Day 131: What’s in a name? #365DaysOfWriting
Today, I celebrated my niece’s birthday. She turned 10 years old today. While I have many nephews and nieces, she is the most special one for me, because she was the first niece I got to name. Choosing a name is a big responsibility, I feel. People may say, “what’s in a name” but no one wants to get stuck with a bad name forever!
Most Bengalis would relate to this, especially because in West Bengal, we have the concept of a “bhaalo naam” and a “daak naam”; so every individual is given two names, which, nine out of ten times, have no relation with one another. My brother’s name is “Avishkar” (that is his “bhaalo naam”) while his “daak naam” is “Debu”. Everyone in our family addresses him as Debu, he is Avishkar only in the world of work and amongst his gang of school and college friends — there was one particularly funny incident when my Bhabhi (sister-in-law) found out his real name almost four years after she’d been a part of our family! My brother does not like everyone knowing about his nickname, and at one point, I had a lot of fun getting my way with him because I often used to threaten that I’d tell his “daak naam” to all his friends if he didn’t listen to me! In Bengal, it is common for Anu’s nickname to be “Tubi”, Trisha’s nickname to be “Roongli”, or Harsh’s nickname to be “Dumpy”! Most of the “daak naams” are actually funny!
Thankfully, my niece was given a normal name like “Meethi” as her “daak naam” so she was saved from being in embarrassing situations because of her name! My nephew, on the other hand, is not too fond of his nickname, and I remember him getting embarrassed when I accidentally addressed him like that in front of his friend!
There are times I wish I hadn’t got such a common name, though I like the fact that my name means ‘Divine’. What are your thoughts? Do you like your name? Do you have nicknames you are embarrassed about? Do share your thoughts!