I have been called Anya, Ani and Anne by a variety of people including my sister who dubbed us as Anne and Jane Kelly. Mostly because my real name (as in the one on my horoscope and stuff) is Annapoorni and her’s is Janaki. So Anne and Jane. It’s been there all along, all my life. I could have been Ann if my name was Annapoorni. Instead I have a beautiful unique name like Lavanya which when paired with Panchapakesan becomes an impossible phenomenon. I used to be so proud of how the search for my full maiden name would suggest there is just one of me. All that changed when I changed my name on my passport because I knew that I didn’t want to be called Lavaanya Pan…pan…pan…that’s hapenned a lot in India as it is. But that screwed up my internet image. There was (is) a more famous Lavanya Deepak and it hurts to not be No. 1 in search.
When I came here, I thought long and hard about making it easy on Americans. Lavanya isn’t easy on the tongue so much so that for a week in MDI, Vibha called me Navalya. And she is not dyslexic. I kept playing with words starting in L and so Lavender was the only choice. And it was too long, people would call me Violet and Rose and every other flower on earth. So I dropped that after 6 months of using it. I never thought of just dropping the ‘Lav’. Recently in a meeting while my brain was doing its own ADD afflicted wandering, I realized that I had a quicker, shorter, easier name all along. Thanks to Sumit and his gang, I was known as Anya in college for the total of one year. I should have stuck to it in MDI and at work and my LIFE would have been different. Very few people go without commenting about how beautiful and unique my name is. But they cannot repeat it if asked. But Deepak everyone gets….thanks to Deepak Chopra. If Deepak Chopra was Ponnalagusamy (thanks Sidin), people might forget the first part by the time they get to the end.
So, I am changing my name. In the olden days, they would put a notice in a Gazette and keep the copy for future reference. Now, Facebook will do. It ain’t a legal change anyways. So if you want to send me a cheque, retain my old name. I always wondered how a few Maharashtrian women changed their entire names after marriage. It is impossible to find them. But I’ve been on Facebook since forever and if someone is not already on Facebook, they are my grandmoms…and they can pronounce ALL my names.
List of names I can be found under:
Lavanya Panchapakesan (1980-2007)
Lavanya Deepak (2008-2009)
Anya Deepak (2010-2015)
Woman with pixie hair cut (2016-2017)
That lady who changed education / non-profit marketing (2018-2062)
Patient number 546379 with dymentia (2062-2063)
Beloved wife, mother, sister and daughter (and consultant) (Jan 14th 2064- )