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Archive for June 10th, 2010

I have one of those names, you know, the kinds you have NEVER heard of before….and maybe once you do, you wonder how exactly my parents came up with such a name in the first place (my sister’s name is longer than mine and a tongue-twister to boot. I guess most of the marriage proposals for her got rejected because the guys just couldn’t say her name in one go!! They thought it better to say no at the onset than suffer the consequences of mispronouncing her name later. And that is one reason I have immense respect for my brother-in-law. He doesn’t yet call her by her full name…but he tries. He does!! 😀 ).

I have the kind of name which you learn to pronounce very late in life, much later than most people who could rattle off their names by the time they are three years old. I could pronounce my own name not before I turned 8 years old!! As for my friends, well , they murdered it .

Ok, for the record, I’m called “Noor”. Simply because people really don’t know how to say “Noorulayn”, which is my name (my sister’s name is “Qurratulayn”. Go try it out. Good luck 😀 ). I’ve been called everything from “Noorline” to “Nooru-lion” to “Noorlyon”.

Till the time I was in fourth standard in Bangalore, my school had the name-plate system where each student wore a red name-plate with their name engraved in white. I didn’t really have to say my name. I could just point to the name plate and let the others figure it out. Frankly, I don’t even remember what I was called those days!!

Things got tough when I moved to Bhatinda and there were no more name-plates. I didn’t have an option, but to try and learn to say my name. Class introductions took place like this :-

Teacher : So, what is your name?

Me : Ummmm….my name is Noormumblemumble….

Teacher : Could you repeat that again?

Me : Uh….Noormumblemumble….

Teacher : Err….did you say Noor” ?

Me : (gladly) Yes. That is my name .

For the next three years in Bhatinda, I was called Noor. And then we moved to Udhampur. Once again, class introduction time. Thankfully, by this time, I was quite fluent in speaking out my name. Still, introductions tested my patience.

Teacher : What is your name.

Me : My name is Noorulayn Syed.

Teacher : Huh?!! Err…I didn’t get that. Could you repeat?

Me : Yes Ma’am. My name is Noorulayn. It is written as Noor-Ul-Ayn. There are two hyphens which will help you in pronouncing it.

The teacher didn’t get past Noor-ul. And the name stuck. I was Noorul for the next two years. Some of the school friends from that time, whom I met once again through Orkut, still call me Noorul. Oh well 🙂

From Udhampur, we moved to Dehra Dun. I was old enough and confident enough of my name by now. And seriously, I used to enjoy the introduction time where invariably I hogged most of the class time making sure everyone got my name right 🙂 .

Teacher  : So, what is your name?

Me : Its Noorulayn Ma’am.

Teacher : Huh?? Come again!

Me : Its Noorulayn.

Teacher : (blankly) Err….I didn’t get you.

Me : Its Noorulayn. Spelt as N-o-o-r-u-l-a-y-n, with a hyphen after the Noor and Ul.

Teacher : (Blank) Huh?!!

Me : (walking up to the blackboard and picking up a chalk) Here is how my name is written. But if it is too difficult , you may call me Noor. I won’t mind.

(I know, I sound pretty prissy here, but seriously, one rarely gets a chance to get so hoity-toity in school 😀  and I wasn’t going to give up my once claim to fame 😀 )

For the next three years ,I was once again Noor.

And then, we moved to Pune. Where I had the worst class introduction of my life!!

I had a severe cold on the first day of joining. My head was heavy, I had a stuffy nose and also a sore throat. But what has to be done, has to be done. Introduction time once again

Teacher : We have a new joinee today. Could you please introduce yourself?

Me : My name is Noorulayn . But you may call me Noor.

The teacher looked at me with shock. The class erupted in giggles and snickers. I felt a bit odd, I mean, I know my name is difficult, but this kind of reaction was definitely not welcoming 😦

I clarified further,

Me : My name is Noor. Spelt as N-O-O-R.

The teacher looked relieved and went back to taking the lecture.

A few days later, after I’d made some friends and was on more genial terms with the classmates, the topic on my introduction came up once again. And I learnt something awful.

Apparently, when I introduced myself, this is what the teacher and the class heard :-

“My name is Noodlan .But you may call me Nude”.

Haha!!

Funny.

NOT!!!

Not when the same thing was repeated many times to many other people. I was the literal butt of all jokes!! The MOST painful year ever!!! I guess my cold and sore throat were wrongly timed 😦

Once I joined college and took up the computers stream, I realized that most software application refused to accept the special character (the hyphen) in the name field. I had no option, but to let go of the hyphens. For some time, I was “Noor Ul Ayn” , But not for long.

Apparently, in Maharashtra, you have to write your name with your father’s name as the ‘middle name’. And since my name was written as “Noor Ul Ayn”, everyone assumed that “Noor” was my name, “Ul” was my father’s (duh!) and “Ayn” was my surname!! It really isn’t funny when your professor calls out to you as “Noor Ayn”. So I removed the blanks. It made the pronunciation of my name difficult for others, but frankly, by this time, I didn’t care. This is my name and this is how I like it written!!

Peace .At last 🙂 !

Anyhow, I’ve stuck to the name “Noor” since then. The ONLY person in this world who calls me by my proper name, is the one who named me. My mom!! (well, she has to, if you know what I mean :D) . The only people who look surprised at the mention of “noor”as a name are Tamilians. And I can understand. Who keeps a number for a name indeed?!! If translated, I could be called “Hundred”. 😀

I’ve personally never met anyone who has heard this name before. Which makes me unique in my circle of friends. All my friends and acquaintances know only ONE noorulayn and that is me. It’s a great feeling. Seriously 🙂

But recently, I found that I share my name with a celebrity (okay, a mini-celebrity then!) . Yup, that is right. I’m not sure if you have heard this song . Its called “Mahiya” by a Pakistani Singer called “Annie” :-

I guess the song also featured in some Hindi movie….no idea which one though!!

Anyhow, crux of the matter is that the singer “Annie”‘s real name is “Noorulain”. She has an ‘i’ where I have a ‘y’. She cut her name short to “Annie”, which I think I can totally sympathize with 😀 . By the way, see that thing  under her lip? It’s a stud. Cute location, me thinks 🙂 . She’s different. And pretty 🙂  (Seriously wishing I shared at least some features with my namesake. At least the hair!! Sigh 😦 )

I just hope she gets famous enough. People are quick to remember the names of famous people. Like Shah-Rukh (yup, there is a hyphen in this name too. Just that the star doesn’t like to put it himself) or Arnold Schwarzenegger (When we were kids, Dad told us his name was Arnold Shivaji Nagar. That helped. 😀 )

“Hey Annie….could you sing some more ? Please !!”

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