What’s in a name, Shakespeare said. Nothing unless your parent’s named you Chiraunjilal from the movie Khosla ka Ghosla or Googol from Namesake (though for some reason I loved the name Gogol).
My name also has a story, my parents named me ‘Anulika’ when I was born, it was a perfect blend of both my parent’s name. When I was two my mother was pursuing her B (Ed), though a brilliant student (she was the topper of the regional college) but she fumbled in her viva as she was called first (her name starts from A). Knowing her performance, the invigilator gave her another chance but first thing she did after returning home was coaxing dad to change my name to start from some middle letter. She argued how a name starting with the firsts and lasts of alphabet always have to face problems during vivas, roll calls and alike. So now I have a name that starts with ‘N’ and the sister’s name starts from ‘P’. They did a great job in finding names with middle letters. I never had any problem with my name, unless I got to know about my original name ‘Anulika’ and fell in love with it. Also later in school I realized all the girls I shared my name with were overweight. But all in all I like my name, it kinda suits me or it is what people say :).
I have a friend ‘Neha’, she abhorred her name solely because how common it is in India. She said, stand in any lane and call out for Neha and at least a dozen Neha would come out. She comes from a community where first names are also changed after marriage, I have never got this concept, how can someone completely change her identity, but she has all the plans of changing her name into something more glamorous , more uncommon after marriage.
On another note, some couples are just made to be together. I and TBH have very similar pet names too. I have a distant cousin who was nicknamed Pinky, what’s wrong with that, nothing apart from the fact that he is a male and as well all know Pinky is supposed to be a female name. Apparently his parent’s always wanted a girl, but when he also turned out to be a guy, the least they could do was give him a female name. Then he got married, and guess what, his wife’s name is Rinku. I believe Rinku can still be a unisex name, but not when you have married a Pinky. Pinky – Rinku who would have thought it’s the other way around :P.
My sister also has two names, and over the years all of us have started liking her pet name more and we got similar feedback from others too. So we decided to go ahead and officially change her name, she was in 7th standard that time. She protested big time. She has a theory, if she gets into a creative field she will keep her pet name as official name (it’s a beautiful Bengali word) and if she gets into a routine boring field she will keep her formal name (which sounds more mature and serious).
And pet names is another topic in itself. All those strange pet names we start disliking as we grow up. Now my ‘chhotu’ bhaiya (another distant cousin) gave strict instructions to his parents for not calling him chhotu in his convocation from an Ivy League institute and never after marriage. And my BIL is still called ‘mammu’, it sounded so odd for a grown up when I first heard it. My friend has a niece with a quirky pet name – Timma, few years later Timma’s younger sis was born, strange enough they called her Chhoti Timma. Now how would you call this three brothers – Sanchu, Manchu, Ganchu. My sister is after me that we call my future baby – chiggu. It sounds like a pig name to me. And the other day she said accha ladki hui toh Shanaya Roy, ladka hua toh Ayan Mukherji. With the Bengali surnames as middle names, she and her love for Bengali names :P. And the never ending tussle of finding the most unique name for your future child begins here.
Have you ever wondered that while we were studying Hindi in school with a permanent question of making sentences using some words, how each sentence would always have names like Ram, Seeta, Geeta, Mohan and never the contemporary names of that time? Strange na.
So what’s your name story? Do you like your name? If no what would you like it to be?