Enter the pandit at the 'namkaran' ceremony who was shocked at their choice of name. "Bada hi ashubh hai.", he reportedly screeched and ordered my parents to name me something starting with 'A'. So after much deliberation, I was named Aparajita after a character that Vyjanthimala (spelling?) portrays in some film.
Thus began a lifelong tussle between my 'ghar ka naam' and my 'school waala naam'. Kirti was the naughty little chit of a girl who was spoilt rotten by everyone at home and Aparajita went on to become the serious, studious type who sat quietly and read in a corner while her classmates rolled in the dust outside. I'm not talking like I'm schizophrenic to freak you guys out, that's just how it was. It took me many years to open up and tell my friends to call me Kirti which relieved me from the burden of being good little Aparajita all the time! Of course, names never stay as they are. So Kirti became Ki, Kiki, Kiku and all such sorts of nonsense. And when I was old enough to have them, the steady stream of boyfriends in my life would use the stereotyped 'baby', sweetheart', 'darling' endearments instead of my name, which made me even more infuriated with what I have come to call 'the name situation'.
The boyfriends became history but the confusion continued. My in laws wouldn't call me Kirti! And why not?! Because their son in law's name is also Kirti! Apart from cringing at the fact that my name seems to be a unisex one, I was stuck wondering what they could call me. Ki wasn't 'proper' and despite that fact that it has been suggested to me many times, Appu was a BIG, FAT NO!!!!!!!! My dad in law finally solved my problem by deciding to call me Chikku, what he used to call my fiance when he was a baby. It's not my name of choice but I'd rather be named after a fruit (chikku) than an elephant (appu)! And of course, the fiance himself calls me anything from 'wifey' to jackass' to 'barbie'. Thanks baby!!!
The conclusion? There isn't one. Every time someone calls me, it takes me a minute or two to turn out, I realise too late when I'm being referred to in conversations and I end up ignoring my teachers very often when they go 'Apaaaaaaraaaaaaaajitaaaaaaaaaa'. :D Okay so that last one is often on purpose but that doesn't mean I'm not facing a genuine problem! Ask me what my name is and you'll know!!!