Sundeep Bhutoria

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ess bee

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

What's there in a name!

Last week, I got a call from the British Council, saying my daughter’s application for a scholarship had been approved. The caller, who is a friend of mine, wanted to know why I had not told him about it. Nonplussed, I had to actually remind him that I do not have children yet. He got back to me later saying he had assumed it was my daughter because of a similar or same name as mine.
On Tuesday, as I emerged from an event, Mahendra Soni of Venkatesh Films told me that the driver who used to work for me in Delhi had joined his staff, and had sought permission to meet me the previous week. Again, I had to tell Moni that I don’t even have a car in Delhi, I never did.
Hearing this he thought his driver was being clever with him. So he called his car and asked his driver if he had met me. The driver looked blank and said no. Finally, it emerged that his driver went to meet some other person with the same name, who is associated with Stadel Hotel in Salt Lake.
A few years ago, film maker Anjan Dutt called me to say that he wanted to shoot in Stadel, but the staff had informed him that he needed my permission. I told Anjan that I was nobody to grant permission, and only later realised that there was someone by the same name at that property.
Once, at a The Park Hotel social gathering, a teacher approached me for an appointment, saying she wanted to join my educational institution which, of course, I had never heard of myself. I came to know later that some other Bhutoria had set it up. All I can say is that I don’t know how many Sundeep Bhutorias are there in town.
There have been so many other instances. Once, a Central cabinet minister asked me at a social gathering how my coal business was doing, and about the recent tenders I had got from the government of India. Of course, I have absolutely nothing to do with that particular business, and neither am I in the real estate or hotel business.
I remember, years ago, when I applied for an arms license, eyebrows went up in the arms department because I had ticked the box next to “never applied before”. Why so? Because police records said I had applied in the past and my application was rejected.
When I told senior police officials to look into the matter, I realised that a someone with a same name as mine had applied for a license at that very police station. I was given the license only after the department realised that according to the date of the earlier application, I wasn't even a teenager when I had supposedly applied for it.
I don’t know how many persons in this era have the same name as mine, but increasingly, in recent years, I have had to answer for things of which I wasn't aware of to real estate brokers, senior politicians, socialites, bureaucrats and several times to the media.
There are at least three other Sundeep or Sandeep or Sandip Bhutorias in town. I have never ever met any one of them formally. I also know of someone with the same name and surname as mine whose wife and father-in-law's initials are also same as mine.
What’s in a Name? Juliet had explained to Romeo. A lot! I say. It may lead to a Comedy of Errors or put one’s life in a Tempest. I wish the Bard knew what I have to endure. At times it can be a midsummer nightmare.
I hope it will pass.
ess bee

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