Friday, November 18, 2005

The "Vikas" Identity

No..this is not the latest book by Robert Ludlum..rather, it is about this guy called Vikas, that's me, whoz kinda lost his "identity" in the US of A. How, you ask? Read on...

Firstly, this is a crazy place where people are tightly bound to the rules of calling someone by their firstname and lastname (I had also posted an article abt this once, remember??), and right from the day I have landed in US, I've had problems with my name. For those who do not know, my entire name as per the passport reads:
(Given Names) Venkataramana Vikas
(Last Name)Yelagondanahalli
Some examples of reactions which people have had reading my name...
My first day while registering, at the International Students House: Your name!!... Your Name!! God!
At the Social Security Office:
Officer:While you were 4 years old, did your parents ask you to remember THIS name??
Me: No, in India, I go by Vikas.Y.V.
Officer: Oh, thank goodness me!!!
My VLSI prof: So you are the guy with the super long name!!
Another Prof, reading out my name: Yel..Yala...Yalago...(triumphantly)Yalagondanaal!!!

With all these problems, I advice people to call me by my First Name, Vikas which is much easier. If they can do that well, my identity would still remain intact..but how do people call me????
They call me Vikas (Pronouned: Y Kus), or Vikas (Pronouned: Veee Kus). Can't help it. Viking is spelt as "Y King" and not "V King"...A few days I tried correcting them and told them the actual pronounciation, but after a while I gave up.

Recently I met a guy from Sri Lanka and we were talking and he asked my name. I pronouned my name as VeeKus, so he asked, Vikas? (The Indian way!). That's when i realized I have lost my identity...
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