Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Are You Happy With Your Name?!

Well...a TV episode triggered my brain to write this post!  In the serial, the heroine is a bold, modern girl.  She tries to change the superstitious rituals of olden days.  One is, naming the child/newborn baby,  by other relatives instead of the mother or father, esp. mother!

I have two names...Mohini was the name kept by my paternal grand mother, Sandhya was from my maternal grand mother! Even now, when I go to the houses of my father's relatives in our native place, they address me as 'Mohini'! But Sandhya stayed everywhere! I like to forget the other names of mine like 'Chamundeeshwari' which was according to the nakshatra or something!

In my mother's days, the bride's name was changed after marriage! My mother's name was Ambujavalli at her mother's place and Indira at her in-law's place.  Like it happens to me, both sides of relatives address her as Ambuja or Indira when they meet her!

My Maharashtrian friend who is my age, has got two names, Ahilya and Meenal!

Thank god, I was not given a third name after marriage!

Now, I am coming to the point! In the serial, in a naming ceremony/naamkaran poojan of a baby, the purohit/priest  says, 'now, the child's buva can recite the baby's name in her ears, holding a leaf'.  The old lady says that since the baby hasn't got a buva (aunt/father's sister), the heroine who is the adopted daughter of the house, can name the baby.  The heroine says that the mother who had carried the baby for nine months and had dreamed about bringing up the baby, should be the right person to name her daughter.  Then the mother says that she always wanted to name her daughter, when she had one,  as 'Bhairavi', a beautiful, pleasant, classical raag.  She was so happy!

When I was pregnant with my first baby, I used to make a list of male/female names in a notebook.  As you know I hear music via radio a lot and I used to collect names from the 'aap ki farmaayish' and other programmes.  Whenever I had time in my office, I used to add new names in the list.  I didn't know that in my husband's family, the buvas/aththes had the right to name their nephews/nieces!  I wanted to name my son as 'Narendra' after Vivekananda (it was the saint's childhood name and I admire him a lot...my school had a beautiful statue of him and I used to hear many stories about him in school).  But it never happened.  My sis in law selected the name.  The next sis in law selected the second son's name (My second son thanks his aththe because he escaped the name 'Dharmendra' ... which rhymed with Narendra and Dharmendra was my childhood hero (LINK)!)

Can you believe? The purohit in our family, asks for a name which starts with a particular alphabet which is agreeable to our nakshatra...star.  Then we keep the name of the grand parent.  Another, of the favourite god or godmen/women! After keeping all these names the letters are changed according to numerology! Most of the names sound weird after changing, adding/deducting the letters/vowels!  My relative's child's name is Madhunitaa (two 'A's)!

What is your experience? Do you like your name?!!



Destination Infinity said...

Someone else also has 'aa' at the end of their name, and your relative also could become (similarly) very powerful in the future! :)

I am sorry to say this, but I associate the name of Mohini with Pisasi!! :P

Destination Infinity

PS: Of course, you know the story behind my name 'Destination Infinity'!

Sandhya said...

DESTINATION INFINITY: Yes, I know the story behind Destination Infinity...but it is a sort of 'pen name'!

Yes, I know what Mohini is! Thank god, it is not my permanent name!

KParthasarathi said...

I was named after the presiding diety in the temple town where I was born.I had no choice and niether my wife who disliked my name!!
In olden days names of grandparents were kept and those were old fashioned.Nowadays the parents choose the name from net or books even when the baby is on ots way.
I have seen incongruent names like Shyamala for a fair girl or Shanthi for a volatile tempered lady or Sundari for a plain Jane.
I know many cases where they add an alphabet or delete one on basis of numerologyWhether itworks I am not aware

Saritha said...

My inlaws selected some name for my daughter but i sticked to Varunavi as i browsed a lot for the name and also i am a devotee of Sai baba and wanted Sai at the end. My inlaws were not happy, they said Sai is a boy name but i went ahead and named her Varunavi Sai. Sunitha husband selected. It was like first daughter i selected the name and second daughter he wanted to select it.
My mom told me my cousin from my mom side selected my name and my dad went ahead with Saritha...honestly i dont like my name.

Sandhya said...

K.PARTHASARATHY: Haha...your wife didn't like your name? You should have asked her to call you in a different name like they changed the girl's name after marriage!

The main name of my son is his grandfather's! My husband's name is his grandfather's. He shortened it, though!

Yes, many famous people also added/skipped some letters in their names! Self confidence must be zero!

VARUNAVI; I know Pinky as Pinkuda! Only now I know her real name. Nice one!

I like your name, Saritha!

Ramakrishnan said...

I think times are changing and many parents now put their foot down and name their kids as per their choice.
But I am sure traditional practices for naming a child is still being followed in rural areas & joint families. But this practice is rapidly waning.
I was named after my grandfather. We named our daughter & son as per our choice in the 1970's. Our daughter has named her daughter as per her selection.So we have already deviated from set practices in our family !

SG said...

When my son was born, on the punyavachanam day, my father-in-law asked the sastrigal to name the baby. I just looked at my wife. She understood. She told her father we (she and me) will name the baby ourselves. And, named our son according to our choice.

Rama Ananth said...

I had selected the names for both my daughter and my son, before itself, for I knew what name I wanted for them before they were born.
Nobody said anything against the names. I don't know whether my children liked it or not, since they have not complained, they must be okay with it.
I am also kind of okay with my name, at least it is short, but my name is very common.
I also like my husband's name: Ananth, for it is also short.
I like your name also very much, it is very soothing to the ears.

Rama Ananth said...

I had selected the names for both my daughter and my son, before itself, for I knew what name I wanted for them before they were born.
Nobody said anything against the names. I don't know whether my children liked it or not, since they have not complained, they must be okay with it.
I am also kind of okay with my name, at least it is short, but my name is very common.
I also like my husband's name: Ananth, for it is also short.
I like your name also very much, it is very soothing to the ears.

Smitha said...

I hated my name growing up. But now, I think I have made my peace with it :) My mum's aunt liked this name, and my mother decided to keep it because she doesn't have any daughters. And apparently everybody else liked it too.

My daughter's name, husband and I created an excel sheet, entered all the names we liked, eliminated a lot, and finally landed on daughter's name :) I hope she doesn't find a reason to hate it :)

Avada Kedavra said...

Lol@DI's comment. Yeah Mohini usually reminds us of ghost :)
Thankfully I have a single name and I love it. My grandfather chose this name and probably that is the main reason I don't want to change it ever, since I love him so much.

Avada Kedavra said...

First choice for my name was my grandmother's. But then my grandfather thought it was old-fashioned, so selected something better. Good that he thought that way :)

Sandhya said...

RAMAKRISHNAN RAMANATHAN: It is difficult to ignore our elders if we are close to them and love and respect them. My elder son is named after his grandfather, Ramaswamy. My sisters in law insisted that a modern name should be given while admitting him in school. So, during functions or poojas, his grand father's name comes up, otherwise, it is the modern name!

Good to know that you had deviated from the old custom for naming your children.

SG: Nice! If others don't start suggesting names, it is easy to go our way! Otherwise they will take it as an insult!

RAMA ANANTH: Your name and your husband's, sort of rhyme together, nice! I like my name and my husband's too! Children never complained about their names either!

Thank you, Rama!

SMITHA: I like your name, Smitha!

Your daughter's name is not a common name and I love it!

AVADA KEDAVARA: Haha...thank god, my permanent name is not 'Mohini'!

Your name is a pleasing name, A.K.!

Krishna/കൃഷ്ണ said...

Naming of child became a struggle between both families (husband & wife). When a daughter born to me. Too many names are suggested, i suggested Keerthana and wife's Aarabhi. Finally we selected Aarabhi (A raaga in carnatic music). Her family has too much influence in music.


Sandhya said...

KRISHNA: Aarabhi is a beautiful raaga and the name for your daughter is unique now! Great!

Ramakrishnan said...

I agree that sometimes you are compelled to adopt alien names due to respect for others. But by the same logic others should also learn to show respect towards you and allow you your freedom to choose. Putting your foot down on matters of personal choice need not necessarily mean disrespect ! Even in our case my mother tried to interfere but I simply did not agree. She was angry for some time but later on she was fine.

rohan said...

is n't mohini an avatar of vishnu.though i don't worship gods or believe in god stories.mohini means la belle dame sans merci-beautiful lady without mercy.

what's in a name,i never bothered names coz only character/behavior impresses me.shiva is my family god,from many centuries my ancestors are praying only one god called shiva,so everyone's name except me in my family is related to lord shiva.may be i was excluded for being youngest in my family.

Unknown said...

Sandhya this is a very gripping post. It is really sad that a girl's name is changed after marriage. It amounts to changing her identity. I have also written a post on this topic.Kindly read it if you have time.

BTW I may mention that BK Chowla is my cousin. I knew about you from him.

Sandhya said...

RAMAKRISHNAN RAMANATHAN: I was a very timid girl then unlike now! Husband was very close to his sister. I never had parents in law. Hmmm...this will not happen with my sons!

Thank you, Ramakrishnan sir!

ROHAN: Welcome to my space, Rohan!

You are right about the name Mohini! Thank god, I am not Mohini, but Sandhya!

Our mythological stories are interesting. You need not be a 'believer' for that, Rohan!

Haha...you might name your children as Shiva or other names of his!

Thank you, Rohan!

USHA MENON: Welcome to my space, Usha! Good to know that you are Chowlaji's cousin. I respect him a lot!

I forgot to mention a girl's name who was in her mid 30's, when I came to know her, a couple of years back. She is a Maharashtrian. Her name also was changed after marriage! She asked me to call her in her maiden name! When she delivered her first baby, her mother and mother in law were there. Both of them called her in different names!

Thank you, Usha. Will definitely visit your blog and look for the post on this subject!

Sandhya said...

USHA MENON: Usha, can you please send the link of the post of yours on this topic? I would be happy to read your views.

Vishal Bheeroo said...

I too have two names Vishal and __________ which I don't like. I prefer Vishal:) Lovely post:)

Sai Charan said...

An interesting post :)

Like many others, even I too wasn't comfortable with my name in school but as years passed, you gotta embrace everything that defines your identity.

I wish my name was just one word and short but we don't have a choice, our elders decide it. And if you have a long surname, then that adds to make your name even longer :)

A very thought provoking topic you wrote on, was nice to read :)

Cheers :)

Sandhya said...

RANVEER VISHAL: Welcome to my space, Vishal!

Good to know that you have retained your favourite name!

Thank you!

SAI CHARAN: Your name is good and your surname is short! Yes, we don't have a choice on our name.

Take care, Sai!

Wini said...

Oh great post maami! As you know, my name "other" name is Shakti Lalita Tripurasundari! I really really hope nobody ever has to user it!!

It is rather sad that you didn't get to name the annas! :|

Sandhya said...

ASHWINI SRIRAM: I remember that looong name, Ashwini, but not so bad as 'Mohini'!

Both annas seem to be happy with their names!

Jeevan said...

I am content with my name. Today’s many names sound similar with one or two letter different. I think parents should be given prior in selecting the name of their children.

Anonymous said...

I am very much happy with my name.. but I had strong opposition when I didnt want to change my surname from my father's to my husband's.. ofcourse my hubby didnt have any issues with it.. But my in-laws were too upset and couldn't tolerate it.. But then we came up with a lot of excuses.. gazette.. ration card.. passport, etc. But still they would be happy if I would change my surname to their son's name.

Sandhya said...

JEEVAN: Your name sounds good...it is not a very common name!

Now, even parents are liberal...they ask the children to select name for their children, but one name would be of their choice, mostly, god's name or grandfather/mother's name! It is OK I think. The children can give the name of their choice in school also! During religious functions, the traditional name will be used!

RASAM: Welcome to my space, Rasam!

Yes, lot of haggle is there for changing surnames. We have to advertise our name in 2 newspapers too!

Thank you, Rasam!

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