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Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by rgsrinivasan, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. rgsrinivasan

    rgsrinivasan IL Hall of Fame

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    I have been to UK and US for work reasons and stayed for a few months in each location. There are a few funny incidents that will be there in my memory for a long time. You will understand why, when you read further.

    After a gruelling period of work, I decided to spend a few days in sight seeing. Two of my friends already had a trip planned and I too joined them quick. Travelling to a particular place involved a local flight journey. Inspite of it being a local journey, we were all thoroughly frisked [it was after 09/11, security had been much tighter]. Then a thirty-ish lady took my passport and the flight ticket for verification, at the counter.

    I need to tell you some information now. I got my first passport years ago and it dealt with the expansion of initials then. As you see, I have two and when expanded, it went up to more than 30 characters [will write a separate blog on the problems I faced due to that]. She tried reading my name, failed once, tried again, couldn't make it and finally looked at me sadly [since my name contained an 'S' and 'R' together, many people felt it difficult to pronounce there]. "What did you say your name was?" she asked me. I told her with the expansion of initials as per my passport. Her eyes went up for a second and she said, "God! Thats the mother of all names!". My friends, the attendants, myself and she too, ended up laughing.

    The other was totally unexpected for me. It happened in UK, when I went to register for NHS [National Health Service - all are required to register there, to get free doctor consultation and hosplitalisation - after a long wait]. There, an elderly female was doing the routine check-up for me. She informed me that she had been born in India and migrated very early, and was due to visit India shortly. She then spoke about good things of India. I felt it my job then, to make her feel at ease and said, "Good to see that you have a good knowledge about India. Your communication is very good too!". She stopped checking me, looked up and said, "Young man! I have a daughter of almost your age. Understand?".

    I was utterly stupefied.
     
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  2. sreemanavaneeth

    sreemanavaneeth Gold IL'ite

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    Hai RGS,

    A very sudden twist happened in the hospital for you. surely you will not forget the LADY. very nice. Always initial expansion will confuse and it will have a lengthy square columns to be filled. Very nice bonvoyage trip enjoyed by you with a beautiful lady inspite of having a very big son also. am i right???? Thanks for sharing.
     
  3. rgsrinivasan

    rgsrinivasan IL Hall of Fame

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    Oops! I am not sure, if I said that correctly. Both the instances happened before my marriage. And that lady said that she had a daughter. She is a doctor and still serves in the NHS in London, I guess. But why did she see me as trying to woo her? Or, have I understood wrongly? I am still wondering. Thanks for your feedback Sreema. -rgs
     
  4. sojourner

    sojourner Silver IL'ite

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    The UK lady sounds definitely weird.
     
  5. rgsrinivasan

    rgsrinivasan IL Hall of Fame

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    Thats what I thought too Sojourner. Thanks. -rgs
     
  6. ILoveTulips

    ILoveTulips IL Hall of Fame

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    :rotfl:rotfl:rotfl

    My first name is 10 letters and last name is 10 letters too... so when I tell me name, spell each letter, at the end of the first name the person heaves a long relieved sigh... then I would say, 'and the last name is...', she would go.. 'WHAT??? '

    ilt
     
  7. rgsrinivasan

    rgsrinivasan IL Hall of Fame

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    Welcome! Happy to know that you too suffered the same fate as me. Besides, my name still sounds so funny in my SSN card - after accommodating part of my last name and middle name, they had space only for 2 characters - and entered "SR". So, I became "Senior" by default! [remember, they have Jr and Sr for family names?]. Thanks for your feedback ILT. -rgs
     
  8. sojourner

    sojourner Silver IL'ite

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    And then there is this:

    Though authors are a dreadful clan
    To be avoided if you can,
    I'd like to meet the Indian,
    M. Anantanarayanan.

    I picture him as short and tan.
    We'd meet, perhaps, in Hindustan.
    I'd say, with admirable elan ,
    "Ah, Anantanarayanan --

    I've heard of you. The Times once ran
    A notice on your novel, an
    Unusual tale of God and Man."
    And Anantanarayanan

    Would seat me on a lush divan
    And read his name -- that sumptuous span
    Of 'a's and 'n's more lovely than
    "In Xanadu did Kubla Khan" --

    Aloud to me all day. I plan
    Henceforth to be an ardent fan
    of Anantanarayanan --
    M. Anantanarayanan.
    -- John Updike

    The above is from here.
    ------------------------------
    Anantanarayanan's son A.Thiagaraja was one year senior to me at Loyola College, Chennai. He was a boy genius. Here is what he said about the above poem and long names in general:

    You might be interested to learn that I am the last (3rd) son of Mr M
    Anantanarayanan. I am called "Anantanarayanan Thyagaraja" (I was named after
    the great Carnatic musician of Thanjavur, where I was born). I am a
    theoretical physicist and have lived and worked in the UK for the last 28
    years. While I was studying in the US for my PhD, my supervisor at CalTech,
    Prof. P.A. Lagerstrom used to introduce me to his friends saying, "this
    young man has 11 a's in his name!" To spare my friends such linguistic
    contortions, I have always been called "Chippy", a name given to me by my
    mother since childhood.
    ------------------
    I think that Anantanarayanan's father B. R. Rajam Iyer wrote the second novel in Tamil -- Kamalambal Charitram in 1893.

    Also, Anantanarayanan was a Chief Justice of Madras High Court. Very illustrious family.
     
  9. rgsrinivasan

    rgsrinivasan IL Hall of Fame

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    Well! That was quite funnier than my blog piece itself Sojourner. Relished it fully. My name, when expanded contains only 9 'a's, 3 'i's and one 'o'. Surprisingly no 'E'. :)
    -rgs
     
  10. shobna

    shobna Bronze IL'ite

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    The incident at UK health services is quite funny! I could imagine your state that moment..! good ones, do share more :)
     

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