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Rarely There

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Wednesday, November 8, 2006

The Naming Conundrum

A couple of days before my wee one's arrival, my parents were gracious enough to arrange to stay with us and help us out as needed.

Being very close to my parents and still relying on them for a lot of moral and emotional support, I was suddenly curious about their thoughts, hopes, dreams, fears etc. when they were expecting me.

It never crossed my mind to ask them about that (nor for them to tell me about that) until I was expecting my very own...

Circle Of Life and such I suppose.

Traditionally, in my culture and family custom, first-born son gets the paternal grandpa's name, first-born daughter gets paternal grandma's name; then, it is the maternal grandparents' names and then, well, pretty much anything goes.

That's the implicit 'given' name, but, almost always, there is a second name which parents choose for their children, something unique, something special...something by which everybody calls them, the name that is used on the school roster.

I am the first-born daughter on my paternal grandparents' side, so, I do have a 'given' name that is my paternal grandma's name. Very sweet one. But, nobody calls me that. Not even my parents.

Anyway, I asked how they chose my name, the one I go by.
My mom said:"Oh, I wasn't picky about it, I left it to your Dad; he chose your name"
So, I turn to my Dad expectantly.
My Dad said:"It just sort of sounded nice, it just came to me, I liked it."

That stumped me. Not what I was expecting at all. No poignant stories. No beautiful faeries. No special significance. Just a name that 'sounded nice'.

Until I was faced with the daunting task myself, I never thought much about names, not in a deep profound way, at least.

I love the name I go by, don't get me wrong. It has become my identity. It has a fairly neutral meaning in Sanskrit, nothing earth-shattering, but, quite a nice one. But, I wish there was a beautiful romantic story behind it. Like the one I have for my wee tot.

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