Effects of Last Name

So far I have written on rather serious stuff. I felt that it’s time to write about something that might be humorous. I hope you find it as humorous as I did, even if you are not stoned!

Story 1: When we moved to Winnipeg in Canada, we managed to find a shared place. But the landlords were not sure if we were husband and wife or boyfriend and girlfriend. The landlords were Punjabis and looked a bit strict. And they were hesitant to rent places to unmarried people. So they wanted to see our passports to confirm that we were married. So we showed them our passports. But the confusion didn't get resolved because I hadn't changed my last name to my husband’s 😮😮

The landlord’s son came back to us unconvinced and said ‘you don't have the same last names, my parents are still not convinced that you guys are married, is there any other proof you can give us?’. We didn't know anyone and had landed at night thinking this guy was going to rent us the place. Darn!

Luckily I had my marital status changed in the passport and had my husband’s name added to the passport before leaving for Canada. So I showed him that and he was a bit more convinced. We breathed a sigh of relief.

Now the reason why I didn’t change my name… I seriously felt that there was no need to. You might call me a feminist, empowered, or even lazy. For me, it was a hassle which neither I nor Rakesh thought was worth spending energy on, and it turned out to be good for me 😉.

You might ask me why or you might already know if you have been in my place. Most of you have been abroad and as you might all know, last names are important in Western countries.

My first name is Shreelatha and my last name is "Bhadravati Sredhara". This is already complicated for people here. They prefer using the short name - Shree. And every time a postman delivers post and asks me for my last name, once I tell him, he would ask - is there anything shorter?. In my mind, I would be thinking - be glad it was not my husband.

I am letting the cat out - my husband’s last name is "Kanakapura Satyendranath". It’s as if someone found the longest location and person’s names possible and made them his last name ;) And I’m not surprised when his last name is cut short because of the shortage of spaces on application forms. I feel I’m doing a great service to the people by not changing my name… haha.

Story 2: I was once in a government office and the lady very politely trying to hide her surprise asked me - why didn't you change your last name?. I showed my husband’s last name and said - what do you think?. And with a chuckle, she said I am glad you didn’t change your last name. hehe

Now let’s say that I did change my last name according to the eastern trend - Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and the league did… my last name would be "Bhadravati Sredhara Kanakapura Satyendranath". Hmm… Gosh!! Do you think I might have missed my chance to enter the Guinness book of records for the longest last name? ;)

Lastly, imagine me at the airport running late for my flight and the flight attendants making their final call … This is the final call to Mrs. Bhadravti Sredhara Kanakapura Satyendranth… They might be confused about how many people are running late. Just kidding! So I wanted to save some grief for the whole universe and didn't change my last name.

When my son was born, we were not sure about his name, but we were sure that he would not get any of our last names. So we decided that his name would be "Shastry" which is my husband’s family name. Now my husband said that he wanted to add his name to be my son's middle name. I was furious! I thought I carried this little pea till he was the size of a watermelon, I brought him to the world, cared for him, washed his pee, poop, vomit, and my name is nowhere… But I find solace in thinking that no one in this whole world can deny the fact that he is my son, but that doesn't happen for the man…. Lol. You need a man’s name added to the kid to know he is the father. Please don't be offended, take it with a grain of salt if you are a man reading this! I don't think any of the women would be offended… but don't prove me wrong.

Just doing my squirrel service (alilu seve) to the community.

P.S - Allilu seve in my language, Kannada, means to say a very small service, just like a tiny squirrel.

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