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?

Pray without ceasing!

ImageI don’t want to go in details about my struggle with finding the right God, knowing who is, what he does or what I give to him or get from him, but let me tell you there is one thing I will never struggle for, praying.
I am not going to give advice, sermon, preach about God here, but from my daily struggle, what helps me get through, what brings me closer to the day I wake up and the night I sleep in, its prayer. Just a little Thank you for the day and thank you for the night can go a long way. People would think I am crazy to talk alone, but what people don’t know is I might be praying. Just because it did look a little odd, I decided to talk in private. Prayer to me is talking to that someone who is listening intently even when you have the least hope that no one is listening. In general I don’t fail to say Thank you to someone who serves me at a restaurant, or never question authority. Then isn’t there someone so higher than me who thinks I am worthy enough to wake up for yet another morning on this earth who I should be thanking everyday? I remember I used to pray only when exams were close, or I’d have lost yet another key to the house and would be s**t scared of my father for an explanation or excuse, I would definitely pray then or at a magic show or circus where they are choosing volunteers that I should or shouldn’t be picked, or every other time I saw my crush and prayed he noticed me. So selfish of me! May be you don’t feel you have a purpose in life, but the higher power definitely has some job for you on this earth,otherwise why would you be here reading this, you’d probably be playing golf in the greenest of fields(heaven), or frying bacon in the air(hell,must be really hot down there). That power could be anything to you fairies, angels, Jesus, Mother Nature, Buddha, Allah, Krishna, to each his own. No wonder as kids, when we used to come home all dirty, my parents would ask me to wash my hands and feet and go stand before God and pray. That was just a habit they wanted us to develop but now I do realize how important prayer is. It gives me hope and strength to face this unpredictable world. Fighting the war for which God is the best could be right in your opinion, but isn’t thanking him/her more important at the moment you close or open your eyes when you don’t even know if they will open to see another day to fight over these issues? Whoa! Sorry for being so direct, but yeah a little practice will take me closer to my quest of knowing who is sitting high up there, watching, laughing with me when I embarrass myself and feel sad for me when my heart is broken. If while growing up I had fear and respect for my father, what excuse will I give to him who got me going on this earth for not praying!? Whoopsie daisies!

Ohana!

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Do you know the feeling, when suddenly you feel like you are at the brink of rebirth, that God’s amazing grace leads you to a breakthrough, when you are going to jump off the cliff and you actually begin to fly….this is one of those days when I was feeling all dejected and dismal when life threw a second chance at me to look back on a relationship long ignored when at a point I was crying out tears of rejection and feeling worthless in a different relationship and then there it was that feeling….like a fog lifting, clear skies and even a rainbow just to make me happy and I start dreaming of wonderful days ahead, scoring a big 100 on 100,  hitting the highest notes…all at one time…that feeling…of being usurped from deep down in the ocean where you are counting your last breath and you rise up and gasp and gulp down enough oxygen to fill your lungs with air and life in your heart… your chest if full of air, your mind is free and your heart is open…Ohana! Mending bonds with family members, what a relief and all you see is hope and all you have is faith. Just as the new year begins, I am reassured time and again that things will be fine if I just make that small effort. It is not going to hurt me, it is actually going to strengthen me. Baby step at a time, just like Will Smith said, a brick at a time! I will get there, whether it is a goal or some relationship or some wildly spun dream. Everytime I succeed I can’t wait to feel all of this all over again.

Well, Well, Well 2014!

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2014, a warm welcome to the start of the year I must say! My rehabilitation stage is ‘recovering well’. Do not jump the guns! I am recovering from the trauma and drama on Facebook. My new year resolutions are to be worry free, stay healthy, to learn new things in the kitchen and lots of arts and crafts, learn driving, small patio garden. I might also share some achievements on the blog. I am sincerely hoping I can keep at least one of these resolutions and not break each and every one of them like all the past years, this also can be one of the resolutions. Less of Southpark, avoiding HSN and QVC as much as I can and more of reading, less of television is the most difficult to attain so concentrating my efforts on investing more time in libraries and books. Let me go back to life when it was much simpler without gadgets, technology although I am not going to stay away completely, I am human in the end! Can’t forget that fact…although how I wish I was a butterfly or an angel for real *daydreaming*. But umm, yeah, snapping back to reality, I will definitely try and take more creative classes and do more Yoga! Ooh ooh, how I would love to share a big post on Yoga! *Giggling* I will try and remember all birthdays and anniversaries and phone numbers without Facebook. Wish me luck!*clears throat*

Well, wishing everyone who is reading and those who have no clue about this blog a Happy New Year and hope to avoid tension, negativity, doubt, fear or wars instead see more of freedom, love, peace, rainbows and unicorns, smiles and laughter in the coming years!

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