Choosing a name for the baby
November 22, 2006
You might ask “What’s in a name?”. I’m glad that nature mandates a nine month period to have a baby as it can take longer to choose a name that satisfies everyone’s whims and fancies. Else “100 baby names” wouldn’t be in the top 100 Google Search terms.
Experienced new parents and family have for months posed this question to Vivek and I, “Have you decided a name yet?” We kept replying, “What’s the hurry? There is still time.” The reality was I had loads of other things to take care of like nausea, indigestion, heartburn, breathlessness to name a few and “name” did not figure high on the priority. With a lot of time now, I have taken up this “project” and what did not seem a hair splitting problem then is definitely one now.
I will let you in on a little secret. The truth is we had settled for the name “Akshat” which happened by accident. Way back in March, Vivek was handed his Medical Insurance card along with those of his dependents. He had only one dependent then (myself) but was handed over 2 cards - one for Lakshmi Nagarajan and the other for his ’so-called’ son - ‘Akshat Jain’ …yea yea I wouldn’t go into the blunders insurance companies make. Anyway, we had a hearty laugh and later when LG was on the way, we thought why not “Akshat”. If it is a girl, add a “a” and it becomes “Akshata” - how convenient. This is what I like about Indian names. “Vijay” becomes “Vijaya”.
Apparently, no one likes the name “Akshat” in family, so here after a week’s brainwork and deciding I’m not creative enough, I’m asking you all to send in suggestions for LG for a girl and a boy. A good friend, SK made my job easier by formulating some ground rules and here they are —
- It must not be too common a name: like ‘Amit’. Your id deserves individuality and there is a sea of names to choose from.
- It must not be a name that your kid would curse you for: This is complementary to rule 1> above. (‘Khug’ tops our hit list here.)
- Not too difficult to pronounce, a Indian name that is not too Americanized. No ‘ksh’. ‘Lakshmi’ always becomes ‘Lashhhhmi’
- It must not be too long: He/she will have a lot of forms to type/write out in his/her life. Please spare the kid the trouble.
- It should be a name that can be naturally (phonetically-speaking) abbreviated: (‘Adi’ instead of ‘Aditya’, for instance). Since you will be screaming after your kid all the way to his/her adult life, the abbreviated name comes in handy. Else, you will have to cook up some other pet name like ‘Pappu’, ‘Bunty’, ‘Happy’…
- It must have a nice and uncomplicated meaning to it: If one has to explain the meaning of the name to someone (Indian or otherwise), one shouldn’t have to begin narrating a mythological tale that lasts a fortnight.
- It should not be from Maneka Gandhi’s ‘Book of Hindu Names’: Why? Refer to point 6> above.
- It must not be a composite name, formed by performing complex String operations on the names of the parents: (‘Raveena’ = Ravi + Veena; Siya = Seema + Ashish). Again, your kid deserves individuality.
- It should not be a name that has an almost patented regional overtone: [‘Miral’ / ‘Hetal’: patently Gujarati; ‘Mrinmayee’: patently Maharashtrian; ‘Vaijayanthi’: patently Tamil; ‘Asamanya’ / ‘Bibhuti’: patently Bengali/Orissi], although some such names do sound really nice and exotic, if you ask me.
- It should not be a name that’s already in the family: Individuality again.(You have already decided on this; so, that’s good.)
- It should not be a name that sounds as if you are trying to clear your throat.
If nothing works, then there’s always these to choose from - Lil General, Polu, Bozo, Yuko and Buco Kidoo.”
Filed Under Parenting