**A long ramble of a post alert**
Reading this very interesting post by RM takes me back to those days when R & I were scrounging around for that perfect name to give to our child!
Now Namnam, as some of you may know, came into our lives after much longing and prayers. It took umpteen medical tests, heart-aches, many depressing nights of crying into the pillows, visits to temples, and a good 6 years for God to finally bless us with our precious little. So when we found out that our prayers were finally being answered, our happiness knew no bounds! We were so looking forward to welcoming her that we spent all of those 9 months that she was within me, in either talking to her in cuddles or planning her life or simply weaving our dreams of living our lives centered around her ! But. Did it ever strike us to think of a name for her? Noooooo!
It was on the day that she was born, when my parents broached the subject of having a naming ceremony that it dawned on us that we had to think of a name! The naming ceremony was to be conducted on the 28th day. So we had almost a month’s time to arrive at a name! Phew! And thankfully we didnt follow the tradition of confining the name to a particular letter, which meant we were free to choose any name.
Thus started the rigorous search. R & I were all over different websites while our parents were all over their friends circles checking for good suggestions! R & I were pretty clear that we didnt want to choose any names starting with R for the simple reason that there were too many R-named members in our family and we were clearly bored with that letter!
So after some fierce and confusing hunt I found a name to my liking, rather make it immense liking. In fact two names. And R found one name. And he decided on the nickname too for our child right there and then! He was that confident that his name would be chosen! Hah!
Our parents handed over their resignation from the search-team and offered themselves to be in the voting team.
Needless to say, R began his lobbying from the word go! He was at the beck and call of the parents, being the ultra goody-goody son/son-in-law to them, donning his funny hat to amuse them at times, laughing at their jokes, even when the jokes were far from being funny!
And where was I? I was playing the doting amma to my darling, feeding her, burping her, snuggling up to her and catching up on the much craved for nap or two, not to mention the cleaning of her poo&pee every-hour-on-the-hour….totally oblivious to my husband’s
not-so smart moves!
Anyway it was time to propose the name and I went first with my two choices. Pranati, which was a synonym of Goddess and Sanchita which meant collection of poems. My heart was heavily on Pranati though. But as expected nobody liked it. Everyone vetoed! For them it sounded like ‘pranthi’ which in malayalam means mad-girl! ! And strangely that was enough for me to have second thoughts on choosing that name! Imagine my girl being mis-addressed as ‘Pranthi’ ! Sanchita was vetoed too and frankly I was not too disappointed as I was rooting more for the first choice. Since that didnt go well I was hardly in a mood to push the name!
Then it was R’s turn to put forth his choice. Namya, meaning of which is ‘to be bowed to’, ‘to be worthy of honour’.
Well, much against what I had expected, I loved the name and its meaning, far more than the ones I had chosen. So did the rest of the family! And as though stamping for a final push for approval, he proposed a pet-name for her and said we could call her Namnam. It was enough for all of us present in the room to go all awwww!
Yet I loved Pranati too, I somehow couldnt get it out of my mind. So much so that I had secretly started addressing my child, in my mind , by that name.
So I went around pushing the name forward while R kept pushing for his choice. And till the day before we were to have the ceremony, we were unsure and undecided on the choice. So in the end R came up with this fantastic idea of drawing a lot and letting the baby choose her name!
Amma made three chits with the names scribbled in it, put them in a bowl and took it to Namnam. With her tiny tender fingers, she gently moved a chit out of the lot as though signalling us of her choice . She chose Namya .
Funnily at the time of the ceremony, right before I was to whisper the name into her ears, I was seriously contemplating on calling her Pranati. But as soon as I whispered Namya I felt just right and I somehow loved the way it sounded at that point of time. And ever since.
However the fact remains, as I realized soon enough, that no name escapes its fair share of mutilation! The simplest and the most uncomplicated of names can go through some torturous dismembering sometimes. If Deepti can become Tipti..Tripti..even Deepaat then Namya can easily become Naima…Ramiya..Navya…even Namita, right? Whats even worse, is when her class teacher at a function held recently in Namnam’s school, announces her name as “Namayya’..loud and clear into the mic for everyone to hear, mind you! I couldnt decide whether to cower under the chair or just pull my hair and scream out loud!
Anyway over the years I have found a nice saddistic way of dealing with such situations. Now whenever we witness Namnam’s name getting dissected, I shoot a glance at R to remind him of his choice of the name. And whenever her name is appreciated and received well, I gloat about how my daughter made the right choice in picking her name! Talk about giving credit where its due, eh?