I am upset. Malar was like a star today. When she comes to our class, everyone wants to be friends with her. I am a kind of loser with this name, no any other person has. Whenever Shanthi is referred, they always ask me, which Shanthi? Then I tell them which Shanthi she is. There are two Shanthis in my class. But, there is only one Rajalakshmi in my class, but still people ask me which Rajalakshmi? Then I tell them her father's name. Some people still don't get it. Then I tell them her mother's name. For some other girls, their brother's or sister's name works well too. But, in my case, they ask me who I am, when I tell my name, they know. Because, there is no other Premalatha in my whole class, in my whole school, also in my whole street, also in my whole relative houses and in my friends houses. I was surprised when Shanthi named her younger sister (just born you know) Premalatha. There was another surprise to me that she gets to name her sister. I don't understand why would she want to name her sister with my name? She said she liked it. I don't like it! I am going to ask mother why did she name me like this. "Well, we did ask your suggestion, but this is what you liked too". Mother is laughing. Why are you laughing? Is it a funny name? If it is a funny name that makes you laugh, you could have told me and changed my name! "I don't believe you. If at all you had asked me I only would have suggested the name Malar". "Malar"? "Yes, you know, Paappathy Teacher's daughter Malar, that Malar". "Oh, right". "Next time, if we can change your name, we will definitely ask you for suggestion". "Do people change name?" "No, not generally". "Then why did you say that we will change name and you will consider my suggestion?", "Well, because you don't like your name, we should do something about it, like changing name". "Is it possible? how will they all know it is me still?" "We will tell them". "how"?, "Well, think about a new name for yourself for the time being, we will figure out how should we tell everyone about it. OK"?
Thenmoli is a good girl too, except that, her mother is not as popular teacher as Paapathy teacher. I don't like to be in Then's mother's class. Also, when Then comes, no one really cares about her. And there is Lakshmi teacher's daughter. She is in my class, so she is always there, so no one really treats her any different from me, and above all, her name is Latha!! I don't want that name. Shanthi is cool. You know, just father's name wouldn't be sufficient to make you completely differently identifiable from any other Shanthi. Wait, if I am Shanthi, then it goes like, that military man's daughter Shanthi.. Oh crumps! They will know it is me. Nobody is going to ask another question. Even if they tell Ponniah's grand-daughter, no another question either. There is also this, "Muthulakshmi teacher's sister's daughter" I am known by...
PS: I was told that I was named "Angayarkanni" originally, which my father thought that it was too old fashioned and then they changed it to Premalatha. I always remember that name, as it was the name I could have been known by..
must read: En peru padum padu (I will translate for non-tamils, later).