What is in a name?

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What is in a name? Post the birth the first real gift the parents give to the child is the name. A gift reflecting their love, blessings, concerns and to an extent expectation. Parents/ elders take as much pride in selecting the name for a girl child as they must be taking in case of the boys. Why is it then that most girls are expected to be just surnames after marriage. The maiden name which their parents had given with so much love, the name they had lived with pride till then is lost somewhere between the so called responsibilities and the routine of life. In some communities the girls are given a new name post the marriage, a symbol of starting life afresh. (Are they expected to forget whatever they had done or achieved before that?).

Name is the first real possession over which a child has exclusive rights. It gives every child the unique identity, the surname/ family names are inheritances which come thereafter. A surname on its own does not carry much meaning whereas the name conveys its desired meaning on its own. It does not require any external support. Still a majority of us take pride in displaying our surnames preferring to convert the name to mere initials. People are ready to do anything blindly for the sake of family name and honour, not bothering to do much about creating a mark for own name in life.

Study of our mythology and old scriptures makes it abundantly clear that though casteism was prevalent but it was the name which mattered more than the surname. Starting from Lord Rama or Krishna or Lakshman, Yudhistra, Bhim, Arjuna, everyone refers to them by their first name. Even the Maharanis or the common ladies were referred to by their first names like Parvati, Sita or Rukmini, not as Mrs Rama or Mrs Krishna. Than why this change over a period of time.

In ancient India it was always the girl who had the right of selecting or rejecting a groom. Everyone will remember the story of how Sita approved of Rama in a Swayamvara. She could have rejected him, the sky wouldnโ€™t have fallen. Then why this total transformation in the modern times where generally boys have all the say. Why should the girl give up her family name and even the name after marriage?

No girl is born and destined to die just as a surname. She has as much right as any men to make a mark on the world stage. Live up to the name her parents had given so proudly. I am not for boys or girls being singularly given the right of selection or rejection. Why canโ€™t both have an equal say? This issue can be resolved if we start looking beyond the surnames or rather just start looking at the names.

Who am I?


  1. Excellent view point and the comparision taken from our mythology. Simple logic seems to have got lost in the modern history. I’m sure the many a liberated and educated minds are challenging the same and will bring about this change much sooner than expected. Regards

  2. Good morning Sir,
    Realistic view point for the famous saying “what lies in the name saying”


  3. Good morning Sir,
    Realistic view point for the famous saying “what lies in the name saying” very nice blog


  4. I think this is a true & kindly viewed opinion you have. I wish more thought your way. In my country, many women blindly follow tradition by accepting their new husband’s last name, changing the name on their social security card, driver’s licenses, & other records. Some women take the new name because there are expectations to do so, others are happy to do so. There are few who keep their maiden names. Others, maybe they are striking a middle ground by adding a hyphen to their last names.: 1st / middle (or multiple given middle names) ( & rarely spoken) / maiden-married.
    Some women end up with very long names this way : ) my entire name is only 5 syllables : ) It’s often amusing to discover someone’s middle name, some are very unexpected & we learn something new about them that day. I wonder the history of how middle names became a popular application in the naming process.

    1. That’s so true Renee…I somehow always strongly felt against this custom of adopting surnames or new names in respect of girls after marriage…my wife carries her maiden name…
      Stay blessed always๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™

  5. Sir, Good evening, I am back again. Reading your blog really has invoked something in me and I find it hard to resist to reveal the same. Again a story, if I may. So it goes like this…
    Several years ago I was attending the marriage of my Mama ji. It was an auspicious occasion. In one of those pre wedding ceremonies my Nana ji said, ” Aaj se tum bhi Shriman ban jaoge”. It was a surprise to me, I asked my Nana ji with a child’s curiosity how is that. Please tell us in detail. So he said, Till today he was a “KUMAR” but after his Nupltal marriage he will have ‘LAXMI’ means his wife and hence he now legitimately becomes Shriman.
    So it struck me like a jolt we Indians always treated our ladies with dignity, parity and affection. This is a food for thought where did the evil of suppression and cruelty creeped in.
    Have a thought ful day. Regards . Siddharth

  6. This subject has bothered me all my life. In fact, with my second marriage, I hyphenated my maiden name with my married name. Over the years I dropped my maiden name for simplistic reasons. Why should a female surrender the surname she was born with? Why shouldn’t the man surrender his? There is so much to a name, much more then any of us know. This was a great post, Krish. And thank you for the link. I bookmarked it just in case I can’t get back here again. (smile) xo

    1. Thank you so.much Amy for your valuable comments…this is a topic close to my heart…hope things change for good..
      Regards .๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™

      1. You’re welcome! I could tell this subject is close to your heart. I believe it is high time we women thought about this name issue a lot differently. Our society at large frowns upon a woman who keeps here maiden name. Yes let us hope things change for the better. xo

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