Friday, December 30, 2016

Surname Syndromes

Surnames to Indians are attached before a life. At times, before the sexual intercourse of couple. It wouldn't be an understatement to say surname is born first and then the baby. I am sure you had chanced upon inquisitive and poky aunties during weddings, wishing bride and groom, and gleefully blessing them to deliver lil Sharma, Sinha or Gupta by their first anniversary. That important is your surname and half of your identity is already hard coded much before you are born and sadly it's cannot be erased.

Then you grew up to be admitted in school   where you are upgraded to a sensible official name from vacuous embarrassing pet names Lolo, Piku, Gappu or Chikku. Since then, you are called by your first name followed by surname or vice-a-versa. Often surnames turn out to be unique identity when in a group there are more than one individual with the same first name. For example, two of my girl friends in college shared the same first name "Tanisha". This created lot of fuss initially. However, their distinct surnames saved us from creating perplexing situation. To obviate confusion, we started calling one of them as "Tanisha" (Tanisha Chopra) and other as "TSharma" (Tanisha Sharma).

Surnames remain rooted to ur name and becomes an integral part of your upbringing. It has got the ability to bestow you with either esteem or disrespect by exposing your caste, sub caste and at times your geographical roots. Gradually, you either start loving your surname or dislike it intensely. Nevertheless, you are given no choice but to stay and live with it. You make name and fame with the same name. Needless to say a small recognition to huge accolades and laurels are obviously with this name that defined you since your birth. People might have also gone a step ahead to frame the cherished certificates with your birth name to be hanged in their beautiful living rooms.

All seems well for Indian girls until they decide to get married. While you are still trying to cope up with the new family and novel surroundings, the so called Sasuraal post marriage you are renamed for another part of life. A single wedding day is adept to alter your life and identity. With unleashing new responsibilities, putting up your best to perform duties of a doting wife to sansaakaari bahu, sadly you are pushed to build your identity with your new surname. All that has been built over the years is scrapped in a single day and you have to start it all over again. Unfortunately, in some communities even the first name is changed due to ridiculous superstitious beliefs. Does that mean that you were nothing before the wedding and are being asked to forget some X years of your life that defined you?

Ironically, you are asked to bury your birth name after marriage but you will be accused of your bringing, for unsuccessful attempts at cooking and cleaning. Shouldn't it be this way... if you are being asked to incarnate your life with an unacquainted surname and name, shouldn't you be schooled to suite the new environment. Not so late, you are made to run into the Govt offices, Banks and registrar offices for changing your names and this is a most embarrassing and idiotic thing ever happening. Funnily, it will be you who would be erasing your own name and rewriting it with some awkward smile. If you an independent women with credits in your kitty for outstanding accomplishments and renowned in the society, then you are sure to be unpalatable about the way things would happen.

I fail to understand the harm in retaining the birth name, the name which I are associated and grew up with. Is this supposed to be bad omen if it remain the way it sans losing its charm and appeal. Does changing brides name add more aura into the family washing the family’s impurities? Or alter my destiny. If this kind of activity can transform my destiny, then I vow to make this happen repeatedly throughout the life. Divorcing name and surname is like extricating a milking cow and calf. Such a sadistic pleasure is brutal and inhuman. Similarly, why shouldn't my maternal surname which stood by me in abyss and peaks stay with me till my death bed. Like my body part, a confidence that I rely upon, an honor that I relish, a pot of all experiences and adventures. My surname is like my soul friend who knows all my dirty secrets and I long for it to be part of my journey throughout.

1 comment:

  1. I have so far retained my name but the sad part is even my parents are forcing me to change to the 'new' surname. Of course, my husband and family has left it to me but it hurts when your own people or even a clerk in the bank suggests to change your surname. Not to forget twenty processes to change ten fields in the process.