Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Whats in a Name? (Convo Blues)

Yeah, my name is Nirav Kanodra, I dont see anything difficult bout pronouncing it or spelling it right. But well the world does.

On Umpteen ocassions my name has been spelt as Neerav and the surname think of all the combinations:
Kanodia, Kanoria, Kandora, Kanodara, Kanodria, Kanorda ... and the list goes on and on. As some one said we read only what we want to read. So 'Kanodra' not being a popular indian surname most indians simply use their intelligence and write what they feel is correct. More over they pronounce it the way they feel its right (and not the way i the bearer of the surname pronounce it)

All my childhood in school i was called Kandora after a teacher said that in class 3, the same time we had 'Pandora's Box of troubles' being taught in english. That stuck for a while and then someone called me the desi version "Kannu" and this one stuck well into engineering days where Saurabh Vilekar nicknamed me Kandy (thankfully, Saurabh i still thank you for that). In L&T again my nick name reverted to Kannu and then in IIMA the less said bout nick names the better. (PS my parents know my nick name ... damn)

anyways these errors are so pervasive in my engineering degree certificate there was an error (Kanorda instead of Kanodra and then they mispelt it the second time as Kandora, damn lightning struck twice)
And the bigger whammy was before our actual concocation we had a rehearsal and the chairman of the PGP Pregram Professy MM Monipally mispronounced my surname. He went like Nirav errr Kan-do-ra (the whole batch applauded) and he corrected himself. (I wasnt alone, Mohit Pradhan became Rohit Pradhan and Nangmuansang Lethil was a toungue twister)
So much so that in the actual convocation, there was a louder than normal applause for Nangmuansang and me. I felt really happy thinking that my parents might think this was due to me being more popular (as in most popular guys got really loud applauses) but damn they were seated near some students from my batch and they overheard "Oh so finally MMM got kanodra's name right"

SO i surely have been used to being called something apart from my name right from childhood days, but lets see what is it which makes my surname so special.

Rewind to 1900s or there abouts. My Great Grand Father was born Ravishankar Trikumji Trivedi (son of Mr. Trikumji Trivedi) Being born in a Brahmin family he too managed some education (or so they say) and was an employee of the prestigious "Burma Shipping Company" which was a part of the original East India Company. (All you Indians please dont curse my lineage, i still dont support the colonial rule)

Some where in Late 1930s Mr. R.T. Trivedi had a problem. His boss had the same initials and their letters used to get routinely mixed up. To that add some religious mumbo jumbo and throw in an astrologer and thus for some vague reason (which we shall never know) he decided to change his surname. Thus from Trivedi he changed it to "Kanodra" (but this spelling was in devanagiri script i guess) Apparently as my grandpa says Kanodra is the name of the goddess of our "Kul" (you may call it a sect, or some super sub division in our caste of Shrimadi Yajurvedi Brahmins from Jamnagar). Well the truth is no one actually knows.
Now Great Grandpa died young and this when his eldest son came of age he was offered a job. But by then the management changed hands. Now it was "Scindia Steam Navigation". The operations at the Jamnagar port stopped for good, and now their botched records wouldnt let Mukundrai Trivedi work as he wouldnt be the son of Mr Kanodra.
So my Grandpa moved to mumbai and changed his surname, and then some where in between some clerk some where got his name as Canodra. So we had Mr. Mukundrai Canodra starting his career on the Princess Dock in Mumbai working for Scindia Steam Navigation. He didnt know the difference as he didnt study much (He and his brothers didnt pay much attention to education after great grandpas death)
So now we had M.R. Canodra but his brothers continued to live in jamnagar and continued with the surname trivedi.

Now fast forward some where in 1950s. My dad is admitted to a school and his name was finally spelt out as Kanodra (the spelling which stands till today). in the family we had Mukesh Kanodra son of Mukundrai Canodra and Mukundrai Canodra was the brother of Vishuprasad, Mansukhlal and Natwarlal Trivedi.
Some family ehh.
Thankfully my dads 3 siblings were all Kanodra (no more variations) though my dad has faced problems in the past. How come you are Kanodra and your dad is Canodra?

Anyways thus today on the surface of this world there exists only 8 Kanodras. No make that 7 Kanodra's and 1 Canodra. (It was 7 + 2 a couple of years back but my Grandma Mrs. Shantaben Canodra expired)

So thats the story behind the surname.


Navneet Sharma said...



Samyak said...

I empathize with you completely man.

Pandya has been abused in many ways too. Pandey, Panda, Pandu, Pande and then the accented version Paandyaa in my convent school.

Even Samyak has been equally abused. You can use your imagination here.

Anonymous said...

hey nirav,
after housing blues u hv a name abuse .nice fam history and evolution from trived to canodra to kanodra .must hv been a nice funy scene in ur convocation with uer name pronounced askandoras and karondas , but i shall definetely call u nirav kandora oops kanodra

nirav said...

Actually this was for all the names that have been abused. (yup samyak i can only guess how many might have misspelt or mispronounced your names)
@ Anonymous, my name was mis pronounced in the rehearsal but the actual thing went of smoothly (thats the reason we have those rehearsals) and due to the anticipation of a mistake, people clapped a little louder