Google
 

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Baby Names

Why do some names become popular all of a sudden? I wonder. Especially in India, when we have so many names to choose from, I find it really odd that people seem to pick names from a really limited pool.

Between December 2005 and March 2007, 6 of my friends had baby boys and they ALL named their sons Siddharth. I begged my close friend to name her child something else if it were to turn out to be a boy, but no! Her husband was hell bent on naming the boy Siddharth and that was that. Imagination and research seem to have gone for a rather long walk.

A few years ago, when Pandit Ravi Shankar's daughter became a popular figure, the name Anoushka was everywhere. I had 3 managers in my team, all 3 had daughters with the same name. And now, the names Shriya/Shreya/Shreeya have become overly popular. Even my own niece, born to Sachin and Priya, is called Shreeya. And some 4-5 friends who have daughters between the ages of 0 and 5 are called Shreya or some variation of the same. Fortunately, I do have 2 close friends who've named their daughters Meghana and Dhwani.

This takes me back to a time before even my brother was born. When my mother was pregnant with my brother, my parents had to decide on names. My father is, among other things, a Sanskrit scholar. He extensively researched the scriptures to find a name each for a boy and a girl. He read the Silappadikaram and was impressed with the character of Kannagi. Further research revealed to him that the character of Kannagi was based on Arundhati.

Arundhati: the wife of sage Vashishtha, one of the Saptarishis. Arundhati had come to be known as the epitome of fidelity. The wife, who remained true to her marriage vows and followed her husband everywhere, because her job was to be by her husband's side. And to this day, the little star next to the 6th star of the Saptarishi constellation, is a reminder that she took her vows more seriously than other women in her time, or today.

As a child, I always wondered why my parents had to give us such complicated names. Today, when I think about it, I find that the names are well thought through. Not a grandparent's name to please the family, not a name that's easy for foreigners to pronounce, not a name that was popular at the time, not a name that an astrologer suggested based on my horoscope, not any of those things.

And with this post, I announce my real name to my readers (there are still those people who didn't know who I was until I told them): Arundhati.

11 comments:

Pretty Woman said...

so you have finally revealed yourself! :)....the most exciting part of a baby is choosing the name...isnt it?

Raaga said...

finally, I decided to let the "rest" of the world know who I am :-)

About the best part, I don't know... really :-)

Revathi said...

Hey Dhati,
Nice post. Guess what? When we named our daughter Sanjana in 2002 I did not know ANYONE else y that name. But when I enrolled her in a swimming class as a 9 month old baby there was another girl and now wherever I go, there seems to ba a Sanjoo. My own name seems to be more unique, though!!!

Revathi said...

I have not even published my site to many :(
Kind of like being anonymous and getting lost in cyber space, but will blog about my name soon :)

steve at the pub said...

None of those names are popular here. The morons in my town name their kids after soap opera stars & trashy pop stars.

Chitra said...

hey............that was a nice post. i finally get to read ur blog. Am sure u like my angels name...i for sure wud not hv named Sid if i had a boy;

Raaga said...

@Steve: That's the case everywhere!!

@Chitra: Yes... you made me a promise.

Chill said...

//.the most exciting part of a baby is choosing the name...isnt it?// - SO its not parenthood... its choosing name thats the most exciting part... I pity you baby :)

Ok, since you've mentioned it in the blog, letme name my kids ( when I have them), Siddarth and Shreya and Anoushka. Hee hee.

Chill said...

oops typo...

//the most exciting part of a baby is choosing the name...isnt it?//- SO its not parenthood... its choosing name thats the most exciting part... I pity youR baby :)

Raaga said...

Hey Chill, I didn't agree with that comment in any case. I think other things may be more exciting :-)

arundati said...

from one to another!! my parents chose mine because they wanted something with 'A' so i wont fall asleep in kindergarten during rollcall....and for a totally indian name.... i would have been avinash if i was a boy!! i love telling this story of vashisth and his wife...and the fact that at hindu weddings they can actually do namaste to me instead of the sky that the pandit points to!!