfectly correct was mis-spelt ....GROOOOOOOOOOOOOOAN! was i to go through all this rigamorale again ???? .....
If that agent idiot cannot spell 17 letters of my word properly, and the stupid government fellow cannot type those 17 little letters correct, what would he ever do if he got a passport application for my mother's colleague whose name was as short as " Veera Venkata Subba Arukuru Raghavendra Srinivasa Giri Prasad" fondly called (A-Z Prasad) ....
I wish i could catch hold of Shakespeare now and ask him "WHAT IS IN A NAME?"

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