What's In A Name

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The biggest irony of my life is my name. Soumya means soft natured and gentle. Yeah yeah I know, even I'm laughing my ass off. I was initially named Deepthi as they wanted my name and that of my sister's to start with the same letter. But then apparently one fine day, my parents decided to change it and look what happened. Although I do not think that a person's name describes his/her personality, at times the thought is amusing. There are so many people who are just not like their name at all. There are some really funny instances as well. There is a girl I know who cannot concentrate on anything and is called Shraddha. Another atheist friend is called Shiva. The guy who is always ass licking and following his mentor is called Guru. You get the drift, right?

I had barely interacted with my husband in spite of knowing him for ages until we finally began to meet often and fall in love. I once told him that he has a very funny name and it doesn't suit him at all. And then what happened? I married the same guy. God, you seriously are something! In spite of the irony, I love my name and am proud to have it. Unlike most South Indians I do not have an initial and take my dad's name instead. Till date I have never understood the concept of initials. Take a name or leave it. What's the point in having a letter appended to your name for life? I was, am and always shall be Soumya Prasad. I did not want to change my name after marriage. I find that concept utterly stupid and meaningless. I did not want to take my husband's name and nor did he want me to do so. Yes, I love my husband but I love my father more. I was and always shall be his daughter. Having said that I'm not keeping his name to honor him. I just don't want to change the name I've had for twenty six years.

There are a lot of girls I know who change their names as soon as they get married. Either they take their husband's family name or have it appended to theirs. Others take their husband's name as their surname. Some of them are so quick to do that, that I think they update their name on Facebook right from the wedding venue itself. To each his or her own. Taking your husband's name doesn't mean you are dishonoring your parents, not taking his name doesn't mean you want to put your parents on a pedestal. And it definitely is not a take on feminism, the not wanting to take your husband's name bit. Women empowerment and all that jazz. It is a matter of choice at the end of the day. I know of people who have chosen to take their mother's name instead of their father's. Their choice.

I do not understand the hullabaloo of having a woman's name changed after marriage. Can't the choice be left to the woman? Someone once told me to forget my family and only worry about my husband's family now that I was married. Really? Why? I do not cease to become a daughter to my parents once I become a wife. The son is there to take care of his family while I am more than happy to take care of my family. And together we take care of each others. If changing a woman's name is the sign that she now is a part of a different family then it is utter bullshit. A woman will always remain what she is. First, a daughter and only then a wife. Most importantly she is a person and has an identity of her own that is not defined by the name that follows hers.

Tell me the story of your name. What it means and the why were you named that. Else tell me about a name that fascinates you.

25 comments:

  1. Ah! I love my name. Somewhere I think it also embodies my creativity. About name changing, I did change my name after marriage. I just liked doing it. I didn't really put too much thought into it. I think it must be left to the woman and her choice. The only complications come when the children come.

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    1. Oh kids is another complications altogether, I know :P

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  2. A fun post. I agree with you there and I have posts on these two topics - names and surnames.
    My Papa believed that we should be known by our names so we were not given last names. I was Parul. My PAN, Passport everything. Why I added my husband's last name to mine is for some other day, Have a look at these two posts when you get time -
    http://happinessandfood.com/whatsinaname/
    http://happinessandfood.com/maiden-name-or-married-name/

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    1. You had a post with the same name? Awesome.

      We'll talk about it soon :)

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  3. Loved this one! :-)I hail from a community where the bride is given a new first name.Some choose to change their name legally(so I could choose to be Swathi Shenoy today and be a Divya Kamath after marriage), some use it as a calling name and some just put it in brackets on Facebook.
    My name is such an integral part of me,that I cannot stand a spelling error..so the concept of adopting a new name or a surname does not appeal to me either:-)

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    1. A new first name? Wow, that's the first I've heard!

      Ditto with me. The biggest mess of my life is explaining to people why I use two spellings.

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  4. I love my name although for a long time in my childhood, I didn't ;) It means 'One who comes from the hills'. Pretty apt, right ? Seeing as how divine I am ;) As for taking the husband's name, like Rachna, I just did it. Didn't think too much about it. But I haven't changed my signature anywhere. Isn't that weird? :D In fact husband said not to bother so much about changing the sign etc.

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    1. I didn't know Maruthi had a Zen factory up there :P

      Oh people change signatures too? Well, I'm glad I stuck to my name.

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  5. Each name has a story to tell right? Mine has too. My first name is a combination of the first halves of my parents names: The "Ri" from Rita+ "ma" from Mark= Reema :D

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  6. Like they say, what's in a name. I have another name that appears in my birth certificate. How I hate it!! I wanted to change it but this perspective will make me do a re-think..The name Ranveer fascinates me and not because of Bajirao..haha much earlier I loved the name and my Twitter handle has this name.

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    1. Your name confused me for a long long time my friend.

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  7. What's there in a name? Well, a lot actually. I feel grateful that I was born in a time when people actually cared about the meaning of a name. Anand is happiness…and I try to live up to my name - trying to help people smile and laugh. I'd never get over a name I once heard. A girl called Vidyut (Electricity?) I often wonder if people did shake hands with her?

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    1. Vidyut??? Hahahaha. What a shock the name must have come as for her :D

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  8. I have written twice about this subject - once while deciding to take the husband's surname or not and second when we were in the process of naming my nephew. Oh boy, names are really a pain! I hate my name, it just doesn't feel right. And you can't imagine the number of times someone has pointed out or/and made fun of 'Punjabi'.
    The only good thing about my name is the fact that my husband was looking for a Nisha randomly on Internet when he messaged me for the first time. Why Nisha? - just randomly to flirt around! And so the story of my name has worked well for me. I was named Neeta at birth, but my folks... oh let me put this on my blog now!! :D

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    1. Maybe he was carried away by Hum Aapke Hai Kaun :P But it worked out well na :)

      Write it now, I want to read it.

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  9. I have the most common name in India. But I am still unique and not like any other Pooja I know. It is sad to see parents randomly name their just so that their kid's name is unique! I have heard names like Dothya and Dosti and only thank God, those parents are not my parents. :P

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    1. Dothya? WTF

      I surprised the kids have not sued their parents yet.

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  10. And my name means Goddess Lakshmi - I am also an atheist like your friend Shiva plus, ironically so down-in-the-dumps poor. Boohoohoo :'(

    As a teenager, I wanted to change my name post marriage, cos it all sounded so romantic in my head. But later on, I felt my identity is set and changing my name would mean, well, it's sort of a big change. And along with it being a big change, I am too lazy to be bothered with all the hassle.

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    1. Hahahaha!What an irony eh.

      It sure is an hassle. You have to get a lawyer, fill up a zillion documents and what not.

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  11. I think the problem is people have too much FREE time on their hand and nothing better to do than pick up STUPID issues which dont matter in the bigger picture, Some have this idea that it will make them popular if they create enough ruckus.. and some are just simply DO GOODERS who dont have a mind of their own but just follow ...

    I love my name it is quite unique not many BIKRAMJIT's although there are a lots of Vikramjit's :)

    and as you say it shud be upto an individual what they do with their name ...

    Bikram's

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  12. What's in a Name? I have written about this long back. But what I concluded was that a name could change almost everything. If you were named something else, you will most definitely not be having the same experience 20 years latter. I think it is called Butterfly Effect.

    My name is Ajay and it means someone who can never be beaten and is always victorious. Ironically, I fall under the same category of wrongly named. The one reason I didn't like my name was the first roll number that I used to get all my life. It was hell, let me tell you. Yes, I will be the first one to finish the ordeal, but then again it wasn't that plesant experience to have. Believe me, I know! Probably, I will write a post on it.

    But yes, it should be the women's choice whether they want to change their name after marriage or not.

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    1. Oh yeah, I know the pain of having the first roll number. I have heard it from my friends. Do write a post, would love to read it.

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  13. Well Soumya guess what? I had written a post on similar topic. I have written it in s different way. Do check it.
    Here it is:

    http://seeya-sk.blogspot.com/2015/12/strange-is-it-my-name-sounds-to-you.html?m=0


    About name change, u made a fair point. Change woman's name or not, she doesn't cease to be a daughter unlike what many people think.

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