Wednesday, 26 November 2014


I am only a part-time teacher now. The rest of the time I'm a student (it's just momentarily, while I find a job I like). Well, one of my teachers keeps on calling me Mari Pau and and calling my classmate Mari Pau, Gema. She also mistakes another two students: Glen and Félix. That's reminded me of how hard it was for me to remember Indian names.

One of the frustrations you face when in India, at least at the very beginning, is remembering names.
You have to remember things' names, in order to be able to manage in everyday life, in a shop for example. But above all you have to remember people's names. And that is quite challenging when you can't even tell the difference between one person and another. Everybody seemed the same person to me! And with children it was even harder!
As a Spaniard, don't you have the idea that every single Chinese person looks exactly the same as the other? Well, that's what happened to me with Indians the moment I set foot in the country.
I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw all those lovely children the first day I stepped in the school hostel. I panicked when I thought of the idea of having to memorize all those faces and names. And there were only about 30 something of them!

But then, next day, I went to school. And there, there were more of them. I had to teach 102 children, to be exact! And that meant I had to recollect 102 faces and 102 names. But not any name! No! They were Indian names! Each one weirder than the other! I thought I could never do it! I remember thinking that I would leave one year later without knowing them!
Have a look at some of them:
So, there I was, determined to learn all of them, the sooner the better. I had my strategy. I would take note of all the students' names and I would draw a picture of the class seats. At night, I would "study" them and then, in a few days, I'd be able to call them by their names, which, on the one hand, shows respect for your students (and by feeling respected they respond better), and on the other hand, it gives you some control over the class.
The perfect plan! But guess what they did, realising that I didn't have the slightest idea of who they were. Every day, they switched their places. When I looked at one of them, confident that I knew his or her name, he or she answered from the other part of the class. So, I thought my notes were nor correct and I changed them. At night I studied their names again, and the next day, the same story de novo! Finally I saw daylight and they could not pull my leg any longer!
But then, like 2 weeks later, I not only knew all their names and faces, but  I could also recognize their voices, as well. I had my own pronunciation, though! For example in the same class I had a Jeshwanth and a Heshwanth! And then in another class I had a Yeswanth! Do you think I made any difference when pronouncing them? I don't think so! I tried, but... Calling the roll was funny (for them)! They cracked up!

I have to add that I don't think many people there knew my name. They called me Miss or Sister or "telaama" (which means white woman),...
Naming all of them, may be boring for you (reading this blog), but it's made me recall each and all of them.

Here I go!

5th standard: V. Navya Sree, Arun Prasad, Bhavana, Meghana, Manohar, P. Navya Sree, Sujay, Damodhar, Girish Rani, Prathyusha, Joseph, Arthika, D. Lokesh, R. Dinesh, D. Dilip, Kiran Kumar, Bhavya, Vaishnavi, Geethika, A. Dileep, Nanda Kumar, Nithin, Ashok, Gowtham, Sravan Raju, G. Lokesh, G. Dinesh, Laksmi Prakash, A. Aravind, Sagar, Balaji, K. Aravind, Akash, Praveen, Naveen, Srikanth, Prakash, Manjula, A. Likith, Karthik and A. Dilip Kumar.

6th standard: D. Vinay Kumar, Mary Selvi, Taja Sree, Murali, Chandana, Kusuma, Hemanth, Divya, Sai Prakash, Bhavana, Deepthi, Shekar, C. Vinay, Manisha, Abilash, Sandeep, T. Prasanth, Sumanth, Akhil, K. Prashanth, Muni Raja, Indu, Madan Mohan, Harshavardhan, Charan Kumar and Sukanya.

7th standard: Bhavya, Naresh, Rohith, Rechal, Likith, Saichandu, Brundha, Sanath, Chandra Kanth, Chaithanya, Sai Manoj, Reddy Prakash, Pavan Kalyan, Sathya, Vamsi, Yeswanth, Ajay Kumar, Veena, Shabaz, Yogaranjini, Ganesh, Chandana and Vinusha.

8th standard: Jeshwanth, Anil, Rundha, Tanusha, Tharun, Bharath, Ghavith, Sudhakar, Heshwanth, Reddy Prakash, Laksmi Kanth and Reddy Prasana.

Each one of them was different from the other. Some were really clever, some were extremely lazy. Some were naughty and some were like angels. But each one of them taught me something! Thanks for ever!

And to end with, one curiosity: they ask, "what's your good name?" instead of asking "what's your name?" As if you had a good one and a bad one!
In this link you can find a list of all Indian names and their meanings: