To all the people that struggle with a name that people can't pronounce, I completely understand your struggle. I face particular difficulties with individuals who continuedly will proclaim my name or won't even ask for the proper pronunciation. Some people would also ask me to give them a nickname. This forces me to question if my name is costing me opportunities or flawed preconceived notions that subject me to biases associated with the name I hold. I find that it is disrespectfully for individuals to fail even to attempt to try to pronounce my name.
Thus, a letter to those who can't pronounce my name must be addressed.
Dear Non-Indian Person,
How are you? I hope your day is serving you well.
I want to address an essential factor that makes me different than you. It is my name. For you, my name may be different, and you may not be able to pronounce it. I am okay with it.
I understand that my name, originating from India, may be difficult for you to pronounce, and it may not be like the John, Alex, Ashley names that you are used to. It's cool if you can't pronounce my name I won't be offended. But, all I ask is, if you can't pronounce my name you can ask me how I would pronounce it. However, please don't ask me to give you a nickname or more of an Americanized name because you don't wish even to attempt to learn my name. Also, I would appreciate that after I tell you how I pronounce my name, which I would be happy to help you learn, you don't butcher my name after that. I would appreciate that after putting in the effort that you correctly pronounce my name.
Also, if you are in the position to hire, please don't justify passing my qualifications because I hold a unique name. I find that your prejudices are holding me back and your company back from growing. Because it limits my ability to find a job, and you lose because you lose the qualifications I bring to the table as well.
I would appreciate that in a country like the United States, that you at least attempt to make an effort to acknowledge that there are people within the country who have various backgrounds and can contribute and aren't defined by their name.
Yes, I have an Indian name. No, I don't have a nickname. No, I will not change my name for your convenience. Yes, I will teach you how to pronounce my name. Hence, all I ask is you at least attempt to pronounce my name and go forth from there.
A person of Indian Decent.
P.S. I don't want to sound mean. But, I live in an immigrant nation and don't wish to feel subjected to biases. I don't want to hear that I need a more straightforward name or need an American name. Also, I appreciate the effort you put into learning my name as well. `