Thefeelgoodfactor's Blog

Random thoughts

What’s in a name?

on July 23, 2012

Long ago, when I was still in primary school, teachers used to believe that students would be ashamed to see their name in the blackboard and hence, would stop making noise. On a rare occasion, my name was also written in the blackboard for talking with someone during the class hours. ( It used to be rare not because I didn’t used to talk, but because I had learnt the art of talking without getting caught). I was upset to see my name on the board. Not for the reason which the teacher had intended. I was sad because my name was spelled as “BalaG”. I mean, how on earth can anyone spell such a simple six letter word wrongly. I later found out that the person had Parle-G in mind. (That was probably the only time I hated that biscuit as a kid).

It wasn’t until when I was applying for Passport and PAN when I faced issue with my name again(Oh yeah, also while creating the Facebook account; thanks to Facebook I now know what initials stand for in my friends’ name). Somehow, even PAN form doesn’t consider the possibility of a person having only a first name and an initial. I still remember an incident when we were waiting to collect the IT returns acknowledgement from an agent which the company had arranged. The agent called out “Narayanaswamy” and I thought is zamaane mai bhi koi aisa naam rakhta hai kya before realizing that it was me whom he was calling.

When I applied for CAT in 2009, it asked for first name, middle name and surname. All my certificates till engineering has my name written as N Balaji. However, since N cant be my first name, I had to write Balaji N in CAT form, which later continued at IIMC. 

And thanks to fact that the passport has my initials expanded, everytime I write a competitive examination which requires passport as a proof, I end up darkening 19 ovals. That’s thrice the number of ovals I used to darken during JEE and CAT days! ( I remember during K-CET exam, the guy sitting in front of me was ruing over the fact that he had to darken 25+ ovals. After all, his is the only other name that I am aware of which contains as many mythological characters as Laxman Sivaramakrishnan’s name has).

And yeah, why I am I blogging about this name stuff now. Recently, I came across a person who chose to write my name a bit differently : Bala ji.


5 responses to “What’s in a name?

  1. When i was admitted to a hospital in Kolkata; they spelt my name as Ajoy Kanchandani.

  2. gurusub says:

    Balaji G if you find it so difficult to darken ovals, think about my plight. I am either being called by my father’s name or grand father’s name. Even worse, they skipped the first part of my last name in work directory, thinking its redundant. 😛

    • balaji n says:

      Guru, I said I find it difficult to darken ovals when I have to write my father’s name as well, that’s like darkening 19 ovals. But then of course, I do realize your task is a lot tougher!
      I think even I will face similar problems if I travel to US, thanks to the way my name is written on the passport.

  3. vrajesh says:

    v rajesh
    rajesh v

  4. Ah, the subtle humour!

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