The lady at the office reception asked with a very perplexed look on her face. I politely, out of habit, corrected her that its Pallav Roxy. If only I could grow a strand of hair for every time there had been a question or confusion regarding my name, hair product brands would be lining up to sign me as their model. #recedingHairLineWoes #lameAttemptAtHumor
Growing up in India, with a name like mine, was some interesting experience. Starting from coping up with several rumors related to my parents’ marriage (Apparently my mother was a Hindu married to a Christian, or this was my mother’s second marriage and I was her child from the first one.) to explaining my grade one teacher what my religion is! Imagine a 6 year old wondering what is religion even before learning how to spell the word. Each time I started a new grade, the story had to be repeated for the convenience of my new teacher. My childhood friends are as well versed in it as I am.
Things didn’t get any different when I was taking my engineering entrance tests, with the invigilator wasting a good 20 minutes of my time in explaining to me how I have written down my name all wrong. I had to shut down his repeated rant of – “Your first name is Roxy and your surname is Pallav.”, with a blunt reply which very well sounded like – “Screw you. I know what my name is.” in my head. Thanks to my high level of brilliance (Ahem, I like self-praise, get used to it.), the wasted 20 minutes didn’t hinder my chances and I successfully got a chance to attend my favorite stream at one of the prestigious universities of India. First day of orientation there, I go to the student body that handled mail id creation for the fellow students and this guy there, looks at his screen, grins ear to ear and announces it to me (so that others at the table also get to listen), that my id is proxy. Somehow, folks found it so amusing then. Hell, they still do. You see the id has stuck with me through all my work assignments so far. (I love it!)
With time, I also learnt that geographies could change but that will not stop the questions. In India the FAQ was – “Are you a Christian?” whereas once I moved to the western hemisphere it changed to – “Roxy? Hmm... Is it short for Roxanne or something?” Now, now, don’t get me wrong. This is not a rant of complaints but a mere recitation of the humor that my name brings in my life. The anecdotes accrued over the years make for a great conversation starter. My dad always giddies up with pride for picking up such a unique name. He was on cloud nine when he was once addressed as Mr. Roxy years ago, he still loves narrating that story.
I can spend hours going through the tales, but here all it will do is fill pages. But just in case there is a slightest chance that you want to hear more, all you need to do is invite me for a coffee and we can laugh together over a hot cuppa.