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What’s in a Name — Nothing, but a LOT can be done to it

Let’s first get something very Clear: My Official Name : It is MADHUR CHADHA and there is no spelling mistake here.

I never really knew that my name could be tough to pronounce or spell for anyone, but boy, have I been wrong?.

Here are some of my favorites things that have been done to my name

The Chadda Complex

A lot of people have had the tenacity to tell me that I was “accidentally” spelling my last name wrong. It is supposed to be “Chadda” not “Chadha” or even “Chada”

Yeah, probably one of my ancestors was bad at spelling and I have to live with that

At least half of my college certificates have Chadda in them. This is something I kind of lived with since childhood


I joined Infosys Hyderabad in 2006, it was the “Communications” teacher who was taking the attendance.

I marveled at her ability to pronounce those complicated names(To my “never stepped out of faridabad” ears) . She was the type of person who knew it is Telugu, not Telegu …until she met her nemesis. My name.

After about 30 seconds of trying to arch her lips in the perfect fashion to make the sound that represented that supremely complicated name—She muttered Moaaaadhor, I still do not know what exactly she said, but it was me. Everyone else had “easy” names. I was already famous.

PS: The next name was Madhulaletty –And she did not even have to read it. It was like Neha for her

When the communication instructor cannot pronounce your name…you do start questioning your whole life

The Moon

Overconfidence kills and can sometimes lead to hilarious results.

In 2009, I was starting a project with a company in the US . Before traveling, we had to send our details so that they can get our email , access cards etc ready. The guy handling that on the client side was an Indian, and being an Indian, he thought he knew all Indians.

He read it once and entered my details as “Madhur Chandra”.

Now the way they made email ids was <last name><first 2 letters of first name> @<domain.com>

So I landed in US and emailed my colleagues back in India with my shiny new email ID

chandrama@<client.com> (Chandrama means the moon in Hindi)

I just got 1-word reply for multiple senior people “Lol”

PS: NO American has EVER misspelled my name. They copy paste from my signature. It is always my fellow countrymen

Mr Mathur

I have no clue why, but a LOT of Hyderabadi’s think my name is Mathur . They not only pronounce it like that (which is Ok) but spell it too. I have been corrected on this (can you imagine?)

One of my Microsoft colleagues used to ALWAYS refer to me as Mathur in Emails. I do not like to correct people on email , I sound like an obnoxious jerk correcting minor errors.

I decided to tacitly bring it to his attention.

  • I started putting my first name as a  signature in my emails(even replies). ~Thanks, Madhur.That did not work
  • I Started putting my FULL name in email, to draw his attention
  • I bolded my Name, First name….put colors …highlighters

There still is a Microsoft employee who thinks that he had a colleague called “Mathur Chadha”

How do you correct someone after they have spelled your name wrong for 1 year and you never corrected him ?

He won, I lost. In honor of this name, I  keep my screenname as “Mathur” in a lot of online games.Remember that if you are playing someone called “Mathur”


Now that does not mean, my name is awesome and cannot lead to unfortunate but hilarious situations.

When I joined Microsoft, and had had my fanboy moments, I  was finally presented with my email ID. I had looked forward to that shiny new @microsoft.com email address that I could flaunt

But Microsoft used the following formulae for creating you email ID that time. <2 letters of Firstname><last name>@<domain>

yes: My email ID was machadha@microsoft.com

Don’t get it? Say it out loud in one go…over and over again and see the people around you react.

No surprises, I did not message people my ID, but went to their desk and told them machadha.

Yes, I got it changed soon. A joke has a limited shelf life and mine was also NSFW

Yeah…so what’s in a name.

Now when someone talks about their name being tough.I chuckle…

Son, you have no idea…and my name was supposed to be simple

Or perhaps people are inspired by this Ron Swanson Mantra of Life







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