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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Signs you might be over 30…

I cried the day I turned 30 years old. On my birthday I literally shed tears of sadness that my "youth" was over and "mid life" started. I couldn't fathom why God had to do this to me. Yes you may be reminded of Joey from F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Exactly that. I couldn't believe I am not in my twenties anymore, suddenly I felt like I cannot make any more mistakes in life, I have to be older and wiser, but jokes apart I felt these signs after I turned 30. In all honesty I do feel like a strong, fierce, independent woman from time to time but I also feel what some women may relate to the list below:

1) I started noticing I injured myself easily and recovery took a wee bit longer than it did in my twenties.
2) Meditation and Yoga attracted me more than 4 hours or more of dancing late night at pubs.
3 I preferred lounge music than rock because I could listen to hours of rock music before and suddenly my preference had changed to soft easy listening and couldn't tolerate rock for more than an hour. Sad but true!
4) I wanted to stay in more than I wanted to go out.
5) Health check ups felt like a priority.
6) I was making more responsible choices in life like smoothies over coke!
7) Sleep was knocking me out pretty early, I was no more a night owl.
8) I felt all the aches and pains and joints that I had never noticed before.
9) Lots of been there done that experiences when people suggested to try something new.
10) The choices in my clothes changed, my shorts were too short I felt! Damn you ageing genes.
11) Started noticing almost every married couple has a kid and a panic attack was on its way like some alarm just went off!
12) The immediate thought was So what, I will take my own time! It will happen when it has to! Surround sound claps in my head for that thought alone!
13) Everything that was a rush was turned a dial down and 'smooth' was the new way to take.
14) I started feeling full easily, earlier it seemed like a never ending appetite.
15) Wine was a new friend and vodka got dumped.
16) It was time to live for myself, Selfish was the new mantra.
17) Flats were welcome, heels bid goodbye.
18) Comfort was now a luxury.
19) No more screaming with excitement, shouting at puppies or babies, snorting while laughing, more conscious social behavior.
20) Nailpaints and lipsticks were easily tossed for newer neutral nuder shades.
21) Social media updates take longgggggg breaks.
22) Did I mention gray hair everywhere?
23) Too much time spent on weighing scale than exercising.
24) So many judgemental remarks comparing generations.
25) Limited girl gang. No more mosh pits full of girls everywhere, the more the better, no lesser the quieter, more manageable, lesser hassles.
26) Money slips easily out of hands.
27) Knowledge is favored over entertainment.
28) Lots of feminism talks/chats/opinions.
29) Lots and lots of opinions.
30) The best part is no more asking permissions, just doing it, ah the sense of liberation!

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?

Confessions of a blood relative

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I
was going through old pics of cousins. I noticed how blood relations have changed over the years. I have always had a fondness and a special liking for those who gave me attention but I was careful not to grab too much of it.
I played roles I guess while growing up, sometimes I was the kinds of being surrounded by people and always being the glue to help them all stay together, sometimes I was the lone wolf who wanted to cry alone depressed over not getting enough love back as much as I poured out. If I was to be myself I was always a shy, quiet girl who liked a little bit of compliments, a little bit of fluttering of the eyelashes and the kind who wanted to  melt hearts with warmth by giving hugs or holding hands, pat on the back who liked being a secret-keeper, loyal and always gave a caring, elderly authoritative vibe.
To siblings I always wanted to be someone who they could look upto. I do have some of those behavioral attributes maintained. However, over time the elderly figure somehow was belittled to just another blood relative. I never wanted to be the one who was ‘that’ blood relative who didn’t care much, was formal most of the times and never ever bothered to share anything personal. But when I look back at all my blood relatives be it maternal or paternal, I feel disappointed. I wanted to be the one who made a difference, be the torchbearer. I wanted to be there in times of counsel(which I am the best at is what I think), in times of joy and sharing the wonders of everyday life. I hardly talk to any of them now, not because I don’t want to, just because of the distance, circumstances, egos between relatives, their disputes and children suffering from hereditary hate and many other contributing factors that somehow make me unsuccessful or still hesitant to point out the whys. I bet I am not the only one, it is a game of two, I do need a reaction to an action however, most of it I blame myself for being shut out.

Earlier, there were joint families which had its pros and cons. I used to think I love nuclear families, but as I have grown in maturity and understanding I know we can make it work if we try.
I loved the nuclear concept only because of convenience. The awkward laughs, the terrible moments of deafening silence, the embarrassing complaints of parents and the inevitable comparisons to other kids also often contributed to the growing distance. My life was a fairytale in dreams but in reality its like a daily soap, average and repetitive. I am sure there
are many others like me who have also found their tagline in ‘ignorance is bliss’ I still dream of a day when I will be able to set  things right and be called the ‘savior’ of relationships. Until then, keep existing.

 

Objection, your Honor!

While talking to my friends recently, I just realized something trivial in a relationship. It is considered normal in Indian culture however men talk to women in a manner of giving a command generally. We Indians consider it as being friendly to each other. It is ideal for spouses to be friends so that the couples can make their relationship work. But now that I think about it….its always….”Do that” when the Indian husband is ordering his wife to do something. And the wife is always requesting, “Will you do it”. But  most of the times its an option that husbands can escape, refuse, deny or rarely say “yes” to the request.  https://poohalicious.wordpress.com

Has it been always like this? I think so, since India has always been a male dominated society. Even in this day and age Indian husbands will always be the commander in the house where the wife has to agree. Compared to the older generation, women that used to request most of the times, are now demanding, nagging, and whining to get the work done by hook or crook!   But when I compare the situation to a Western world, it will be an equal treatment among the sexes, “Honey, will you please do that for me?” This goes for both the man and the woman! If either one refuses it will be “I am sorry dear, but…” Or “Yes, dear” and so is the response, “Thank you, dear!”  How many times has the Indian husband thanked the wife for cooking good food, washing, ironing their clothes? Even if it is a working woman, it is expected of her to do it. I have never heard an Indian husband say, “Thank you, the dinner was wonderful”. Well, the husband might argue this, when he brings the groceries…but my point is courtesy.

We Indians don’t incorporate, “Please, Thank you, Sorry” where we really need to and do it only for the sake of saying it! So, is it courtesy, the manners, the relationship etiquette or a cultural difference?   Whatever we may call it and both genders may object to this post, but say, we do make those small little changes even if it is just for fun, would it make a difference? Who wouldn’t want to feel more appreciated!? I am going to try it!

I just can’t!

If you can, good for you, but I just can’t stand it!

    poohalicious.wordpress.com

  • Poking, like the real physical poking, constant physical nudging, poking.I love the virtual ones, its ticklish.
  • Really long nails studded or with lots of glitter and bling, I just can’t understand, with those long nails how can you impress anyone? How can you do the basic things like brushing teeth or wiping stuff!? All you are going to do is scare and scratch someone or yourself, go buy a lion!poohalicious.wordpress.com
  • Constant updates on any social network websites. One or two posts are okay but constant shared pics, videos, tagging, pics, check ins, etc. Read what ‘Leisure’ is by Davies.
  • Boogers. If you want to watch me vomit, I will drink salt and water, but no boogers please! They are only funny on America’s Funniest Videos.
  • Someone else eating an ice-cream or doughnut and I get to watch! No wonder your stomach had cramps the next day, thanks for not sharing stranger!
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  • Someone picks up the last piece of my favorite food. All you had to do was ask, I would have split the last bit in two, sorry you had to go, you don’t belong in my future.
  • Constant bragging. Yes ‘Know it all’, you may be holding the titles to all the pageants, but all I hear is blah, blah blah!
  • Spitting, if it’s just a small gum or if its that mucus you have been playing with, I can see you roll your tongue even with your lips tightly closed. Yuck!
  • You defeat me in some word game or point out my grammatical mistakes(there is a time and place for that), let me win and I promise a long lasting friendship. Help me lose and you just lost me forever!
  • Most probably I will hang up the phone if I am told to hold for more than 10 minutes. 10 minutes is the end of my humanly patience.
  • The obsessions of the ‘Skinny world’. Be it clothes, mocktails,cocktails, salads, all the intricacies of how you maintain the Skinny part of your Skinny little bum and bones. You can maintain the skinny in the Sahara. Let people enjoy the abundance that God has given and may they share it.
  • Trying to fit yourself in 5 times smaller clothes. Again, there is abundance, fill yourself with abundance! Small is just going to limit your brains and not the body!
  • Those sweet, cute, calm videos when you know something is going to go horribly wrong, and it does when that scary woman pops out and you jump out of your skin in disbelief!
  • Comments that become war statements just because some idiot brought up his religion. Who asked you if your God is the greatest, to each his own! Respect that.
  • Photos in the loo,esp women clicking themselves in the place where you only go to get rid of something your body is rejecting unless the washroom is super luxurious and looks like a bedroom!
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  • Superstitious forward emails…Share or else….  F#@kdjsh#$*

Rambling Mind Ep. 1

ImageWouldn’t it be cool to work in a library? With so many books around, have sublime music playing in the background. Just drowned in the ocean of knowledge and every single droplet (read book) gives you that fresh spritz you need! Ah! That would be some life huh! Some quiet time to relax and read.  Unlike the chaotic life of running errands and cooking and cleaning and going to work stashed up with paperwork. Or escape the idiotic non-stop staring, eye-crushing, head-swirling computer work that starts in the day but doesn’t end till night!? I confess, I have to have FB every single day. If I don’t run through it, just makes me restless, it’s like a drug addiction ( I have not used any, but I am sure other FB addicts who are also drug addicts can relate to what I feel. I feel sad for them too if they have both the addictions).

Sometimes, I just want to run away from everything, believe I am single, without any family, any restrictions, just one day and just live the day like I want to, be able to go wherever I want, eat anything, wear whatever I want to, not talk at all, keep smiling endlessly, no mobile, no I-pad, no laptop, no television, just a few songs may be, no questions asked!

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