What's in a Name?

Well, my all-time favourite male name is Rahul and I wanted to call my son by this name.

But my in-laws didn't like the name and so I'm stuck with the name 'Raj' and every time I use this name, I cringe as it reminds me of the Days of the Raj i.e. the British Rule in India, the Imperial empire and its numerous atrocities around the world.

When my son was born, I proposed the name 'Rahul' to my in-laws but they didn't like it.

My parents liked it, but they didn't want to oppose my in-laws.

My husband too liked it but of course, he couldn't go against his parents.

So eventually, I had to accept the name that my in-laws had chosen because I too didn't want to upset them.

This experience has taught me never to impose my favourite names on my children when they have their children.

They'll surely outlive me and they'll surely call their children more than me, and so if they are stuck with a name they don't like, they'll cringe every time they use the name.

Moreover, I believe that every mother should have the right to name her child as she wishes.

After bearing her child for 9 long months in the womb and then going through the excruciatingly painful and life-risking phase of labour pangs and childbirth, she should get the priority and privilege of calling her child by her chosen name, this much favour we should all be able to do to her.

When my son marries, I'll ensure that his wife has the right to name her child the way she wishes.....instead of imposing our wishes on her, because if we (me and my hubby) don't like the name she chooses, we know that she's the one who'll be using the name the most and moreover, by all probability, she'll outlive us, and so for our remaining, short life, we can manage with the slight discomfort of calling our grandchild by a name that we don't like. But of course, I'll request her to discuss the name with my son for he should also like it as he'll be the father who'll be using the name as often as the mother. If she seeks our advice regarding baby names, we'll surely advise her, but we'll never foist our ideas on her.

And if there's a remote chance / possibility, that all of us like the name she chooses for her child, then as they say, all's well that ends well :-) and so the naming ceremony would be a win-win situation for all of us in the family. But above all, first and foremost, she should be given the choice to name her child the way she wishes, as she'll be bringing this new life to the world with all the pain, effort and discomfort that goes in the child-bearing and child-rearing process.

That's the way I think. You may or may not agree. But I wanted to share my thoughts in this Blog just in case you agree and help another mother lovingly choose the name for her child without any imposition to blindly follow the stringent norms of convention and outdated tradition.

By the way, my son who's now 21, likes the name Rahul more than his own name.

That's all I had to say for now,

Till next time, Goodbye :-)


More By  :  Aparna Chatterjee

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