The Namesake

07Apr07
I finally watched the much critically acclaimed The Namesake. Identity crisis is something that keeps coming like an unwanted pop-up all the time. And if you live in a country of which you are not a citizen, it comes, stays and makes you feel strange when you dont have it with you. Im not gonna review the movie, but i read a great review or rather aftermath of watching the movie which im gonna link here.
And it’s our names, mangled and gutted in Western tongues, that are our lonely mementos of who we used to be. Every time the store clerk pauses when our name pops up on the screen, we are reminded that we are strangers.” he says in the review. This reminded me of the several occasions when i rather felt strange than identified with my name, all funny ofcourse.
Im not from the chinese descent who get adapted to a domestic name and neither am I one of those fortunate few Siddharths or the Nikhils who can comfortably morphe into the much easier Sids and Nicks. Im Priyatham and the closest that someone can get into alienizing my name is Mr.P which was invented by my boss in my first student job. But yes you can always understand that it’s you whenever there’s a pause or a confusion in the clerk’s face while calling the next customer. And while you call your bank or any customer care keep your words ready to spell – P for Potato, etc. for I its always India ofcourse.
I attended this Salsa class a few days back where the dance partners were on a rotating basis. When i say a ‘Hi ! Im Priyatham’ to my new partner, i was almost never left out without a ‘What?’ unless she didn’t care to know my name. And then Darwin’s theory proved itself again, my name evolving from Priyatham to atham and finally to Adam. While i was getting used to my new name, i went to a pizzeria. I ordered the pizza with my new name, had a coffee and life seemed beautiful until the clerk called out ‘Adam?’, I went to take my pizza and its then when my new fancied name turned around and laughed at me – ” sorry sir, its not urs ” is what i heard before i could believe it. And i heard myself saying “I’m Adam” when the clerk with a gawky expression turned around to deliver my pizza. And that’s when i became Priyatham again !
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14 Responses to “The Namesake”

  1. 1 Cuckoo

    How nicely you said it !

    This is called identity crisis in an unknown land. You don’t know what is your identity, you get so confused abt what is wrong & what is right. I think the best way is to stick to your own self identity come what may.

    Nice read !! Keep it up.

  2. 2 Maverick

    @cuckoo:”the best way is to stick to your own self identity come what may” i’d rather say the only good way 🙂

  3. 3 SM

    Thank God ,I do not have this problem,people here can easily pronounce my name “SHARDA”.

    However your post was very true about the reality of identity crisis.

  4. 4 alka

    So Adam, oh! sorry Priyatham, you can identify well with the movie and its characters? I plan to watch this movie soon.But I think at the end of your degree, you will be able to publish a book and become famous. Don’t forget me then. 🙂

  5. 5 Maverick

    @sm:u r lucky to hav such an easy name. but these days parents giving increasingly fancy names for the sake of being novel, im feeling funny when i imagine those guys growing up with tht name 🙂

    @alka:Im absolutely flattered ! this’s is the best compliment tht i got so far 🙂

  6. 6 L>T

    I can understand sorta. My real name is spelled funny. It’s a simple name.
    “Dian” but everybody always spells it Diane or Diann never Dian. Once when I was in second or third grade a teacher told me I spelled my name wrong. She insisted it had an e on the end of it. So I spelled it like that & got scolded by my parents for trying to change my name.
    Sheesh, sometimes you just can’t win.
    I agree with cuckoo, stick to your own self identity come what may.

  7. 7 Crow

    thanks for leaving a note on my blog…btw its a soccer jersey of a japanese club who won the j2 divison 2 league title…its not a t-shirt..the difference between jersey and t-shirt..jersey is made of thick and good condition material..after washing soccer jersey takes about years to fade away…all the best mate in ur career

  8. 8 Maverick

    @l>t: evn i would interpret it as a letter missing :),y do parents keep such difficult names 😦

    @crow: thx for stopping by n talking abt jerseys.btw could i get one of those 😉

  9. 9 Crow

    hi thanks for ur comment…its a japanese based soccer team…this is their website http://www.albirex.com.sg..so wat`s ur occupation?? i`m a former security guard with tiffany&co whcih is a jewellery shop …now i`m a retail assistant

  10. 10 Crow

    u mean the albirex jersey? its possible cause i have extra jersey…do u want new or used one?? leave message asap or check out my albirex blog

  11. 11 alka

    Maverick, I have tagged you. 🙂

  12. 12 Maverick

    @crow:thnq so much for stopping back at my blog. im of indian origin,doing my Master’s degree in Engineering here at US.

    n its so nice of u to offer me a albirex jersey, i was jus kidding :),however ur offer is too tempting to say no 🙂

    @alka:sure ! will make it my next post

  13. 13 L>T

    I don’t know what was with my parents.

    I have a brother Dion & a brother Sean.

    I guess they just liked to keep it short.

    Unlike SOME people, Priyatham. ;]

  14. 14 Maverick

    @l>t:im sure u copy pasted my name , didn’t u ? 🙂


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