Monday, October 15, 2007
It had been holding him back all his life. He was sure of it. It was the reason why he never had any friends in school, it was why his college applications were rejected – each and every one of them, it was the reason why he couldn’t find a bride. His name, he decided, was the reason why he was an unhappy, unsuccessful, single, balding, wedding caterer. 35 years old and all he had to show for it was a long list of complaints from families whose weddings he catered. Why were they all so sure it was his badamkheer and akkaravadisal that had caused the food poising? And it wasn’t his fault that he had misplaced the list of food allergies the groom suffered from; the swelling didn’t show that much in the reception pictures. He sat up suddenly, a difficulty given his stomach (but what was one to do with so much leftover food?). He would change his name. Yes, that was it. All the other successful caterers had powerful, impressive names. Mountbatten Mani. Arusuvai Natarajan, Nalabhagan Narayanan. He would take on a new name. No more of this change I to Y and add another S he’d been trying all these years. He would get a brand new name. One that made people stand up in respect when they heard and read it. One that would make stupid fathers think twice before rejecting his offer of marriage to their bucktoothed daughters. Oh yes. A new name. One that had no connections with his old life. Stalin Sundaramoorthy? Haryana Hitler? T. Nagar Tipu? Maybe a combination? Tipu Stalin? He felt powerful just saying the name out loud. He got up and waddled towards the kitchen. Yes, his life would be different. But first, a cup of badamkheer.