Thursday, November 13, 2008

So Many Sujat(h)as

As I was responding to comments from Sujatha @Blogpourri and she was engaged in a back and forth with Another Sujatha (not me, though) in an old post of hers from 2005, I was reminded of the multiple Sujatha problem that we all face.

In school, I was unique in my class, unlike the Susans and Lakshmis. The confusion started for me after I started work and there was a Sujata in my department. She was my senior in the department by several years, and shared a similar sounding initial. The phone for the room which we shared sat on my desk and answering calls often went like this.
"Can I speak to Sujat(h)a?"
"Which Sujatha?"
"Sujatha mumble, mumble, E"
"Sorry, didn't hear the initial, did you mean E or B?"
"OK, I want to talk to the 'old' Sujatha."
At this point the 'old' Sujata would walk over pronouncing in definite terms "I wish they would stop calling me the old Sujata and you the new Sujatha , it sounds really weird and doesn't make me feel any younger." as she took over the handset.

Now, where I live, there's another Sujatha who came here much before me, but our mutual acquaintances prefer to distinguish us by attaching our husbands' names to ours. While the Indian community in greater Pittsburgh is by no means huge, we still have about 4 or 5 Sujat(h)as, of whom I'm personally acquainted with 2.
Add to this the fact that my professional last name is my maiden name, while I go by my married name for school purposes, and it makes for more confused conversations whenever I'm at a local place like the bank or library. "Oh, your name is Sujatha! Is it a common name among Indians, because I know another Sujatha who is on the PTA."
Err... that would be me, unless she's talking about the other Sujatha who lives in an adjoining school district, but I believe that she might not be as active as me in her kids school PTA., since she is employed full-time.
Or, "Your name is Sujatha! How pretty! I remember seeing it on a car license plate at Giant Eagle."
Err... that would be me again.

Maybe I'm the only Sujatha that gets around all over the place here!


Sujatha Bagal said...

I had the problem of many Sujathas too! It's a pretty popular name for our generation, seems like.

And now I'm confused. When I click on Another Sujatha on the public vs private school debate post (it was from 2007, though), it brings me to this blog. Wasn't that you?

There was a Sujatha on a 2005 post (about Philadelphia) that did not seem to have a blog.

Sujatha said...

The Sujatha on the 2005 post was the one I was referring to- she's a different one who seems to have a disabled or private profile on Blogger. But yes, it's me commenting on your 2007 post about the schools. I had started this blog by Jan 2007, after having guest blogged (and still do) on Ruchira Paul's Accidental Blogger.

kochuthresiamma p .j said...


Anonymous said...

lol! In my school we were assured to have a minimum of 4 Divyas in one class!

Sujatha said...

@Kochuthresiamma: Will do the tag when I've completed the necessary research for it ;)
@Cris: And so, your name is Divya too?

Anonymous said...

Your Sujatha problem is exactly like my Jennifer problem during my school days. There were at least 5 Jennifers at any given moment, many with the last initial T.

Somehow we seem to have thinned out over the years-- I encounter much fewer Jens, Jenns and Jennifers in business. It's a bit of a relief, really.

I do love the name Sujatha-- It's got a beautiful sound to it. But come to think of it, I think I've known of two Sujathas myself.

Sujatha said...


So is Jennifer going the way of Guinevere anytime soon? I think the new popular names happens to be Emily and Madison, so when you are a grandma, you're going to be hearing complaints about "Too many Emily's in my office" from the grandkid.

Anonymous said...

Sujatha- We'll see where Jennifer goes. There was a good decade or so where that was a popular name, so we won't die off for another thirty years or more. I think Emma and Emily are, yes, the new big names. And for boys "Jack" has suddenly become big. There has to be a balance between everyone having the same name and then names that are a bit TOO creative. (Hollywood comes to mind there-- Apple??!:)

Munimma said...

I am still trying to figure out which one is you. I think I know 3 in the svtemple community, 1 of which you are not :-)
And may be we know each other.

Sujatha said...


Maybe we do know each other, although your blog provides me with precious little by the way of clues ;)