Ladies and Gentlemen…Lavanya Panchapakesan

Right from the time I first told someone my name, I realized that my grand mother had chosen a rather unique and cool name for me. South Indian enough to get approval from elders, short enough for North Indians to pronounce and different enough to be the only one in the batch of every class. I thought getting user names would be easy.

I was not surprised when ‘lavanya’ was already taken on hotmail.com. I was a little miffed that ‘aynaval’ was taken on yahoo. Were all combinations of lavanya already taken? At that time, I didn’t consider USA and Europe and other countries where internet had been around before it hit India. I was probably the last one to join the gmail bandwagon…but aynaval wasn’t taken. That pleased me. I was back to thinking I had this unique name.

I mean who would have Lavanya Panchapakesan as their name. The spelling of my surname was unusual and the two hadn’t been paired together. Or so I thought. When I had to change my name after marriage (Well I didn’t do it till I had to come to the US and boy am I glad I did. Deepak is easier to pronounce thanks to Deepak Chopra. And I am called Deepak everywhere, not Lavanya.), I thought that would be the end of my unique name. What’s the bad news about having a common name? Not surfacing on social networks as the first search result. It took me 15 minutes to find myself on Orkut yesterday. That’s when I saw her profile. Her’s was spelled exactly as mine. No wonder I thought there was no one like me. She wasn’t old enough to join Orkut till now. So big deal, there is someone else with my name! The spooky stuff was how much we are alike.

She likes:

  • Surya (Tamil actor)
  • Hannah Montana
  • Sayings from the movie Om Shanti Om
  • A R Rahman
  • Harry Potter
  • Curd Rice
  • Mozhi (Tamil movie)
  • MBA
  • Vaaranam Aayiram (Another Tamil movie)
  • Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na

She hates:

  • People spamming her for friendship requests on Orkut

See, we are like the same person with the same name. She is a younger me living in Chennai. Doppleganger anyone? But hey, thsi aint the first time this has happened. Many acquaintences have spotted a similar looking Lavanya in Chembur, CHeddanagar and Ghatkopar. They say there are 7 people like you in the world. But, why do all of them have to have my name?

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