“A rose by any other name will smell just as sweet.” Will it? Not for Indian parents I guess? These days I am regularly coming across names of kids that sometimes border on plain weird. For the sake of not antagonizing some people close to me, I name no names .
In the olden days of my parents’ generation, kids were named after the umpteen Hindu Gods in the hope that the child would imbibe some pious qualities of the deities. Considering the kind of corruption we see around us, it seems like this strategy did not work very well. Of course, rashi or your horoscope was consulted to arrive at that magic letter that is the first letter of your child’s name. Well, lots of people do it and there is nothing wrong in that except sometimes weird letters like Vy, Hu may come up that might only give you option of choosing Chinese names for your children.
Then came our generation where luckily for us, our names were a bit more modern because I cannot imagine myself being happy with a Sita or a Lakshmi for my name (no offense to those being named so). And, now in my kids generation, there is an absolute obsession with naming kids in a manner where the unusual and the weird takes a place of pride. And, what is with the spellings too these days?
In general, Hindu names are beautiful because they have a lyrical quality and a meaning attached to the names. But now with the help of websites, books and even baby name consultants to help us out with this onerous task, names are dug out from the Upanishads, Purans and what have you. Research has proven that names really do not contribute to your success. You might end up taking on names that are more glamorous or acceptable if you are in showbiz but otherwise they really do not reflect your personality. Just one request before you choose a name for your child — remember that it should not be a source of embarrassment and teasing for your child when he/she grows up.
BTW, why do Indians choose English names for their pets always?