My full name is Kalaivani, but I call myself Kalai.
This is not for scene, ..like how Madhavan does in Anbe Sivam
(Anbarasu --> Ars). it has a looooong and pathetic history...
I started hearing different versions of my name after
coming out of India, and the painful fact is all the possible
permutations and combinations of vowels in
my name give meaningful words in tamil!!!
When I first joined the university, my professor wrote to me..
Dear KALAvani (meaning: thief; context: kalavani paya..)
adhuvachum typo nu free ya vittudalam..
Then after a year, I joined a company for internship.
Those people called me before I joined, to inform me
about some test which I had to take..
"Hello is this Ms. Kizhavaani?" (meaning: old; context : kizha bolt..etc.)
"No..this is KALAIvaani"
"Ohh..am sorry KALAvaani" (Marupadiyum...)
Then I decided.periya pera irukkinala thane ivlo confusion?!!
So, I started calling myself 'Kalai'... but the story continued..
I joined my full-time position in another company recently.
On my first day, we had a meeting..
"Let's all welcome our new associate.Ms.Kulai"
(meaning: bunch; context: kulai kulaiyai vazhaipazham kaaithadhu)
CLAP!CLAP! CLAP! CLAP!
Followed by smiles.
(Dei.ennangada... ellarum serndhu comedy panreengala???)
Once my boss and I were talking about a project... after finishing the meeting...
"Ok, Kali. Nice to have you here!" (meaning: last yuga; context: kali muthi pochu.)
"That's KALAI" (Enakku idhu thevaya?!)
"Ohh kAALi?" (meaning: goddess; context: badrakaali..)
"Hee hee .very close" (Podaannnggg...!!)
So, I stopped correcting my name after that..!
One fine morning, I was working.
"Hey kiLai (meaning: branch; context: marakiLai)
howz it going?"
(Sollitu thirumbitten. Nammaluku edhuku indha per thiruthura velainu...)
"Is that how you say your name?"
"Uhhh. It's KALAI"
"Kolaai?" (meaning:pump; context: kozhai adi sandai.)
"Kolai?" (meaning: murder; context: kolai panniduven..)
"kaLai?" (meaning: weed; context: kaLai pudinguradhu.)
"May be I'll get your name with practice. Haha."
(Idhellam remba over da dei... Tamil la paatha rende rendu ezhuthu thaan da!!!)
Ennada, Chandramukhi la thalaivar 'durga' perai nakkaladikkira maathiri...
namma per ayiduche nu nenaikkum podhu... my friend came up
with a brilliant idea!
Adhavadhu... to compare my name with a word.so I started using
this word 'kaleidoscope'; which has the same pronunciation as 'kalai'!
So, I started telling everyone. 'Kalai as in kaleidoscope'!.
Ippo kooda romba ellam ozhunga solradhulla.
They are saying 'kalaai' (kalaaikiradhu)..
"Just trying to say your name. Ha ha ha"
"Ohhh..how sweet!" (thooo thEri..)
Yedho vaandhi edukkira effect la per irundhalum... my life was in peace...
until few days back...
My net connection was down, so I called up the customer service
(En kiragam. Madras call center ku pochu!)
Enakku andha vishayame theriyala. So I started in complete American accent...
"Your name ma'am?"
"What? Can you repeat ma'am?"
" Kalaai as in kaleidoscope"
"I didn't get that ma'am. Can I have your number? I can check the records"
(Sigh!... and gave the number)
"Ohh, Kalaivani, right?" (in a sarcastic tone.)
(Ada paavi makka... nee nammooora??!!! All American accents stopped.
Back to Indian accent.)
I could clearly see what he was thinking... per paatha 'urs pammingly' nu podra
category maathiri irukku... scene podradhu mattum princess Diana range kaa...
Anna... naan sathyama andha maathiri illeeenganna!!!