Category Archives: To All the DivyaKs

To All the DivyaKs out there (Part 6): Matrimonial Mayhem

Idreamwedding

Ladies, we need to talk. Again. For years now, I’ve been getting your travel itineraries, your bank/credit card statements, your phone bills, your job applications/CVs, your online shopping lists, even your missives to long-lost friends, etc. etc. because, it seems, a hundred or so of you believe you have my email address. *Deep breath*. In the beginning, I worried. I worried about you guys missing out on stuff. That I’m receiving so many of your private/important documents. I used to write back diligently, saying, ‘Yo, you’ve got the wrong email address’, and feel that glow of having done something good. But those days are long gone now. I’ve reached a point where, unless it’s a question of life-or-death, I don’t bother. I figure, if you couldn’t be arsed to properly remember or type in your own fricking email id, it isn’t my problem. Mostly, though, I don’t even notice them anymore. I just blindly go delete delete delete when I see random bills, office memos, PowerPoint presentations, etc. addressed to me from organisations I’ve never been a part of in my life.

However, you’ve succeeded in getting my attention. Again. Because now, I’m getting marriage proposals that ought to be going to one of you. And really, I draw the line at that. Is nothing sacred anymore?? Every morning, I open my inbox, and there they are, another four or five ‘expressions of interest’ from men viewing your profile on BharatMatrimony.com. I kid you not. Every day. I do feel a tinge of pride on behalf of us female DivyaKs (I’m sure you male DivyaKs are very attractive as well, no gender discrimination meant) everywhere… this is one popular profile. But I digress. I’d like to point out that I’m a much-married mom of one, and I, for one, don’t want any more expressions of interest from matrimony-seeking males. That part of my life is (thankfully!) done and dusted. No more, thank you.

But there you are, a lovely, talented, sweet woman whose only faults are having a) a wretchedly common first name, b) an equally common last name/initial, and c) an annoying inability to remember your own email address properly. And you can’t even be blamed for (a) and (b). Yet, you’re sitting there, day after day, staring at your email inbox wistfully, wondering why, why none of those matrimony-seeking men are interested in seeking matrimony with you. And scattered across the internet there are all those men, at least about 20 by my last count, staring at their inboxes, wondering sadly why this Divya isn’t interested in their expressions of interest.

And the wedding nadaswarams fail to play for another day. *wipes away a tear*

You see? You see, DivyaKs? This isn’t a joke anymore. You miss a phone bill, your company calls you. And you probably don’t want to see your credit card statement anyway. But this, this is a question of the rest of your life! You may never meet the man the you’re meant to be with because you didn’t check your email id properly while filling in an online form! This is tragic stuff, y’all. And let’s face it. This isn’t You’ve Got Mail or something, alright? You’re not going-to-meet-the-guy-anyway-because-you’re-destined-to-be-together-and-already-know-him-but-don’t-realise-it’s-him-until-the-last-five-seconds-of-the-movie. Because if that was our lives, we wouldn’t be on BharatMatrimony or Tindr or PerfectMatch or whatever, see?

So get your act together, ladies. This stuff is important. Check. Your. Email. Address. Repeat after me: “My email id is not your email id.” Stop signing me up for stuff I don’t understand or care about. Stop trying to marry me off to random men, when all the while, your Prince Charming is out there, pining away, staring at your profile. *sniff* Go! Change your email so you can be with him!

And please, for the love for holy matrimony, leave me out of it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Humour, To All the DivyaKs, Uncategorized

To All the Divya Kumars Out There (Part 5): It’s not funny any more…

Ok guys. This is it. It isn’t funny any more. Yes, Divya is a common name. There were three Divyas at my daughter’s birthday party recently. Cue sepia-toned flashback to my own childhood parties. Clearly things haven’t changed in 30 years. Divyas with K initials or surnames beginning with K are also stupendously common. Case in point: that infernal Divya Khosla Kumar who clogs any and all searches of ‘Divya Kumar’ on Google (yes, I’m still at it. Yes, I’m aware it’s sad).

BUT. I think the ridiculous frequency with which these ladies (and yes, the occasional gent) seem to use my email id for various purposes is, well, ridiculous. I went to the bank recently. Money matters are not my strong point. In fact, I suck at managing my finances. I was, as I always am while meeting my ‘relationship manager’ at the bank, nervous, ill-prepared and faintly guilty (about being so irregular and vague about it all). When he asked for the id number on some  investments, I couldn’t find the documents, and in the midst of getting all frazzled, I suddenly remembered an annual report which had been emailed to me from the bank. Tada! I whipped out my new smartphone and feeling ever so, well, smart, pulled up my gmail account and gave him the details. I waited. He made a call. His eyebrows creased. A feeling of foreboding came over me. He looked up at me, confused. “Ma’am, but this is for a Divya Khanna in Delhi.”

I just stared back at him. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I didn’t know whether to feel embarrassed or angry. Or both. It had finally happened. I’d actually been duped by one of these wrong emails.

Why? Why did Divya Khanna think this was her email id? She was so certain of it, she was actually having her mutual fund details sent to it. I mean, was I somehow sharing this email account with 30 others and not realising it? Seriously, this whole thing was taking on a slightly Twilight Zone feel.

It happened again just a day or two ago. I couldn’t remember my Skype password and so clicked on the ‘forgot password?’ link. Skype promptly emailed me, and I was zapped. Because, apparently, there isn’t just my Skype id attached to this email address, there’s three. THREE. All belonging to different Divyas. Again that Twilight Zone feeling. Was it me? Was I creating accounts in my sleep or something? Only pretending to be Divya Damodaran instead of Divya Kumar?

And so, I say, this is it. It is’t funny any more. It’s getting a bit freaky. Does this happen to other Divya Kumars? Is something wrong with my email address? Is something wrong with me?

It’s time to open this out to all you Divyas. We need to talk this out. Discuss the issue in detail. I mean, don’t you guys miss getting your emails? Are you sitting in your homes writing long, rambling blog posts like this about emails that never reach you? Or about how Skype never lets you change your password? We need to talk, ladies.

I have noticed a new trend recently, a sign perhaps that some of the Divyas out there are trying to find ways around this identity swap nonsense. More and more of you seem to be experimenting with funky new spellings. Divia. Diviya. Divaya. I appreciate effort, but just thought I’d let you know that it’s not really working. I’m still getting your emails. Yeah, really.

So, let’s try and sort this out. It’s time to end this, ladies. I spend enough of my life being confuzzled without my email id taking me into Twilight Zone territory over coffee every morning. Post on the blog! Or email me at… scratch that. God knows whom it will reach. Messenger pigeons perhaps?

Leave a comment

Filed under Humour, Series, To All the DivyaKs

To all the Divya Ks out there – Part IV

As you can tell from the title of this post, I’ve written on this subject — i.e. the infuriating commonness of my name — several times. In fact, it was one of the first subjects I wrote about on this blog, given my glee over grabbing the domain name divyakumar.com out of the clutches of the many other Divya Kumars out there.

It’s been a while now since I wrote about it last, but nothing’s changed in the interim. I still regularly get emails meant for all those other Divya Ks. One of the most annoying instances was when I received a flood of resumes from a bunch of desperate job seekers. Obviously one of the Divya Ks was recruiting freshers and, as always, there had been an email address mix up. Or had there? In this instance, I began to suspect that she’d given the wrong address on purpose to the least promising/most aggravating candidates. Because, from what I could tell, none of these kids could spell or construct a grammatical sentence. And at least a couple had some form of severe short term memory loss, since they just kept sending me their CVs again and again in spite of my repeatedly telling them they’d got the address wrong…

It’s amazing what insights I’ve gotten into the lives of all these Divyas over the years, though. Bank and credit card statements (so much for secure online banking right, Divya Kapoor?), flight booking details, phone bills (that Divya Khanna sure has been talking up a storm)… these, of course, I’ve written about before. What’s new is the peeks I’ve been getting into their online shopping habits recently. With the internet shopping boom that’s happening in India, I now regularly receive emails from various online stores about all these goodies they’ll be shipping to ‘me’ soon — saris, electronics, books, you name it. It’s kinda fun… for a little while, I live vicariously through the Divya Ks out there, getting that virtual retail therapy rush without actually burning a hole in the credit card (though I can’t say I like Divya K. Sharma’s taste in clothes much. Not all that glitters needs to be on your sari, m’dear).

But recently, I got some emails that were less fun. Actually, with each one that arrived, I started getting increasingly jittery. You see, for the first time, I was feeling the pain of a fellow Divya K parent. Her child, it appears, studies at this institution that emails parents their child’s grades at the end of the term. Clearly, parents’ email ids is not the only thing that this school was screwing up on, because, let me tell you, the report cards weren’t pretty. Subject after subject was marked ‘FAIL’ in bold red. By the time the third email arrived, with the child’s language scores, I was a nervous wreck, and found myself desperately hoping it wasn’t another big, fat F. Thankfully, the child had – just barely – passed English and Hindi, so I could breathe again.

As I get older, I’m getting more philosophical about this whole having a common-as-heck name thing. After all, it gives me a glimpse into these women’s lives, and I realise we share a whole lot more than our names. We share the stresses of parenthood, we share the joys of shopping and troubles on the job too. So, to all the Divya Ks out there… I salute you. We’ll make through. And to the Divya K whose son is flunking so dreadfully… hang in there. And maybe look for another school?

***

This was written for the “Power of names” weekly writing challenge over on Daily Post.

1 Comment

Filed under Humour, Series, To All the DivyaKs

To all the Divya K(umar)s out there (Part III): The Downfall

Well, it was bound to happen eventually. It was, as I said on my Facebook wall — rather theatrically, I admit, but dammit, I’m allowed! — only a matter of time. Yes, gentle readers of my blog, the sheer infuriating common-ness of my name has finally collided with my career. No, it isn’t another reporter at the MetroPlus or the Hindu writing with the same byline — that would be bad enough. No, there’s now a young lady who’s joined NDTV-Hindu, the new Chennai TV channel (a joint venture between the Hindu and NDTV), and her name is — naturally — Divya Kumar. Why is this such a big deal, you might be asking yourself. There are many people out there with the same name, working in the same field. What’s all the drama about?

Well, it’s like this. See, this young lady (a perfectly nice and harmless person, I’m sure) does interviews with Chennai-based artistes on this channel. With musicians, etc. The sort of thing I might do myself. In fact, given the nature of the relationship between our paper and the channel, I’ve actually done an interview on NDTV Hindu once myself. A lot of my stories are featured as part of the MetroPlus Show that plays on Saturdays. So you couldn’t really blame anyone who doesn’t know what I look like and has only ever seen my byline for MISTAKING HER FOR ME.

After years and years of the nuisance of getting the wrong emails, those meant for all those thousands of other Divya Kumars or Divya Ks — their bank statements, avowals of love from their significant others, etc. — I will now have people putting the wrong face to my name. And the wrong voice. And the wrong body… you get the drift. I feel like I’m in some bizarre remake of The Body Snatchers.

Now those of you who’ve read my earlier pieces on the subject know the commonness of my name has long been a sore spot for me. So naturally I ranted and raved to my family and friends (the poor sods) when I first came across this young lady’s interview. But I told myself to put it in perspective. Be rational, I said. It’s not such a big deal. I was finally reaching the point when I could giggle about it (and I only flinched slightly when a colleague pointed out that it could be worse — the Divya Kumar on TV could have been a guy). Then it happened. I got an email from a well-intentioned professional contact saying she’d seen ‘my interview’ with a prominent music personality on the channel and liked it. And all that was left to say was –aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrgggghhh!

Because it finally hit me. I knew why this was happening. And it was all the worse because I’d brought it upon myself. It was all that gloating I did after I created this blog earlier this year. I thought I’d won, you see, because I got the domain name, divyakumar.com, snatched from the grasp of all those other Divya Kumars, and suddenly all those searches for the wrong ‘Divya Kumars’ and “Divya Ks’ were landing up on my blog! I thought I’d thumbed my nose at the universe when finally, after years of hanging around at the bottom of the search results list on my name (yes, yes, it’s pathetic, but you do it too) I was suddenly on the first page with my blog. I believe my precise words were ‘Bwahahaha’.

Well, Universe, you win. You get the last laugh. I eat humble pie. Now, just below my blog’s link at the top of the search results for “Divya Kumar” on Google, we have the link to the TV channel’s interview. And that ain’t my face you see. So yes, I give up. I realise now that I can’t fight it. I will always be one of many. But at least my blog still comes first on the results page. I am resigned. To all the Divya Kumars out there — learn from my mistakes. From now on, we follow the path of Zen.

13 Comments

Filed under Humour, Madras, Series, To All the DivyaKs, Uncategorized

To all the Divya Ks out there (Part II)

Those of you who’ve read this earlier entry of mine will know that I’ve had recurrent issues with the number of women (and the occasional man, sigh) with the same name or the same first name-and-initial as I. I get emails from them (when they decide to email themselves deeply private, personal information… without double-checking the email id first). I get email for them, from long-lost friends who’re visiting for just a day and MUST meet them (oops) or from banks that’re convinced I’m Divya Vasudevan K and send me her credit card statement month after month (in HDFC’s defense, they did finally fix it… after my third and most pissy email to them yet). And I’m usually so far down on the Google search results (oh don’t judge me… you all Google your names, you know you do) that I have to enter super specific information and I’m still like five pages down, past results for Bollywood’s sweethearts Divya Kumar Khosla (why couldn’t she just be Divya Khosla? Why?) and Divya Kumar the dancer/actor (nothing personal, I’m sure they’re both lovely people. I’m just a tad bitter), followed by several super-achieving Divya Ks in MIT, Colunbia, et al (it’s really quite impressive how many there are), and then various Divya Ks in IT jobs all over India (how do they tell them apart? Especially in the South, where they all end up being K. Divya? Infosys and TCS alone must have a coupla hundred).

Well (and this is the point of this post… there is one, I swear) it’s all come full circle. And it’s all because of this blog o’ mine :). You see, now, people searching for these other Divya Ks are landing up on my blog. Bwahahahaha. After all these years, having the most common name on earth is paying off. All those times I was the ‘wrong Divya’ and got email meant for someone else and painstakingly wrote back informing them of the error… I’m reaping the rewards, you guys. It’s karma (I’m getting goosebumps). In just the last two weeks alone I’ve had a bunch of cases of searches for “Divya so-and-so MIT” or “Divya Kumar Bollywood” somehow magically leading people to my blog (can you tell I’m slightly addicted to WordPress’ super-fantastic stats and usage info?). AND (this is the big one)… DRUM ROLL… my blog shows up on the first page of Google results for a search on my name!!!! (I think this warrants a rare case of exclamation mark abuse). Go ahead and try it (you know you want to… or not). I’ve quite literally moved up in the virtual world.

So, the moral of the story is… all those of you out there with infuriatingly common names, there is hope. Hang in there. One day, your website too will be rated highly by Google’s PageRank algorithm. And to all the Divya Ks out there… welcome to my blog. (bwahahahaha)

( Note: If there is an unpleasantly gloat-y tone to this entry, please don’t judge the author too harshly. Put it down to years of nominal suffering.)

4 Comments

Filed under Humour, Series, To All the DivyaKs

To all the Divya Ks out there

Finally making my first post, nearly a year after creating the blog. I’d actually forgotten I’d created it at all and only remembered when wordpress told me my email id had already been used when I tried to register. This either meant that I’d already created a blog on wordpress or that there was some other blogging-inclined Divya K out there with the same email id, which is entirely possible considering the ridiculous frequency with which people mistakenly email me stuff meant for other Divya Ks (oh how many of them there are). HDFC persists in sending me poor Divya Vasudevan K’s bank statements every month, and superciliously informed me that I was imagining things when I tried to tell them about it. I personally make it a point to inform all the Divya Kesavans and Divya Kapoors who email themselves [me] their resumes, air ticket confirmations, office memos, etc. that I’m not them. Always feel very virtuous after I do it too. My little digital act of kindness for the day.

But I digress.

The point is, while it is possible that I’ve actually been somehow sharing my email id with a number of other Divya Ks (timeshare email ids?) because it’s just such a common combination of name and initial that the email provider couldn’t allot it to only one woman (or man, actually, but that’s a rant for another day), it isn’t probable. (I wonder about it on occasion, but since my email inbox has remained fairly unmolested in the four years that I’ve used it, I’ve decided it’s just me being paranoid). So that meant that I had in fact meandered over to wordpress while seized by one of my intermittent ‘I’m-going-to-become-a-blogger!!!’ urges and actually created one. And then *boing* a very, very faint bulbu went off somewhere in my antihistamine-fogged brain (it’s been a bad allergy winter. Any errors on this blog are attributable to Desloratadine until further notice) and I remembered vaguely having created one last March. See, one of my colleagues had very sweetly gifted another colleague a blog (with an apt domain name purchased for a year) for her birthday and that had sparked off one of the intermittent urges, etc.

So. (I’m certain no one is still reading at this point, but I’m going to persevere cos it’s my blog and I’ll ramble if I want to). Here I am, in February of the next year and I’m finally updating. (Please, don’t everybody break into applause at once). This update almost didn’t happen either. I started this morning in a fit of productive cheerfulness (it happens to me rarely, very rarely) and gave it up because I couldn’t think of anything to say. It started feeling like an article I didn’t have a lead sentence for and I gave it up for later. Then I remembered that this is for fun and it’s not in fact an article that needs to live up to any quality standard and all and I just let myself go once I got home at night (I’m sure you’re real glad I did, persevering reader who’s gotten this far.)

Anyhoo. This blog will be updated in future with bits and pieces from articles or additional information on ppl I meet/write about, book/movie recs, random observations about Chennai, etc. in the future. Or not. It depends on whether I actually remember that it exists at all in the future.

ETA: Look ma, no word count limit!! 😀

ETA: Must. stop. obsessively. editing. and. re-editing.

7 Comments

Filed under Humour, Series, To All the DivyaKs