My last name is pronounced "guru ... gay". Guru-Gay. That is what that accent acute on the
last 'e' is all about. My grandfather, who was a
postman, came up with this English spelling somewhere in
the very early 1900s. Not sure how he came up with that
spelling but that is how it has been spelled way before
In Sinhalese, which is its language of origin, it means
"from the house of the teacher" -- where 'guru' means
teacher and 'gay' means house. This is rather
appropriate. My father devoted much of his life to
education and my mother was a teacher. I also try and
teach. So I like my name.
The Sri Lankan [née Ceylon] flag with its
rampant lion (though Ceylon has never had
I was born in Ceylon, a Sinhalese, in 1953.
I left Ceylon in 1967 and after a year in
Buffalo, NY and another in Paris (France) ended
up in the U.K. where I lived till 1985.
I became a British Citizen in 1983.
Britain is still home for me though I haven't
lived there in 20 years.