ABC Challenge #14: N for Name

From Ashwini C N to Ashwini Cuppu.

So I am back to telling you guys more about my name. If you haven’t read the story of my name yet, please read it here (The Story of myName).

My dear sister, chose my name. She decided that I would be Ashwini. My parents decided that I would be C.N.Ashwini. N stands for my dad’s name and C is my Grandfather’s great grandafather’s name. In short, our family name.  At school, they took it upon themselves to rename me Ashwini C.N, since they felt the need to put the initials after the name. I did not have a problem with that. In fact I use that name everywhere, Ashwini C.N 

So, what was my problem? The problem was that no one used to call me by my name. At home, Dad has his own pet name for me. Mom has her own pet name for me. As for my sister, the way she calls me would vary, depending on whether I managed to irritate her beyond her tolerable limits. So the name would keep varying. The rest of the family, call me  by my common pet name.  College friends  call me’ Ash’.  While talking to me in person,  they might use my full name, but while messaging and chatting it’s always Ash.

When I had to apply for my passport, the dear officials strictly instructed us to expand our initials and write our full name. So my passport reads “Ashwini Cuppu NareshKumar”, Cuppu being pronounced as (kuppu). I did not realize that this would have an impact on almost everything else.

During my induction day at work, I told the HR that my name was Ashwini CN and that I preferred to use that name and not Ashwini Cuppu Naresh Kumar. The HR asked for my Birth Certificate and my Passport and said that it would be better for me, if I used the name that was on my passport, or it might lead to a few confusions in the long run. So he gave me a concession and offered me the name “Ashwini Cuppu”. This was much better than having such a long name, so I gladly took it. So people at work know me as Ashwini Cuppu and my mail ID reads the same.

True to being an Indian, I’m addressed by so many names. At least I’m glad that there is something common between all the names I’m addressed by.

But I am a happy person now. At least at work, my colleagues call me by my real name. I like my name a lot, so much that sometimes I just tell my name out loud to see how it sounds. For almost 2 decades, the wonderful name that I was given, was seldom used to refer me, except for official purposes. But now, I’m happy that a considerable amount of people, stick to calling me the way I like to be called.So, to all you wonderful people, specially to those who are in touch with me, a small request, Kindly call me by my full name, I  would love that 🙂 

And, one lovely soul, somewhere up there, would be happy and proud (I think) to see his name being used even after 5 generations :-). 

To read other posts in the ABC Challenge, click here.

33 thoughts on “ABC Challenge #14: N for Name

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  1. I have evolved from calling you Ashwini initially to now calling you Ash. 😀 Nice to read the story behind your full name. I always add my initial 'G' with my name, which of course refers to my Father's name. I like to be called by my full name as well. 🙂

    If it makes you happy, I'll also start calling you as Ashwini Cuppu. 🙂


  2. We here in India are sons/daughters, brothers/sisters etc. first, and persons later. Having so many names other than our official, personal name reflects that. And if you ask me, it is good in a way 🙂


  3. I have always been unlucky with names. Until I joined work, no one knew my surname. During my first job, like you, I too had to declare my full name and people started calling me only by my surname. Imagine if someone calls you only 'kuppu'! When I came online, I did not use my name on my blog for some 2 years or so, and people got used to DI, by that time. Fortunately.

    I guess most of us like our names, as I am yet to see someone who doesn't! I guess since our name gives us a unique feel, we like it 🙂

    Destination Infinity


  4. There was totally 10 Karthik in my class alone. So no Kathik has never been called karthik :). Either its AK or DK or KV. Atleast in my office they call me by my real name. 🙂


  5. Though my friends in college tried many ways to try and cut short my name, i never let them do that because it sounded weird. And my parents and my brother( younger by a year) call me maliny. So there it is. I am maliny for every one who knows me:) But i love calling my friends by their nick names. Like i have a friend safeera, whom we call safi. Somehow safi sounds sweeter than her full name and a lot dearer too. It depends i guess. Your name is beautiful and it deserves to be addressed in its totality:)


  6. Okay Ashwini…will do that from now on wards :P. Btw, I have a post on names pending from so long….it's buried deep inside the debris of my drafts….lol, have to wake up soon and finish it someday. Good to know about the history of your name 🙂


  7. Only in India do we have such long names. As we grow up we rebel against the name (some even make affidavits and make some changes) and as the growing up changes to “being mature” we realise that after all what our parents christened us with was after all the right thing.
    Agree with anilkurup and his bard.


  8. Very interesting post. I liked it. Only South Indians (especially people from Tamilnadu) will have this unique situation. People from all other states have first and last names. Only we go by our father’s name in our initials.

    Ashwini, wait till you go to North India. There, Ashwini could be a male also. For Example: Ashwini Kumar, the Law Minister.

    I am glad you like your last name, Cuppu. In case you want to change that, you will have one more opportunity. That is when you get married. I am sure, since you like your current name very much, you will decline to change your last name.


  9. Very interesting Ashwini… Infact I too have stories related with my name…
    I write my Dad's name after my name.. before marriage it was fine but now there is so much confusion.. people automatically assume it to be my husband's name…


  10. I posted a comment and dunno where did it go. Loved the full form of your name and now I know what CN means. I best friends name is also Ashvini (yes with a V and she is very particular about that V).

    You are going really great with the alphabet posts. Hvae loads of backlog here!


  11. This tradition of carrying long names is often only limited to South Indians. I've also been addressed by different names/pet names until college, sometimes, I even forget what my real name is. Thankfully I had short surnames before and after marriage, but still, these gora people have problem pronouncing my full name!


  12. Oh yea, Karthik being a common name, I'm sure it must have been fun for other to watch when someone randomly calls out 'Karthik' and all 10 of you get up 🙂


  13. What's in a name, they say.. Everything, we say! 🙂 The problem you have mentioned is there for most south Indians.. Same has been the problem for me. We don't have surnames right? I was born in Mumbai. Here, we need to follow “name-fathers name-surname” format..That created a ruckus for me. Anyways, I have ensured the same problem doesn't happen to my daughter 🙂


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