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Ninaada Bellippady

My name is Ninaada (ನಿನಾದ). The name is very rare to find. Even if you find one, it will be around one in a thousand or ten-thousand. Even If you find one, If you consider my last name (Bellippady), it is impossible to find another person with the same name as mine. Throughout my (student) life, I have had many funny instances due to my name, mainly due to the fact that many people struggle to pronounce my name correctly.

I was living in Mumbai for almost 7 years. As my mother recalls, some people back there used to call me as “Ninad” or “Ninaad” (ನಿನದ್ or ನಿನಾದ್). I thought that was bad to mispronounce one’s name. But I should have been thankful that they could at least pronounce that much, because I didn’t know what would happen in future. Compared to now in Bengaluru, what some people pronounce, Mumbai people were far better. Then After finishing my 2nd standard, we shifted to Bengaluru. My parents admitted me to a school to continue my studies. Then all the hell broke loose regarding the pronunciation of my name. “Ninaada” became many things I couldn’t imagine of, like Ninaanda, Ninanda, Ninnada,Vinoda,(ನಿನಾಂದ,ನಿನಂದ,ನಿನ್ನದ,ವಿನೋದ )etc… Making the people to pronounce my name correctly became a Herculean task. And the more irritating was that of my last name. Ninaada Bellippady would become Ninoda Belliyappa!! And many more things that I never imagined in my wildest dreams…. Phew!

There was one incident at my PU college I would never forget. There was a Physics lecturer who always had problems in pronunciation. During the attendance, as always, he would mispronounce my name as Ninaanda, etc…. but one fine day, he started calling the last names of the students too. He started pronouncing my name as “Ninoda Bella-pudi”. I was completely dumbstruck! In Kannada, Bella-pudi (ಬೆಲ್ಲಾ ಪುಡಿ)means Jaggery Powder! I’m not as sweet as jaggery! However by some persuation, he started calling my first name correctly, but literally killed my last name. It isn’t that due to my name, I always had things like these, I had advantages also. In the same year, I had a computer science lecturer who could not pronounce my name. She always saw my face & then put the attendance for me. Later it became a habit for her to put attendance as I was a regular student. One fine day, I bunked her class & still got the attendance for that class. I wish it always happened for me in the future also.

Sometimes I used to pray during the attendance that let these lecturers pronounce my name properly, so that I would not be embarrassed. Especially I would be very curious to know what the teachers pronounce my name, during the time which I got admitted to new school or college. I had go through all these till my PU days. I had a surprise waiting for me in my Engineering college. Now I have studied here for 4 semesters and only two of them have mispronounced my name! Then I got to know from one of my seniors that another student having the name Ninaada used to be there in the college. Pity him, maybe he got to take all those embarrassments.

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