Save Me a Seat – Gita Varadarajan
Suryanarayanan is my surname. My first name is Ravi. It’s pronounced rah-VEE, with a soft rah and a strong VEE. In Sanskrit, it means “the sun.” In America, people call me RAHvee, with the stress on the first syllable. That doesn’t mean anything. “Patience is a virtue,” Amma reminds me often. She believes that, with time, people will learn how to say our names correctly. My grandmother tells her not to hold her breath. We moved to Hamilton, New Jersey, a few months ago— May 13 to be exact. I am fresh off the boat, as they say. My father got a promotion at his IT company in Bangalore, so they transferred him to America. In India, Amma, Appa, and I had our own house with a cook and a big garden. We even had a driver to take us wherever we needed to go. My grandparents lived in their own flat nearby. Now we all live together in a town house, in a place called Hamilton Mews.