Shanker Deonandan


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Google image search result for "Shanker". What the hell is it? Who knows.

For those of you who don’t know (and care), my full name is Raywat Shanker Deonandan. Only the absolutely cleverest people in my youth were able to mock me for having a middle name that was a homonym for “chancre”. And only the absolute least clever among you will mock me for using the word “homonym”.

Now, few of you know that, due to complicated political shenanigans in Guyana (that I will not get into today), Deonandan is not my true paternal lineage name. Deonandan was actually my father’s original given name, and for a number of reasons he chose to make it his surname long before marrying my mother and producing a brood of children who, too, would adopt this surname.

There are other families –all Indian, mostly Indo-Caribbean– with Deonandan as a surname, but not very many.

Raywat, on the other hand, is indeed my original given name. If you Google it, you will find many mentions of me and a few mentions of people with this name…. almost all of whom are of Thai extraction.

I am not Thai. I wouldn’t mind being Thai. I loved my time in Thailand 17 years ago, and I really enjoyed the spirit and beauty of the Thai people. But I am not Thai. I am Indian, of pretty much exclusively Indian descent. (I know this because of genetic testing.) Likely, Raywat is a bastardization of Ravat or a similar sounding Hindi name.

So, while Deonandan is rare but not exclusive, and Raywat is rare but not exclusive, I defy anyone to find another Raywat Deonandan.

The name Shanker, on the other hand, is not particularly rare. Google it and you will find many references to people, gods and whatever that thing in the image above is. But its spelling is certainly unorthodox. Most people with this name spell it Shankar. Thus, I would have bet that the name, Shanker Deonandan would be pretty much unique, as well.

All this is to say that I was a bit surprised when one of my regular ‘bots, who patrol the Interwebs looking for references to me, returned with the following hit: Shanker Deonandan, Admin Director of North Shore University Hospital in New York.

There is a photo of him there, which I will not reproduce, in respect of the privacy of someone who shares my name. The dude, naturally, is good looking enough to be a relative…. and I would bet money that he is of Caribbean extraction, like me.

In any case, good to meet you, Mr. Shanker Deonandan. (Even though I haven’t actually met you, just Googled you). I’m sorry that, due to your name, you are now associated with all the nonsense that I produce for this website. But we all have our crosses to bear.