Redolent Appellation | Teen Ink

Redolent Appellation

March 2, 2009
By Kasturi BRONZE, San Jose, California
Kasturi BRONZE, San Jose, California
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Kasturi. In Bengali, my name is an exceptionally extraordinary type of perfume that smells resplendent, sophisticated, exquisite. A redolent appellation. My name is a soothing blur of slurred syllables that roll off my family's tongue melodiously, like a viola concerto.
In English, my name is a mix of the wrong consonants in the wrong syllables. My name is a mouthful that gets butchered on a daily basis by every tongue that somehow, with great asperity, utters it. Always, always, the immense hesitancy, before declaring my name with blatantly atrocious mispronunciation. Teachers and peers alike have colossal difficulty with pronunciation, even after careful phonetic dissection, meticulous execution, patient repetition, and articulate enunciation. Even so, my name becomes a harsh mixture of unreservedly incorrect pronunciation and coarse, inept, American speech. So, for simplicity, my name becomes the short, one syllable, 'Kat,' easy enough for even the average American mouth.
My uncle, on the opposite side of the world, on my father's side of the family, named me. Kasturi, an expensive musk, harvested from rutting deer living in the wild. My name. Sold at outrageous prices, in India, genuine Kasturi is said to have incredible, almost inconceivable magical powers of healing, able to alleviate almost any ailment, any disease at all. In India, true Kasturi is sold only at holy temples. In America, it is a name that often gets sold short.
I am proud to have such a sophisticated, graceful name, but at the synonymously, I am almost embarrassed sometimes at having a name that is so difficult for the people around me to both pronounce and remember. If I would ever want the opportunity to change my given name, it would become Natasha, or perhaps, if I dared, maybe Sasha. But, for now, and forever in my heart, I will always be Kasturi.

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