What’s in a name? What if the name is Indian?

I am in search of a job and I am sure a lot of recruiters might go through my resume wondering how to pronounce my name. Personally I have faced this problem, many people just can’t pronounce my name. Some people are cocky and just to sound confident they just butcher my name completely. Even English names for many people who do not know English are difficult. I also understand Chinese and African names can be tricky but Indian names are really not that tough. Most Indian names are derived from Hindu Gods and their characteristics. But there are many other religions in India that have different origins of names and what I like the best is most of them have meanings. But that post can be an intimidating one.
Here is an example of a South Indian Railway station Venkatanarasimharajuvaripeta, it is pretty long. At first glance you may not read it right, even Indians might struggle. So how would you pronounce it? The problem is finding the right breaks. In this case, I would break it down to Venk-ata-nara-sim-hara-ju-va-ri-peta
The easiest thing is to write them down and break it down with syllables. You may not get it exactly right but the effort makes all the difference. The ‘i’ sound most of the time is ‘e’. Sometimes there are combined consonants like in the name Vaishnavi, shna is a combination of sh and na. Same way you would pronounce Schnitzel (meat dish) or Schnauzer(dog breed)? In literal sense Schnapps or Schnitzel or Schnauzer is more difficult since you don’t even know if the c should be pronounced. In that case ideally it should be like schedule or Skay-dule in British, Sk-napps, Sk-nit-zel or Sk-nauzer but in American English pronounciation of Schedule is Shay-duel therefore the advantage.
Something to remember is the Aah sound. Most names will have Aah like the name Akash – Aah-kaah-sh not A-cash. Some names start with Uh sound like Avinash – Uh-vi-nash. Some names end with aa sounds like Manisha which will be pronounced Ma-ni-shaa. Let’s see some common names and break them down.
Vaishnavi – Vai-shna-vi (Vayee-shna-v)
Dhruv – Dhr-uv (Dhr as in Threw just adding ‘the’ sound instead and uv as in ‘of’)
Abhilasha -Abhi-la-shaa (Bh as in Buh+huh Bhuh like in the word abhor)
Poornima – Poor-ni-maa alternatively Pour-ni-maa the common mistake is Poo-rni-ma
Fatima – Faa-ti-maa
Abhishek – Abhi-shek(I know how this would go by the rules (Ab-hi-shek)
Ashwati – Aah-shwa-ti (schwa as in Schwarzenegger)
Akriti – Aah-kri-ti (kri as in Chris) or Uck-riti
Chaitrali – Chai-tra-li
Akshata – Uck-sha-taa
Radhika – Raa-thee-kaa
Priyanka – (Pri as in Prius) Pri-yank-aa
Sneha – (Sne as in snail) Sne-hal (hull)
Prajakta – Pra(remember aa) – jak(juck) -taa
Bhoumik – Bhou ( as in thou with a b) mik(as in Mick Jagger)

Shraddha – Shra-ddha (the closest word I found is a shredder replace the r sound with aa)

So the next time you come across an Indian name just try to break it down or just ask if you got it right, as long as you are close enough you will earn lifelong respect for sure. Namaste!

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Judgement Day!

The beautiful thing about this post is that the title is not related to any religious sentiment, so I hope it won’t trigger any religious responses but when I start by saying this it makes me realize how easily I can come to the point that I know each and everyone reading this post will have a judgement. That is what this post is about.

I was walking towards the gym one day and passed by the community pool and heard a little voice almost too excited, exclaimed ‘Hi!’ I looked back to see who it was and if it was me that they wanted to say Hi to, it is not very common these days to get even a smile from strangers forget a Hi! It was a little kid about 3 or 4 ready to jump into the pool with his little shoulder floats and just shorts accompanied by his mom or guardian who didn’t manage to curve those laugh lines even a little bit. It was more like an invitation from him to say Hi wanna come swim? I just smiled back. I always do. Also, I had read somewhere to always smile at kids it boosts their confidence rather than turning away or looking away that sends a message of shutting down. Another day it was a little girl just jumping around splashing water everywhere, she was older about 6 or 7 and even bolder who asked me in a sweet voice, Hi, why are you not swimming? I replied, I am not wearing the right clothes and she replied so innocently so what, the water is so nice, you should come. I considered it for a second and then I glanced across at the pool ‘rules’ board. I must admit I am not a daring person to break rules. It does take guts and sometimes stupidity to break rules. Sometimes I lack the guts sometimes the stupidity. But the way she kept convincing me I was thinking wow if only her mother heard her talking to a stranger and she did, the glare her mom gave me to stop talking to her daughter, I just scurried off saying may be I will see her Friday afternoon if she comes back. As soon as I stepped away the little girl got an earful about not talking to strangers. I felt bad for the kid who has no idea or judgments on what a stranger can do if he/she is friendly or a pervert. No judgement at all. Whereas both mothers had already judged me just by glancing at me that I was no good talking or responding to their kids. I am sure by the age of 9 or 10 kids start immitating adults if they see adults not interacting socially they refrain as well and then it triggers the aspect of judgement. Kids start judging peers, start having trust issues and get bullied or bully others, if only adults can show them it can be a better place if people are more friendly and peaceful towards each other.

Believe me I judge a lot, each and every day, everything and everyone. But that innocence struck a weird chord in my heart, where is that innocence, that trust, most of us had it, but where did it go? I remember vividly my sister just 3 or 4 would wander away even with the nanny around house. The fruit vendor, vegetable vendor, the laundry man would bring her back holding her hand and she was the prettiest of kids with bluish grey eyes, fair skin and red lips wearing mostly her sleeveless one piece cotton dress. Were there any trust issues? No, not really. How did it change over the years!? Who is to blame? I keep questioning, doubting everything and everyone. Is it just that thinking that attracts crime or misfortune? Judgement day will come when it will come but isn’t it time to judge our own thoughts and correct them first before we pass judgements on others? Judging people on their color, race, age, decisions, appearance, past. Then again who are we to judge others in the first place? For that reason alone can we rebuild the innocence of children when it comes to trust and make this a safer place for the future generations to grow up?

Where should I start…

Believe me, I am completely clueless as to why I cannot be consistent, be it writing, studying, or finding something I really love and honestly I love writing but since dad passed away I fall short of words. It is like learning to read and write again, life just seemed to stop even when it did not stop in reality. My imagination has been limited. Although my recent visit to India has put me back on track somehow, no wonder I am writing this now! Where should I start now? Have people in my life changed? Not really. Have times changed? Yes, drastically. In this world of technology, people care more on Whatsapp, Twitter and Facebook,than in reality. More of pings, pokes, emoticons, expressing in limited characters when life should be more of talking, seeing reactions with your own eyes, but somehow everyone is comfortable with what is going on…be it politics, religion, terrorism, violence, chores, jobs, everything is so peaceful in a disturbing way. Selfies are more common and selfishness is the need of the day!

I feel lost sometimes in all of this, feel that somehow I don’t belong to this age, that I should take birth again in the days where air was pollution free, vehicles were not so common, public transport was used more, mother nature was adored and glorified, religion was more bearable because not everyone objected, only a few were opinionated and we called them arrogant and ignored them. We were great kids to our parents, not demanding at all compared to the kids today. Our parents were also patient and not agitated and never handed over electronic devices for us to let them have their moment. They would include us in their moments. Cameras were only to capture special moments not daily life. Music and movies were only limited to entertain and not for skin show.We never regarded young girls as flesh, even when they were bare bodied as toddlers, it was like Adam and Eve until they ate the forbidden fruit, now everyone wants them to be covered up because they might fall prey to sinful organs. There were not as many chemicals, pesticides in the food that we ate, there was less of advertisement and more of trying stuff out. Makeup was only limited to celebrities now it hard to distinguish between an average person and a celebrity. Life was much simpler when people were harmoniously living with nature. To adjust to this demanding life, make sense and to find myself will take time, patience and consistency.

Can I stop growing up now?

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Right now I am going through the same emotions when I was 19 years old and it’s a difficult stage to be in because you’re just completing 19 moving on to 20 and things start to look completely different because you’re moving out of your teens. You won’t be treated as a child anymore. 18 is classified as an adult age but 19 is the ‘growing into an adult’ year. You can continue doing fun things, naughty things and get away with it. You are attracted to the opposite gender at this age, instead of fighting and arguing you are always conscious about your looks and dressing. You are going through the worst acne phase or the completely opposite best hair and clear face phase. You have more friends to have more coffee and even more gossips. You are constantly rebelling and making your own rules. Your thumbs are the  strongest at this age because you text so much! You tend to slam every door, the refrigerator, the door to your room, the door to cars, taxis, buses, bathrooms. You are so on the edge of always crying or getting upset and angry. You hate your parents at times, of-course you regret saying you hated your parents in your 20s. But the year of being 19 is completely different from any other age of the teenage years or growing up in the 20s. What in the world….I can even compare the two decades!!!! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa……

Moving out of my teens was so difficult I almost cried as I sulked going into the twenties. I cried because I felt all the fun was over,I  was supposed to become a responsible person,pick up a job finish my studies,get married,settle down basically move on in life and being a Cancerian I tend to hold onto a lot of things including my age. 20’s was smooth sailing, and I have almost achieved everything I had to by the social and cultural demands. The reason I didn’t want to move on and grow up was because I felt like I’m getting too old too fast and now its a similar feeling.Its a feeling of something new is on it’s way, the anticipation of  good or bad, losing, being scared of not accomplishing anything anymore in life. I’m soon stepping into a completely new generation…the 30’s. https://poohalicious.wordpress.com/How would it be? Would it be overwhelming? I know I am childish at times would people laugh at me, mock me for being childish at this age? I’ve already found two gray hair would I find more, do I have to use anti aging creams now? There are creams to make you look 10 years younger, but any creams or lotions or anything to make me feel 10 years younger? Or any magical spells like..would this one work…Ho, hum, high and low, can I magically stop to grow? In the 20s moved on from pop to Rock, now would it be the blues that take me through the day? Do I really have to age and act wise and give free advice for the age appropriate experiences?

Terrible….well another year and the wine gets old….Happy Birthday to me!

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