What is in a Name?



'My uncle is going to change his name. His name is Void. He has trouble signing checks.'

An Indian Marine Engineer, Saddam Hussain, was refused to be hired more than 40 times. Apparently, his grandfather’s idea to give his grandson a ‘powerful’ name spewed more power than intended. So he went to court and became Sajid.

But the wheels of bureaucracy are turning slowly – and so is his search for a job, reports a BBC article.

I chanced to meet an elderly couple at the airport when we were returning to Dubai. A smile was all it took to break the ice and get us talking. The elderly lady explained that her husband was a keen reader. They named their first born ‘Mona Lisa’ after the book that he was reading then.

I wondered aloud what book he must have been reading when their son was born and she explained that he had taken an interest in Indian Literature by then, hence the name ‘Suriya’ after the son God.

The lady must be relieved that the possibility of a third child was a slim possibility for them as the old man had his nose buried in ‘The World of Vikings’ by Justin Pollard!

Sid’s first words were ‘Igga’. It took a while for the new mother in me to grasp that my son was addressing me.

A friend hinted that ‘Igga’ was a reference for mother used by an ancient tribal group. This explanation was creepy than enlightening, but the husband found it funny.

I wondered if my un-evolved trait of amassing mud pots and pans or the fact that my children’s bizarre conquests and ideas that automatically caused my voice to rise a few decibels higher than is expected of a civilized mother had something to do with my tribal roots.

Luckily, the years have shown that my son is every bit civilized (at least for his age) but the name he chooses to address his mother remains unchanged.

How much does our name have significance in our life?

The first piece of information we have about a person is their name. How often do we get judged only by our names?

A girl named ‘Yamini’ (meaning night) could turn out to be as bright and cheery as a sunny day and a boy named ‘Khush’ (meaning happy) would sulk at the drop of a hat.

Will Michael with a surname Jackson be expected to do a moonwalk as his first baby steps or will the helpless Indian Saddam Hussain be accused of taking over as a dictator at his place of work?

But as the great Bard, one of the first names in Literature- William Shakespeare, once said, “What is in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”

Hello Friends, hope you all had a wonderful and safe Diwali. It is never too late to wish you and your lovely families all prosperity and joy this festive reason.  Hope this post will give you one more reason to smile this lovely Sunday.  Have a restful weekend. Enjoy !


37 responses »

  1. Everything is in a name. I think the most precious thing in the world is your name. Your description of your son addressing you as Iga was hilarious. Lucidly written. Your posts grab Instant attention and mind coerces us to read completely
    Lucidly written .

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hey Pranitha Mam, missed ur posts for a week. Happy diwali.
    Lovely post as usual. I get your theme point and agree that our characteristic has nothing to do with our name. I also believe that it gives us an identity though and as we grow we either make that name famous and memorable that it would land up as someone’s title as a gesture of honor or respect or love. Faces will fade, but we would live by our names in someone’s heart atleast 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • As always, your feedback are like an extension of my post, Ravi, very genuine and bringing in the essence of all that I wish to say. Thank you for that. It is so good to have friends like you taking time off to read and leave your feedback. Our name gives us an identity but what we make of it and do about it is in our hands – our efforts and our doings.
      Yes, we can do our little bit to live by our name in someone’s heart. Loved that last sentence, has so much meaning to it.
      As always, once again, Thank you, Ravi.
      Thank you for the wishes. Wishing you and your family a wonderful Diwali and a restful weekend!


      • I feel happy to read ur posts as they are real, matured, thoughtful and more importantly written from heart. Feel honored by your words, thank u and have a nice week.


  3. 😂😂😂 lol. I loved that post. I know a few people who have changed their names because they weren’t happy with it. And I know some others who wouldn’t change their name for anything! Not everything’s in a name but at the end of the day, it is our identity.. the one that helps others to remember about us.
    P.S: Does Sid still call you Igga? 😂😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha. Yes, Sid still calls me ‘Igga’ and it is no secret. This caused my second born to call me ‘Mummy Pig’ simply because the poor thing was so confused as to whether to call me ‘Amma’ or a strange word that her intellect could not decipher, so she called me what Peppa Pig called her mother – Mummy Pig. For more than a year she called me Mummy Pig, to the amusement of my son and husband. ( I am not making this up, really) Imagine one calling me igga and the other calling me ‘Mummy Pig’ and that too it seems that when they have to call me suddenly there are amplifiers in their throats. Now, we have successfully modified it to “Mummy Amma’ (Phew!) after many strange ‘situations’ in malls, cramped elevators and among strangers.
      BTW, I had you in mind as I wrote this post as I specifically know people who are not happy when an extra ‘h’ is added to their name 😉 (Deeshapadalley tooo, athu oru thamaashe ayirunnu, but you were there in my mind)
      Appol studies enzhane poogunnu. Poja vacation okkey kazhizho? Innu Sunday entha perupaadi?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haha. 😂 That must have been a couple of embarrassing situations. 😂😂 Valuthakumbol paranju chirikaam. 😂😂😂
        Vayichappol enne orthu ezhuthiyath aano njan aalochichu 😀😂😂. (Ayyo njan angane dheshyapedumo! 😉😂😂😂 Lol.)
        Yeah Poojakk angane vacation onnum illayirunnu. Aa weekend veettil poyi thirich vannu. Ippo motham pani aa. Projects, seminar and all the works. Pinne procrastination pande nammude kala aayondum deadlines aayath kondum ippo nalla Pani ond. 😂 Yeah, Sunday aayond nallath pole kidannu urangi. 😂 Ini nale muthal athu pattilallo. Pinne pending work pathukke start cheythu. Ippo veendum break eduthu. Ini lunch okke kazhinju rest cheythitt pathukke thudanganam. 😂😂😂
        What about you?

        Liked by 1 person

      • I am smiling as I read. Appol ippol hostelilaanalle. Haha procrastination oru kaleyanalle😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣… athinu oru marunnu illlo😂.
        Innu nammude week thudanzhi… Sunday first day of week aanu…🙄so back to routine.. Diwali entha special. Evide koree sweets kazhizhu… weight koodi… atharayaullu😂ini athu kurakyan oodanam parkinde chuttum😬

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey! And each time do I get to read your work, does it remind me of funny op-eds! totally does! Ah, so awesome😄🙌
    “What’s in a name?” They say and I totally agree that our names don’t define who we are or affect our personality but having said that I think it’s mandatory for parents to give their kids a less troublesome name because otherwise who knows what will fall out of place like this poor Indian engineer or that kid in school being perennially teased as his name sounded feminine to some and how it has become a routine for me to correct five times atleast before someone gets my name right! But I love my name!❤😂
    Also, I think the tribals were the aborigines, so fret not dear friend, we’re all tribal in some sense or the other😂😂
    Igga sounds so cute. 😂❤❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Igga does sound cute, now since that is the really special way in which my son has chosen to address me, I love it. Thank you, TW.
      New parents must take your advice. I totally get what you mean, specially now that the world is a smaller place, your name must at least be one that you will recognize when you are addressed and if you want to name the child after some personality, choose a sweet one and not a dictator!
      You have a lovely name and a unique one too 🙂


  5. We were in the emergency with our 5 day old son and advised to admit immediately for his neonatal jaundice. If that was not enough to cause panic, we needed a name immediately for admission. After a few frantic calls to the elders in india and getting a list of “first alphabet “ names from the horoscope, we zeroed down to a name.
    15 years later my son still asks dint u find a better name ??
    If you had to name me starting with V , why dint you name me Virat asks my cricket enthu son. Seriously ! but who knew Virat Kohli then or my son to be a cricket fan!
    Thats my story Pranitha.
    Enjoyed your hilarious write.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha… so sweet of you to share your story, Chitra. You know what you must tell Vaibhav, that he can become the Vaibhav Jaideep of Indian cricket and we all know well that with his caliber that this is a definite possibility and not just a pipe dream. We will all be there to cheer him for sure and who knows another child might ask his parent a few years down, if you wanted to name me with a V, y not Vaibhav?
      Best wishes and lots of cheers to him for that.
      Thank you, Chitra😍


  6. Thank you for your wonderful wishes, pranitha. Hope you all had a happy and safe diwali. Best wishes to all of you.
    Lovely read, pranitha. Igga and mummy pig being really hilarious, enough to embarrass you in a crowded lift.
    Btw, my fb friend is also named mona lisa and I often wondered, how come?🤔..It would be fun to know what’s going on in the parents mind when naming the child…
    “Funtastic “write up 👌👌

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you and wish you the same, Deepika. We had a wonderful Diwali and no fire crackers here so it is absolutely safe. 🙂
      Yes it was Mummy pig for a long time and to the delight of my husband who was rightly called ‘Papa’.
      Really, you have a friend named Mona Lisa too, I hope we are not talking about the same person as it is rare that you find a woman with that name. I found the story that her mother has to say very interesting. I mean the name of the child entirely dependent on the book that the father took interest in at that point in time.;)
      Thank you, Deepika. Good day!


  7. What’s in a name????……well i guess all is in a name. It’s your identity you carry till your last breath…….and beyond! I wonder why some parents name their children with such funny names, just to satisfy some strange fantasy of theirs.
    As always, your posts are something I truly enjoy reading. Have a great week P!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Hi Pranitha
    Another enjoyable read! Your articles never fail to bring me many smiles:) It’s so cute that he still calls you
    ‘Igga’… you know, it’s somewhat extra special. This read took me straight to a ‘Friends’ episode where Phoebe changes her name to Princess Consuela Bananahammock which causes a range of problems, haha:)
    That said, I agree with the Bard & you…. it’s the emotion that matters most.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I thought I had responded to this one, but apparently I dont find it here.

      Thank you, Divya. Phoebe was the quirkiest of them all. Loved those wonderful evenings when they used to be aired on one of the few channels that had privilege to watching.
      Glad you agree, Divya 🙂


  9. Enjoyed reading the post. While they do say ” what’s in a name”, I beg to differ. Being called by a name day in and day out probably does have an impact on one. My daughter’s name is Akanksha. I remember people in Kerala looking up at me shocked when I told them what I had named the baby girl because they kept saying ” Akamsha” which means stress or worry☺ as they do not have the alphabet ” nka” in their language. It was frustrating at first. Now they’ve accepted the fact. Good post. Brought back memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad the post got back memories, Smitha. I can understand your plight with your daughter’s name. It must have been a difficult time. However, now with the varied names, I am sure acceptance has come in Kerala too. Thank you for stopping by and leaving your feedback.

      Liked by 1 person

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