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?

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.

Promises meant to be broken?

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Often I look back on my relationships and keep realizing that most of the times I am at fault for ruining it all, not because I am a bad person but because I make a lot of assumptions.Honestly, in just one meeting,I feel I know you and I can trust you or will just ignore you, based on my assumptions! Now, that may not always be a wise thing, but then I may blame it on my instinct or your body language or just language. All this happens for a reason and the reason being expectations. I have learned this lesson so many times and yet I am not thorough with it! I struggle to keep up, I am slow to react, but I have noticed whenever my expectations are not met, I assume again that the person is not interested in me, my interests, so there goes a relationship. Thereby, either I end up breaking promises or the other person does it anyway. This other person is also me in some cases. I decide something and break my own promises, let alone others keeping them if I cannot keep them on my own! Fragile and unsustainable relationships because of my assumptions. It is a vicious cycle. I wish I do break it soon. Just thought of sharing one of my struggles in life.

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