What's in a Name?


“What’s your name?”

I do not remember since when I actually started replying to this. May be since I was two or three; when I could start pronouncing my name correctly. I have a eleven-lettered-long name.

P-U-S-H-P-A-N-J-A-L-I. The floral tribute.

I can’t say what was going on in my Ma’s mind or what she saw in me but she thought of me as a floral tribute. The Sanskrit word might sound good to the ears but is tough to fill out in the restricted spaces reserved for first name in applications.

Worse still is to make a customer care executive understand my name and type it out correctly. So, this is how I make them note down my name:

“P as in Papa

U as in Uniform

S as in Sierra

H as in Hotel

P as in Papa

A as in Alfa

N as in November

J as in Juliett

A as in Alfa

L as in Lima

I as in India

Now, this is too much of work. I feel tired by the time I reach the fifth letter. So, I devised a new way to tell them my name and broke it down into three easy syllables:


I requested the girl at the doctor’s office to fix an appointment for me.

“Can you please note down my name? It is PUSH as in pull-n-push; PAN as in pots-n-pans; and J-A-L-I (“J as in Juliett; A as in Alfa; L as in Lima; I as in India).”

When she confirmed the appointment, I received a message that started with “Patient’s Name: PUSHPANJELLY.” Clearly, mentioning the second syllable as pots-n-pans was a mistake that created theJELLY !

Funnier is my last name “ROY”. A receptionist at the hotel lobby was happy to hear that my last name was a three-lettered relief. Rather than getting himself into the game of words and syllables, he innocently asked if he could address me as ROY. When the booking confirmation came, the mail was addressed to Mr. ROY !

Nowadays, I introduce myself as Anjali unless it is absolutely required to spell out the full name. Mistakes still happen; people writing down this shortened version of my name as Angela or Angeli. But I am not bothered as long as it is short and definitely feminine.

Do you have any stories around your name/ nicknames? I would love to hear them. Please drop a comment to share your story.