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?"
"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!