Sunday, November 27, 2011

What is in a name?

One of the most difficult things for us so far in these nine months (besides of course the leg cramps, heartburns and advice from multiple fronts:P) is deciding on a baby name (well two since gender will be a big surprise)!

We of course started with what criteria it should ideally fulfill.

First, it should have some meaning, something that signifies our way of life and living, that connects with who we are as people.

Second, should be unique, something different, something that creates this "aha" response for us everytime we say the name and for the child when she/ he says the name. Parth's benchmark for uniqueness has been that we should be able to get the domain with the full name:P.

Third, should follow the KISS principle! Keep in short and simple:) No more than two syllables, no scope for annoying petnames that haunt you for the rest of your life and not open to any mispronunciations!

Fourth, it should role beautifully and naturally on the tongue, like a musical tone that transmits you to a moment of serenity!

Ok, ok, I know there are a lot of "shoulds" in there. When I think about this, I realise this is probably the first element of control we exercise over the child! Deciding her name, her identity for the rest of her life. It is also a role of great responsibility. A bad choice and well those of you who are stuck with not so cool names, know what I mean. But of course, even the name you choose is not really permanent. Your child can choose to change it later:) Luckily Parth has some experience there!

But I wonder, how much does a name actually affect who you are, how you are perceived and treated by others, how you feel when you introduce yourself? The first letter of your name determines where you are on a roll call in school/ college (either first to get your result announced or the last...). The higher the chance of your name getting misspelled (Minali, Monali, Maanali, Meenali, Malini....), the greater the annoyance when your name is called out on a panel or speakerphone. Too complicated names also have a higher chance of being misrecorded in your passport, license, PAN card, etc. And of course names which sound different depending on the accent of person who calls out your name!! Oof, so many possibilities of not getting it right:)

Well Baby Shah, we hope that by the time you arrive, we would have just the right name for you which you will love and adore! Of course, there are no guarantees in life, are there?

1 comment:

Swati Chawla said...

It could also be a name with a history... Even a personal one. Either a little known character from mythology or a book you admire that symbolizes your way of life. I know a same-sex couple who named their child Arjun for his fantastic adaptation into both gender roles in the Mahabharata. Names are also great talking points, initiations into our worlds. :-)