What’s in the name?

Wondering what could probably be the answer to the above question? The correct answer is ‘everything’ is in the name. Initials, naming ceremonies and all of the stuff related to names, is taken far more seriously in this country than you can imagine.

India, without a doubt, is a culturally-rich nation with an illustrious history that ratifies its ethnic distinctiveness. And, our cultural heritage reflects on the names we have.

Ever wondered, why are Indians largely obsessing over heavy duty names! It is not enough for us to have an emblematic and indicative name. Parents mostly want names that have some staunch traditional significance. It is imprinted in our psyche to name our kids with something significantly great besides just being positive. There are several categories of names and below are a few:

I grew up with a generation full of Neha(s), Pooja(s) and Priya(s). These names were rampant and spread like wildfire. Maybe their parents didn’t love them enough to think of other names or they were too bored to come up with anything else other than what the neighbors were calling their children. If you stand in the middle of somewhere and call any of the above names, at least half of the women in the room will reply to you unless you aren’t in India.

How can a god-fearing country like ours not have –  Ram, Vishnu, Moses, Adam, Mohammad, Rahim, Durga, Lakshmi(s)? Of course, we have them. All over the place. These are names of popular deities and parents love to name their children after these divine characters. Nothing wrong in parents hoping that their kids will grow up into people half as good as these divine characters.

Not too far away from the names of the heavenly lords. There is another pool of names that revolve around worshipping, praying and all stuff related to adulation of the gods. Right from, Abhishek, Aarti, Pranami, Namah, to Om, Aradhana and more. Perhaps this lot of names is a better option if you do not wish to be too in the face with just out-of-the-mandir names.

Then there came a time for twinning names. Poor second born! Parents in all eagerness named the first child and for the second, they just got something to rhyme with the first. Almost all of us have met these siblings with rhyming names – Rohit & Mohit, Ram & Shyam, Meena & Reena, Sonia & Sofia and the list goes on. Wonder if anyone ever burst their bubble and enlightened these parents that – it wasn’t cute. Never was!

Next up are the parents who are the true innovators and have gone overboard with their creativity. But, that’s awesome. They are the ones that really care about what you will live with for the rest of your lives. They were excited about having this kid and naming it something fancy. We are all familiar with the out-of-the-box names – Avishkar, Antariksh, Dhairya, Aakarsh, Avashya, Rehaan, Arhaan and what not. These parents are the trendsetters in the social naming sphere.

Last on my list, but not the least, are the parents who ensure their children have names that are astrologically favorable for them. So, this is an interesting game. The family astrologer gives a few alphabets that are considered auspicious for the child as per his or her astrological charts. Parents then filter out names of their choice for the little ones. Also, numerology can play a huge part in twisting the spelling of your name. Tell me you have not met people with awkwardly placed vowels in their names? Keirti, Sameira, Sanaayaa, Virrat and let’s just stop there.

So, coming back to where we started, names are a big deal. In fact, everywhere in the globe and maybe particularly in India. But, why not! It has a role beyond just being your identity. It is right to believe that names will have some sort of influence and impact on an individual’s life. Names not only reflect your personality but also have a lot to say about you.


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