Days of our Lives!

December 5, 2007

Smack in the Middle!

Filed under: Tagged — Santhosh @ 7:53 PM

Traitor! Dhrogi! Et tu brutus! Sourav Ganguly! Markiv!
Of all the stupid tags and memes existing on this planet….

The rules of the tag are:
~1. The rules must be mentioned in the beginning of the tag.
You’ll have to get to the wise guy who started this tag if you want this at the beginning.
~2. You must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.
~3. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

One of the greatest idiosyncrasies of being Tamil is that we don’t have a surname (atleast most of us). And if we don’t have a last name, that means we can’t have a middle name because, as the word ‘middle’ implies, it has to be between some others. This, inspite of the word being the most influential in India – from the poor-but-honourable middle-class of our movies to the ubiquitous middle-man for marriages and examinations to the great Indian middle-order that sometimes has 11 members in it.

And of course me being Thamizh, and very much at that, I don’t have a surname. This has been increasingly causing me major problems though, most recently when they kept calling out my dad’s name at the visa interview and I kept waiting to see who shared his name. I’d like to get my hands on the dude who had this idea to pass on his name to his son and then to his and so on. Insane idea, I tell you. Pointless. Unnecessary. I even remember the day I first came across the damn surname word, in my 3rd std vacation when I was reading the next year’s English non-detail – The Children of the New Forest *.

* An excellent book, even though it was a part of Macmillan’s list of abridged classics; I still have it in a carton back home. Centred around the 17th Century civil war, there was also a lot about Roundheads – a word that I took a fancy to and the little me went around rolling the word off my tongue although it used to make me think of Narasimha Rao for some strange reason. Almost like engal thalaivar Goundamani’s “Thaenga thalaiya” and “Dappa Mandaiya“. Or “Tupperware Mandaiya“.

Question to Self : The tag is supposed to be about middle names!
Answer by Self : I know, I know. But how else am I gonna mask the fact that I’m not going to actually write what the tag asks to.

And, my name, rather unfortunately, doesn’t have a ‘Thirumalairenga Vigneshwara Warnakulasuriya Rajamanikanda‘ before or after (as one of my schoolmates did), so that I could have impressed thee with high-tech fundaas on calculating the mean, median, mode of the words in my name to arrive at the middle one.

Now, the tag also says I can cook up a middle name (the lengths that some go to, I tell you). But then having a middle name will mean I’ll now end up with 3 words in my name because of which the last name will become the last-name, if you know what I mean. And this is so against the preachings of Thiruvalluvar and Avvaiyar and goes against all things that are quintessentially Tamil. Having a middle-name AND a last-name! Not even our Gods have such luxuries. Krishna, Aiyappa, Ganesha, Siva, Brahma, Muruga – you name ’em. Think of our stars – MGR, Sivaji, Ajith, Vijay, Surya, Vadivelu, Vivek, Shakeela. Or our poets – Bharathiyar, Bharathidasan, Kannadhasan, Vaali, Vairamuthu, TR. Or our politicians. Or our heroineees. Or our freedom fighters. Do you see a Kapur or a Mehta or a Patel anywhere? Or more than a word as the name? NO sirrreeee! And so I’m not going to cook up a middle name for myself too. Thamizhan da naan.

Whew! Epdi ellam escape aaga vaendirukku!

But if there’s one thing that I’d dearly dearly love to see, it would be the ‘H’ being remembered by all you cusses out there who persist in omitting it when typing out my name. Ever since the day I stepped out of the comfort of the Tamil desam I’ve had to carry this curse. Which makes me mad, as in M-A-D mad at all you northies who want to have names with strange phonetics. After more than 2 years, my company still persists in calling me Santosh Khanna – the ‘H’ being moved from next to the ‘T’ in Santhosh to next to the ‘K’ in Kanna. Now I know how Anita would have felt in college. Please note that there’s no ‘H’ after the ‘T, which means she’s not a southie by origin, and so differs rather significantly from the Anithas we’re used to.
“Hi Anitha”
“It’s Anita. Ta. Anita.”
“Yeah! Duh! Yeah Anitha”
“No, it NOT AnitHa. It’s Anita. Anita Kumar!”
“Uh! Umm! Sure! Anita Kumari”
“NO! NOT KumarI. KumaR! Anita KumaRrrr!”
I still agree with the ‘Kumari’ one though. It goes against all instincts in Tamil to think a girl can carry a ‘Kumar’ as her name, surname though it is. And so it persisted all through her college life – the AnitHa KumarI who wasn’t quite. And I’m fast catching up with her on this! So please guys!

Now, onto the third rule, which I somehow think I’m going to be very happy doing.
Passing the tag along in exactly the same way surnames were passed on – scapegoats :
Curious : The perpetual aadu
Markiv : Nobody told me I can’t tag the tagger back
Raakesh : I know you’re gonna kill me for this.
Crazybugga : For questioning me on the sanity of comment moderation
Calculus : Cheerio man! Get back to English writing!



  1. rolling on the floor laughing my ass outthis is jut so hilarious boyescaped from writing about te tag also i seeway to go man

    Comment by open source — December 5, 2007 @ 9:05 PM | Reply

  2. Even this “perpetual aadu” dosen’t like the tag! Tag’s should be a no brainer actually!Hmmmm….Middle Name… errr… I actually have a very very very long name and how do I choose the exact middle one at that?I’d say “Loosapa nee” who ever made up this tag…

    Comment by Curious — December 6, 2007 @ 11:56 AM | Reply

  3. @open sourceAhem ahem!@curiousEggjactly!

    Comment by santhosh — December 6, 2007 @ 1:19 PM | Reply

  4. hehee.. yam petra inbum… i knew ud love this tag…btw there is a tag dharma tht says u cant tag the tagger. if there isn’t, id rather break the tag dharma than go over this again. and assuming i do take the tag, i cld still tag u which wld throw us through an endless recursive tag-retag torture… and for THIS????anyways, if the tag could be slightly modified to describe fingers instead of names, i got one that can perfectly fit its requirement!!!! (in fact i got one on each hand!)

    Comment by Mark IV — December 6, 2007 @ 4:00 PM | Reply

  5. @markivsooperu. let’s start a combo blog where we keep taggin each other and so keep talkin about our narcissist selves!!!

    Comment by santhosh — December 7, 2007 @ 3:53 AM | Reply

  6. i ve a two initials….dude… chk the middle one and tell me whether it sounds finekizhakkanjeri….can u pronounce it….it is tough for me in airports or so… c my difficulty…this rembers me of another nameanantharaman vaidhyanathanin airport the people were calling anotherman superman….think abt tht guy…… 😉

    Comment by Karthik ,K.N — December 12, 2007 @ 1:59 AM | Reply

  7. Awesome blog. People confuse my name with that of my dad name where ever i go here. Surname is a must these days. since i’am a chettiar names get confused more often than in any part of the world. Hope atleast my son gets surname.

    Comment by Narayanan — December 14, 2007 @ 12:13 PM | Reply

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