What’s in a name ? (At a government office)

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Naam boliye.

Neha.

Neha aage ?

Neha Kumar.

Neha ‘Kumar’ ??… ‘Kumar’ ??

Jee.

Ladeez thodi naa ‘Kumar’ lagati hain…

(Stumped silence)

‘Kumari’ hoga. Neha Kumari.

Jee nahi.

Pucca?

(Negotiating my surname, are we ?) Bachpan se yehi naam likhti aa rahi hun. Maa-Baap ne bhi yehi naam rakha tha.

Batao ji. Koi baat hui ? Neha ‘Kumar’! Maine to kabhi aurton ke naam ke aage ‘Kumar’ nahi suna. Manager sahab, aapne suna hai ?!

(I can hear my eyeballs, rotating in their sockets amidst the chattery chuckling.)

Maa-Baap bhi kaise naam rakh dete hain. To aapke legal documents mein aapka naam ‘Kumari Neha Kumar’ likha hoga, nahin ?!! He he he…! (Raucous guffaw)

Kyaa paar ki nazar hai aapki !

Bura mat maniye, main to sirf soch raha tha. Shaadi shudaa hain ?

(Seriously ?! Aapse matlab ? … I pendulate my head in an emphatic ‘No’.)

Nahi ? Arrey…shaadi ho gayi hoti, to kam-se-kam Shrimati Neha ‘Kumar’ to likh hi sakti thi…

(Affsos. Kuunwari Kumari Neha Kumar.)

Kahan se hain aap ?

Dilli se.

Dilli se? To ye aapka asli surname hai ?

Matlab ?

‘Kumar’ kisi ka asli surname to hota nahi hai.

(Chalo police thane mein report darz karwate hain.)

Kuch aur bhi to hoga… ‘Kumar’ ke aage ?

Nahi. Hamare parivaar mein kisi ne zyaada dimaag nahi lagaya. Jab mere pitaji ka janam hua, tab Rajendra Kumar bohat bade Bollywood actor the. Mere dadaji ne bhi, bina zyada soche, mere pitaji kaa naam Rajendra Kumar rakh diya. Unhi dino se ye ‘Kumar’ surname ki parampara chali aa rahi hai.

Aap to mazaak kar rahin hain, madam.

Nahi, nahi..bilkul nahi. Aap hi to jaanna chahte the ki mera surname ‘Kumar’ kaise pada.

Chalo jee… koi baat nahin. Shaadi ke baad to badal hi jaiyega. Hain jee ? Ha ha ha.

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