Posted by Howard on April 23, 1998 at 00:17:40:
>> "How do you spell it?"
>> "Slow, slow, T?"
>> "No, D.
>> "Is that T as in Tom, or D as in Dennis?"
>> "No, not Dennis, my name is Dinesh."
>> "I know that. I am asking you, is that a T as in Tom, or D as in ...
>> as in Detroit?"
>> "I don't know who Tom is, and I haven't been to Detroit. I just came
>> to the US from Madras."
>> "OK, OK, I know that. Is that T-I- or D-I- ?"
>> "D. D-I-. D-I-N-E-S-H."
>> "Is that your last name or first name?"
>> "Uh? Dinesh is my name."
>> "OK. What is your LAst name?"
>> "That is my first and last name. Dinesh."
>> "Then, is your name Dinesh Dinesh?"
>> "No. My name is Dinesh."
>> "But what is your LAST NAME? I am ASKING YOU ABOUT YOUR LAST NAME."
>> "I told you, Dinesh. I always had the same name, from birth till
>> DINESH. That's my name."
>> "OK, what is your family name?"
>> "Family? Family name? My family doesn't have a name."
>> "What do the neighbors call you?"
>> "Not you. Your whole family. What do they call your family?"
>> "Beedida bhat'rr."
>> "So, that is your family name. Do you understand?
>> " How do you spell that?"
>> "Spell what?"
>> "B.D. whatever you said, what your neighbors call your family."
>> "Oh, that ... Beedida bhat'rr.
>> "What do you need that for? It only means 'the brahmin who makes
>> "What are B-Ds?"
>> "Not B-D. Beedi, is like a cigarette, you see, they roll the
>> in a leaf and tie a thread around it. 25 in a kattu."
>> "25 in a what?"
>> "Kattu, or katta, whatever. Like a bunch, you see. If there is even
>> one less or one more, my father could always tell without counting.
>> then taught me how to do it."
>> "I am not worried about your 'cutter' or whatever.
>> "I told you, Dinesh."
>> "OK, OK, I don't want to go over this again. What is common to the
>> names of all the members of your family?"
>> "They are all in Sanskrit. My first sister is Suneetha, the second
>> sister is Sumathi ... "
>> "Not about the language. When you write your name, and your sister
>> writes her name, what do you two have in common?"
>> "We have the same handwriting. Even my father can't tell our
>> handwritings apart."
>> "Blast it! What is your father's name?"
>> "What does G.K. stand for?"
>> "His name, Gopala Krishna."
>> "Then what is Nettar?"
>> "That is our house name."
>> "House name? Aha, does every one at your house have this name?"
>> "It is not our name. It is the name of our house. Strictly
>> it should be Honnadka. But my father was too lazy to change it. My
>> father was born in Honnadka, but, see, my grandfather was born in
>> "What was his name?"
>> "I told you, G.K.Nettar."
>> "Your grandfather was also called G.K. whatever?"
>> "No. That is my father."
>> "Then what is your grandfather's name?"
>> "Govinda Bhat. See, my relatives still call me Mangalore Govinda.
>> Because it is a tradition to name the first son after his
>> All the brothers of my father have done this. So, we have Honnadka
>> Govinda, Jogibettu Govinda, Kanchodu Govinda, and I am Mangalore
>> "So, then, your name is Mangalore Govinda, not Dinesh."
>> "No. My name is Dinesh. Mangalore Govinda is how my relatives call
>> That is not my NAme."
>> "What do they call your sister?"
>> "What? You said her name is Sooneetha."
>> "Yes, that is her name, Suneetha, but we call her Ammanni."
>> "Is that her nick-name?"
>> "No. she doesn't have a nick name. Only our neighbor's daughter has
>> nick name. She is called 'soote'. She is very active. That's why."
>> "What about your brother?"
>> "I have no brothers. But then, you can count all those Govindas as
>> brothers too. See, they are really kind of my brothers."
>> "OK, what are their names?"
>> "The oldest one, he is my big brother. He is called GovindaNNa."
>> "Govind Anna? Then Anna is his last name."
>> "No, ANNA, not anna. ANNA means big brother."
>> "What is his NAME?"
>> "His name is Govinda Bhat."
>> "Then your last name is But."
>> "Not but, Bhat, B-H-A-T. But that's not his name, you see."
>> "If that's not his name, what is it? Why does he have it in his
>> "Bhat simply means he is a brahmin. He might as well write Rao,
>> father does, or Sharma, like my father's second brother does."
>> "How does he write his name in official papers?"
>> "Nettar Govinda Bhat. That's how he writes it."
>> "How does his father write it?"
>> "Nettar Venkata Subba Rao."
>> "Aha, I can see now. Your father is G.K.Nettar, his brother is
>> something Rao... your last name is then Nettar. Aha, I got it."
>> "But Nettar is not the last name. It is the house name."
>> "I don't care. Tell me one last time, what is YOUR last name?"
>> "But I told you, my last name is the same as my first name, my only
>> name, Dinesh."
>> "Then, I am going to write Nettar here. I don't care if it is your
>> house name, your grandfather's name, your dog's name, whatever. It
>> your last name. How do you spell it? N-E-..."
>> "N-E-T-T-? Is that T as in Tom or D as in Dennis?"
>> "My name is Dinesh, not Dennis."
>> "AARRGGHHHHH. Do we have to go through this again? Here, write it
>> "That's it. From now on, you are Dinesh Nettar, Dinesh is your
>> name, and Nettar is your last name. OK?