I have often thought that my name was a unique identity. I also have taken pride, in the fact that when I google my name, there are a very small number worldwide, who share my first name. Excitingly enough, not a single person, worldwide shares my exact name!(Please alert me if you do find anyone else).
I have known though, all my life that my name came to be, purely through error! What a happy accident, it has turned out to be. When I was born, I was registered at birth, at the local home affairs office and requested by my parents, to be registered as SENTE’ . (Friend of the family, visiting at the time, from Holland). MARIMUTHU, (grand parents on my mother’s side).
The clerk doing the registration, unknown to my parents upon registration, registered me SENTHY MARIMUTHU. Needless to say, my birth certificate arrived to the dismay of my folks, with an incorrect name!!!
That proved to be only the beginning, of my unique identity. Since then as far back as I can remember, people in general especially close family members, have for some reason never taken the initiative, to pretend to even try, calling me by my name!!!
Hilarious as this sounds, it has and continues to, annoy me like zits on a teenage face! My sister, two years older than I am, has consistently called me Sinthy!!! Occasional through error, or annoyance, has on the rare occasion actually mustered the courage, to mutter out SENTHY. My brothers both, also have adopted the SINTHY in laziness, or SENTHY when trying to remember my actual name, every so often through default!!!
All through school somehow, teachers as luck would have it, actually cared enough to pronounce my name correctly, every time!!! Perhaps, I should have gotten them, to teache my siblings because heaven knows, I have tried a million times!!! Through decades having failed, I should have seized an opportunity while I could. Especially if I wanted to be identified correctly.
Lesson learned, get your teacher to train your siblings, how to say SENTHY !!!
Through the years, I have said things like do you know the car brand Sentra, well Senthy is like Sentra!!! Alas that has worked fewer times, than I care to recall. There are those, that choose to rename me, Sindy, Sandy, Cindy, Cynthia, Senthilla, Santy and Santay.
When talking over the phone, to numerous cold callers and strangers, have resorted to a little slogan that after the fifth or sixth time gets captured and recorded effectively.
S- for Sugar, E- for elephant, N- for not, T- for tea or coffee, H- for happy, Y- for yes.
Ps. if you are getting my email then add M- for mother
Then comes the giggle on the other end of the line. I wonder, sometimes if the listener is giggly, at the marvel of the explanation, or their lack of getting it the first time!!! I have mastered this chant, so many times on the phone, that I find it easier now, to just do that in person also! Then comes the age old Indian question …..
SO WHAT IS IT SHORT FOR?
Firstly, why would someone shorten their perfectly acceptably lettered name? Secondly, why oh why, do Indian folk in my circle of people, often very often, assume it to be short of something. As if my name was not real, or complete or enough!!!
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
It means my parents, cared enough to name me! It means, using that name, I was able to enrol in school, get an education. I even have a resume, that actually matches my identity documented name. It means, I have an identity for my tombstone one day and in the interim, for credit approval or to open a bank account. I can seek medical attention, or like all the other mortals out there, with names, have a social media account!
I can, using my real government registered, parental chosen,(oh well not in my case) name, get to be different from you!!! Proud in that my name is different to yours. So when we are both, in an interview waiting room and they call my name, you will know that I, have been called and not you!!!
THAT IS WHAT IT MEANS!!!!!!
That aside, I wish to make note, that the two most important person in my life, the Senthy Marimuthu heir, Bronwyn-Lee Marimuthu has never gotten my name wrong ever!!! That is an excellent reason to celebrate, also the Boyfriend, awesome gentleman that he is, never once pronounced my name wrong, so kudos to Craig Fowels. You have mastered, what many in decades, have blundered and butchered, MY NAME!!!