Say My Name
Part of me felt like a traitor. I felt like I was abandoning my Indian heritage. Like I was telling the world I was white. Or at least Latin.
I peered stealthily over the apples. Like a panther I was watching my
“Excuse me, do you know what aisle the pickles are in?” Omigod, did I
Mathias was a Johnny Depp look-a-like who worked at the local grocery
“So what’s your name?”
“What?” A look of bewilderment flashed across his face as he tried to
“Ray-sh-ma,” I really tried to sound it out.
“Ohhhh, that’s kind of a weird name.”
I cringed. I liked having an Indian name, but couldn’t it be something
Needless to say Mathias didn’t work out.
Growing up in the very desi-friendly state of New Jersey, I had known
It hit an all time low in the 11th grade. Most teachers would stumble
After that Mrs. Applebottom never screwed it up again.
Despite my name’s inherent un-pronounce-ability, it wasn’t something
I was 19 when I started working at a modeling agency. My job involved
My first day at work, I went out for coffee with one of the models,
“So what’s your name again?” John asked.
“Ray-sh-ma,” I replied, bracing myself for the annoying back and forth.
“Huh? How do you say it?” John asked.
“Sure.” I gave up. It was a pointless endeavor.
I imagine if I had chosen to intern at a regular office like many of my
But I put up with it, because I had no choice. Don’t get me wrong, it’s
My name was however becoming an albatross around my neck. I just didn’t
After interning at the modeling agency for the summer, I headed off to
As I traveled from city to city, I was going to be meeting a different
Hmmmm, I wondered. Should I try being a “Rachel”? Just for the next
After much debate, I finally decided to give it a shot. It would make
“What’s your name?” one of them asked.
I took a deep breath, “Rachel,” I said, nervous they would find out I
“Cool, I’m Sarah.”
That’s it. No weird faces. No asking me to pronounce my name 80 times.
After I graduated college, I permanently adopted the name “Rachel” in
It seems the only person who was questioning it was myself. That’s when
Of course, life as it often does, always comes full circle. I changed