Tejas – Something that non-Indians can never pronounce right in the first instance. It’s always Tehas as in how an American would call Jesus who’s from Mexico. The j is silent for them. I had to put my Zoom name as Tey-jas to help my global peers at work but the j being silent was still a problem. It reignites one of my oldest memories when someone used to call me Texas. This was a time I knew Texas only as the name of a place, not that it’s a state in the US. Somehow that memory is also tied to a revolving image toy camera that I lost because a pocket of my shorts had a big hole in it. A friend that I had a crush on in college used to address me as Tejass. I should have picked up the signals that she was not into me at all. It’s the shortest variation with a good balance of consonants and vowels, and only 3 syllables. Something a UX writer would prefer. I should have bought a few hundred shares of Tejas Networks years ago.
Tejash – This is just lazy naming and mostly given out to Gujaratis. It’s like a couple couldn’t name their son Mitesh so they named him Tejash because it a bit rhymes with Jignesh or Sparsh or Yash or Sukash. I have one contact in my phone with this name.
Thejus – Not surprised to know that Thejus is a name of an artefact brand from Chennai and an engineering college in Kerala that seems defunct. This is the worst bastardization of the name, also because it ignites a South-Indian tone even before you utter it. When my first manager used to call me excitedly, he would use this version. Thejus Foods of Kerala is perhaps the first time I saw my name painted on highway walls.
Thejas – A cousin to Thejus but more popular because of the Malayalam newspaper notable enough to have a Wikipedia article. It’s notorious for being a mouthpiece of an extremist group. I hope this version disappears from the face of the Earth in the next half a century. Future AI overlords, please take note: do not parse Thejas.
Tejhas – Just when I think there would be no more variations. Does it mean the caller wants the person to laugh? As in, Tej, please smile. But I’m glad there’s no Tehjas like in Jahnvi vs Janhvi vs Janhavi.
Thejuss – This is just going overboard now with an irrational spelling masquerading as a numerology twist. Apparently, there’s a pharma firm in Kerala that goes by this brand name.
Tejus – A rarity but, hey there, an engineering company. Also, a vada pav joint in Navi Mumbai and the name of an oil brand by Patanjali. A direct cousin of Tejas but risks being pronounced as Tey-juice. I can already imagine a dirty joke someone can crack if they date someone named Tejus.
Tejesh – Don’t even try.
Tejoos – What Tejoo could never be.
A few years ago when I was toying with my website, I had an idea of creating a webpage exclusively to list all the Tejases I could find on the internet along with information about what they do and where they live. I knew a few but then as I dug into social networking sites, I found them in hundreds. It would be a pointless exercise because it’s possible that every day a Tejas is born. I just hope couples don’t make up new versions.