TamBrahm vs Not-so-TamBrahm

The TamBrahm Spunk (5)

Hello all you TamBrahms! We haven’t had a post dedicated to our weird sense of humour in a while eh? I hope you have all been good.

(For those of you who have creased foreheads from not understanding a word so far, please click here to read my first post in this category where you will find all the necessary information about TamBrahms!)

Funnily I was watching a Netflix show called The Mortified Guide (to Family) and I paused at about 5 minutes because the guy was reading from his journal and exclaimed how he needs to change his name because nobody can say it right (he was Korean). As a fellow passenger on the same train, I relate with his emotions.

My appa (father) and amma (mother) named me Aishwarya (well, actually I think my thatha (grandfather) did). And since appa’s name is Sivakumar, my full name is Aishwarya Sivakumar. 18 letters, 7 syllables! That’s how long it is. And it screams out loud that I am a chamathu kondai from a TamBrahm household (at least to all Indians it does).

As a TamBrahm, we write our appa’s names as our last names. Why? We don’t know. We just do. Rather, our parents close all gates for negotiations by putting our names on the birth certificate before we turn one and can speak some syllables ourselves.

Ever since I shifted to the UK (yes, I am an imported product now!), I have struggled with introductions. I just introduce myself as Aisha (that’s what everyone calls me anyway) and leave it at that. If I have to say my entire name out loud, the next 5 minutes are almost like a rehearsed scene. Them trying to say it right, fumbling, trying again, getting close and eventually changing topic by asking what it means. Funny! I almost enjoy this 😉

Once at a Starbucks, they asked me my name and I just said Sarah…because it’s a name they can’t get wrong 😀

On a different note, I do like being Aishwarya Sivakumar. In this part of the world, I am often called Ms. Sivakumar and when I finish my PhD and graduate, I will be Dr. Sivakumar (as if my appa spent the hours in the laboratory and not me….). But I will turn to look with pride when my appa smiles at the big achievement of his little girl (like all TamBrahm appas are of their chamathu kondais).

The TamBrahm world is undergoing a change too, by the way. The Sivaramakrishnans and Ramaswamys and Swaminathans and Kalyanis and Gayathris are being replaced by the uber cool sounding Rahuls and Karthiks and Divyas and Shwetas (oops, sorry to the Sivaramakrishnans and Gayathris and others…didn’t mean to insult your names…just a lot of syllables to handle there…)!!!

 

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5 thoughts on “The TamBrahm Spunk (5)”

      1. But you know, after I analyse we have , esp in villages in India, they have a set of names and they have everything with purpose and it tells a story, a culture of living..but now we all shifting to Sanskrit words…or own coining of names

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