Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Iyer is back (in my surname)

Well, this month, I formally changed my name to include my surname "Iyer" into all my official records. My name has been taking twists and turns over the past few years. The reasons for that are mostly historical in nature. Till my grandfather's generation, the Iyer surname was well in use, but sometime around the time my father was born, which was at the peak of Dravidian movement, using the Brahmin surname become very unpopular, and so, that generation en-mass dropped the surnames and just adopted initials. (Note: This story and explanation are just what I gathered from talking to a few people and I could be quite wrong. Correct me if I am wrong.)

Following up on that, my initial records were all "V Shreeniwas". When I applied for my first passport (when still in college), the Passport office wouldn't accept initials and hence I became "Shreeniwas Venkatesan", but as it became fashionable to again put the Iyer surname, I did so and bunch of other documents have my name as "Shreeniwas V Iyer" or "Shreeniwas Iyer". It was getting messy. I decided to finally reconcile all of it to the name "Shreeniwas Venkatesan Iyer", which pretty much solves all of it.

So, I signed a affidavit, got it notarized, published the changes to two newspapers (Deccan Herald and Prajavani), applied for a "Miscellaneous Change" at the passport office and got a sparkling new passport with my now newly acquired name.

While I did all this, I was wondering how many people would have actually read my name change notice in the newspapers. I was pleasantly surprised to know that there is an Indian site that is tracking these changes and this was captured there.

ps: I was not a egosurfing cruise, I was just checking out the hypothesis presented by Robin Wauters about twitter tags at TechCrunch.

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