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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My name is John - yes it really is!

You guys have been so patient reading all my idiotic stories and hence I've decided to give you an executive pass to have an exclusive "behind the scenes" look into my life. What makes John, John? What drives me to do such stupid stuff? and Why am I so irritatingly interesting? (wait, I am? you just agree with everything, don't you? you loser!) FUN FUN FUN. (It's ALT+F4 in case you forgot).

Well, for those who are still here - I'm gonna have to start somewhere so I will start with my name. You are thinking, how long can a story about a simple name be right? With me, every story is long - you should have known by now. If not, you are either really slow or you've never read my blog (new user? yay!).

My name is John - yes that is my real name and not something I gave myself after I got off the boat. I am for real John and that is what my parents named me. It is my birth name. It is my only name. I donot go by any other name coz I donot need it. I have a perfectly good firstname, middlename and a lastname why would I need another name? Isnt it annoying to read all this fuss about my name? Now, imagine telling it to everyone you meet for your entire life coz when I introduce myself everyone says "Really? what is your Indian Name?" or "What's your name in Indian?" and I am like "Dude, I do not have an Indian name. And, there is no language called Indian. Get it?".

My name has been my biggest problem for my whole entire life. Even as a grown adult I still deal with these idiotic questions on a daily basis. You can imagine how much fun it must have been as a kid in INDIA where you can count the number of Johns on fingers even though there are 1.18 billion people (and counting) there. Back home, everyone around me had a indian sounding name like shyam, venu, viseshu, pavan or sarada but that was a luxury I could never have. My parents loved me soo much and made me uniquely precious with an alien sounding name (for India that is) - JOHN. Interesting thing about this is when you call the name "John" in India - people immediately turn heads to see who this kid is (I'm not kidding, they really do). As if that wasn't enough, my parents gave me the middle name Jimmy (can u feel the love?) - now, you HAVE to see what John Jimmy looks like amidst prasads, mohans and what not. And I was quite popular in school and college - may be partly coz of the unique name. I turned more heads with my name than with my looks. No, I dont blame them.

My full name is a bit interesting for the lack of a better term. I was pretty sure my parents hated me but one day not so long ago I asked my dad (thankfully I did ask just before he passed away) why the heck did he give me this name and why he hated me so much and he asked in return "you dont like it?" and I am like after 25 years you will like anything, ANYTHING really. You can name me a freaking BATTERY or something and I would learn to live with it and love it. Just for the record, I do like my name very much now. I really do coz I realize that it could have been much worse (relatively speaking) i.e. something like SukDeep or something.

Did I mention that all my siblings have perfectly Indian sounding names - my brother is Anand Prasad, sisters - Swaroopa Rani and Prasanna Rani. Yes, it's true. I think that is what makes me so angry. My parents decided to experiment with me. Lucky me yay! They had my elder sis Swaroopa first, then my brother Anand and decided to go crazy with me and then got their senses back with my little sis Prasanna. Had my little sis had an American name like Lucy, Jenny or whatever - I would have been less pissed off I guess. (Consistency people - is it to much to ask for?) But they cherry picked me to mess with. And that's why I thought my parents hated me. When I tell people in India my name, they get curious and ask what my siblings names are as if we're a freak family or something like - "you have this disease, lets see what your siblings have" sort of thing... and when I tell them my sibling's names- they always go like, "What's wrong with you then?" and I just smile. I dont know why honestly.

Anyways, here's the big moment of truth - It turns out, my dad watched a Bollywood film "Disco Dancer" which was released around the same time I was born and he liked it so much that he decided to name me Jimmy as the lead character's name was Jimmy. But my grandfather had other plans for me. My grandpa wanted to name me something from Bible and that too John to be specific. You see, everyone had a say what to name me - except ME of course. Well Einstein, I see your point - I was a toddler right? But they could have atleast asked me to point at names written on paper or let me choose from a raffle right? I'm pretty sure, they did no such thing given how stubborn my dad and granddad were. Finally after a lot of going back and forth - they ended up naming me both John & Jimmy and I am still paying the price.

Kids in school used to tease me as Jimmy is a common name for a dog back in India. Interestingly or Unfortunately, all the dog names in India are American/English be it Jimmy, Tommy, Jacky, and what not. And to add to that I was not that easy on looks. I was never the cutest kid in the class. Whenever they call my name, as expected people turn to look and they have this disappointed look in their faces - like "This is John Jimmy?". I did not understand what they were expecting, were they expecting Brad Pitt or something? I took me awhile but I got used to the turning heads and disappointed looks. It did not bother me for long. I am too positive to be bothered by such trivial stuff - except when the girl's hot. But I always wanted to say this to all those people - "Look, I am sorry I am not Brad Pitt and quite honestly I dont understand why I have to be Brad Pitt - I am John Jimmy, DEAL WITH IT! If you think you can be a better 'John Jimmy' - then please be my guest!"

Life is not that easy when you name your kid without considering the environment he grows up in. I think, there needs to be atleast a bunch of laws on what to name a kid.

Louis CK nails it in this video :

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