Shakespeare, I believe asked the question, “What’s in a name?” Plenty, if you ask me. He may not have grasped the significance of it, given his name was as simple as William. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for me.
So I have been blessed with (or so I believed) a unique and exotic name, and as long as I was in Kolkata, it got me a lot of compliments (as well as a pen friend request from a guy from Andaman, in an age when you did not have the luxury of adding random people on Facebook).
But as soon as I moved outside Kolkata, I was faced with the trauma of being caught in a trap with people who apparently pronounced names EXACTLY that way they are spelt! Shudder!! Not only could they not pronounce it the way it is supposed to be pronounced, they also failed to appreciate the exoticism of the name, and I was reduced to ‘that Bong chick with a weird name”. So over the years, I have gotten used to lame jokes and administrative confusions, as I patiently tried to overcome the challenges of the missing H and the use of A instead of O.
Anyway my name literally means maang, which signifies the parting of the hair, where married women put sindoor or vermillion. But of all the cruel jokes that I have been subjected to, this one takes the cake:
Picture courtesy, Neil
The name is Simanti, pronounced Shimonti…