Today at one of the meetings at work, I heard somebody on the phone say a name called 'Shaayaamaala'. She seemed to be our client contact and soon everybody started calling her 'Shaayaamaala'. About 10 minutes into the meeting, somebody uttered her name once again and I had a sudden realisation that the person's name could actually be 'shyamala'. It never occurred to me that it could be an Indian name. As I was secretly laughing at the discovery, my super-smart project manager called her 'Shaayaalaama'. God help the names!
The way people named themselved and places must have gone through some complicated algorithms somewhere in the past. It can't be this tough for people of one geography to clearly say the name of someone from a different geography.
One of the my collegues (a desi who got his citizenship in this country recently) said that he is going to 'kali-fornia' that upcoming weekend. I asked myself 'really???!!'. I know people can screw-up certain names because of their cultural differences and language problems. But someone who has lived in this country for a long time should be able to say 'California' pretty neatly. I have never understood the logic behind people mispronouncing 'California'. But atleast I guess it's better than those middle aged desis who call it 'kali-porn-ia'!
One can argue that being a proper noun, names of people and places can be called however one likes to. But thats just plain stupid. This basic cultural difference can go a long way, I still get a hearty laughter when I think of this Cindy-Guindy episode and habanadha episode. Language is a great source of humour I think.
Nevertheless, I like blogging more than ever these days. The more meetings I attend at work, more thoughts I get. I'm telling you - people are so funny!