Skip to main content

Tumhara naam kya hai Basanti?

Not a funny post, mind you but if you still happen to manage a few laughs…well I am funny. Now I am neither Basanti nor it my ‘daak naam’ aka pet name anywhere closer to Hema Malini’s iconic role from this cult classic film. I just chose this as my post title because I thought it resonates my feelings. 

Imagine having to change your name. It is a terrible idea and the sense of loss can cause permanent damage. I remember while in college, Jerry Pinto, my journalism professor had asked an entire class of 40 women (terrible, I say!), how many of us would change our names. Now he was particularly pointing out to the custom of changing a woman’s first name as well when she marries the guy and obviously the ‘surname’ changes. I was horrified at the thought at that time. I couldn't and cannot even today imagine how another name would fit me. 

During the same year, a friend of mine married her long-time boyfriend. He is a Maharashtrian and she is a Punjabi from Himachal. Now it was a custom to change the girl’s first name in the boy’s family. When posed with this question, the girl replied, “I met your son as Rekha (assuming she was Rekha), I am marrying him as Rekha so why his wife should be called something else?”

I thought it was a bold decision she made and her in-laws accepted. Of course, her soon-to-be husband supported her too. 

Now when I got married, these thoughts never ventured into my head. I was way too excited and no one really brought it up. However, hubby came up with this while we were on our honeymoon. He wanted to know if I wanted to change my name to adopt his surname or keep both! Tricky, I’d say. 

We decided to get back and decide. Soon, there were issues with me carrying on with my maiden name. Explanations were given everywhere. It was tedious and we decided that I keep both names. So I was going to be Ms Nikita Banerjee Bhagat. Big name but I got to hang onto ‘Banerjee’ so everything seemed cool or so we thought! He was a tad bit disappointed, but this was my name so I got to decide!

Once we had finalised my new name, we began with the documentation process. My pan card was to change now. So after dinner, hubby decided that it was the right time to get started with the process. Sitting in front of the television with my mom-in-law for company, he began filling in the requirements. Being the thorough person he is, he asked me (read in front of my ma-in-law) if I was sure my name was to be ‘Nikita Banerjee Bhagat’. I glared back at him and nodded my head. But it was too late. Mummyjee had caught onto it and hated the idea of two surnames. Also, it was more about keeping my maiden surname. 

Why do you want to keep two names?” I smiled back and explained that we both were okay with it so we want to go ahead. 

But why two names?” Again, I smiled back and clearly said that I wanted to keep my old name as it is as it had been a part of me for very long. Plus, I was adopting my new name as well. 

But then Bhagat comes after Banerjee?” Lol. I just smiled back when all I wanted to do was to ask her to mind her business. After all, this was my name we are talking about! 

But she continued. She reasoned by saying, “You want to keep two names so your kids will have two names as well! Complete confusion for them, no? What will they call themselves? Punjabi or Bengali?

The argument was not worth it. The husband just meekly smiled back and explained to her that all new-age (poo-poo) have names that contain their old surname and new. So it was normal and no big deal. She wasn't convinced and I wasn't interested so the topic was dropped. 

I still continue to be Ms Nikita Banerjee. We have to explain our choice of names at every nook and corner. Yes, we are married but we or rather I haven’t changed my name. We simply present our marriage certificate that reads Himanshu Bhagat is married (legally) to Nikita Banerjee. This works perfectly well. As for our kids, we’ll see when they come by!

P.S: My dad asked me the very same question when I went home for my pag-phera after the wedding. "How can you keep two names? You are married and so it is obvious that you adopt his name as yours!" I asked him to shut up and knowing me, he has never brought it up.


Read Related Posts

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Choicest picks...

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - my take

So I was not the biggest Harry Potter fan around but this way before I saw Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Yet still, I wasn’t crazy about the Potter mania like many I know are. However, watching Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows has compelled me to say otherwise. I am a fan and how!
Whenever one [me to be precise] hears about a great series as such, to be realised on the big screen, I am left with a twinge of disappointment. Harry Potter, on the other hand, is a series that is very rightly realised on celluloid as compared to the many literary masterpieces which have tasted dust.
So here is what I loved about the film:
From the very beginning the plot seems to creep up onto you. "These are dark times, there's no denying," said the Minister of Magic, Bill Nighy. Yes, this very sentence sums up the last book. 
To start with, the colour of the film, I mean the treatment, living up to the theme, is all gray, cold unlike the magnificent magical dining room at Hogwarts. H…
This is a 'nameless' post. I cannot bring myself to name it. If you ask me why, I could quickly crumble into a heap of tears (I don't care if this doesn't sound right!) and bawl my heart out. 
Remember my previous post about having a pet? Well, just my luck that my folks back home decided to finally give the nod to welcome a cute little Labrador pup. This was to be my sister's 25th birthday surprise and believe me when I say I was jealous for the very first time! I even ranted at my father saying he had to wait till I get married and then agree for a dog! Were they not listening when I begged for one as well? But not everything ends well, does it? We had the pup for a mere seven days. A cute little beige Labrador, we called Bolt. He was jumpy, nippy, cuddly and so much more. 
But god had different plans. Simply a week later the pup left us. Stopped breathing after a bout of ill health. Just when we thought he was recovering, he gave up. I wasn't around when they …

Animation films Part II

Animation has definitely come a long way and we know it and bare witness to it. But there is much more to animation and it's different forms way before Disney made Snow White. I have been fortunate in the past to have read and written about some of the masters.
In this post I will also talk about the ones I missed out on!
Animation is not just about bringing drawings to life. And the technique of 3D did not exactly exist then! This was way before computers were invented too. So read on...

Persepolis. I was really kicked about the film and loved the first half. Excellent narration and the b/w makes for the perfect setting! Marjane Satrapi's best!

Madagascar I &2 are both laugh riots. I like the way they move it...
Manny is absolutely adorable as is Diago and Sid. Awesome film and Scrat is the bestest!!!

Ari Folman is no animator yet Waltz with Bashir is a film par excellence. Sometimes animation is just a medium for brilliant storytelling and prove to be the best way to broach su…

A book review – Whispering Paths

The first time I interviewed someone for an assignment, the piece came back with a remark which read – ‘MOTS’ needs flesh, i.e. man on the street needs flesh! Whatever that meant, confusion was my first reaction to it. However, with writing and then rewriting the same assignment over, and over again, I realized that I had to add character or rather more ‘meat’ to the story. So what is my point here? I am trying to say that when someone asks me to read a new book or try a new author, I am generally wary of them. Why? Because I do not want to read through the book like a zombie because there is nothing (in terms of ‘meat) in its story or the characters!
But (There is always a catch, isn’t it?) Whispering Paths by Sneha Subramanian Kanta is different. Her debut publication has already put her in a league of writers who are out there to tell stories; stories that touch a chord deep within us and haunt us (in a good way) for time to come. Stories that a reader can relate to, feel the pain, …

Animation films Part I

This blog post is dedicated to my friend Vemana and Bharathy for they love animation films just like I do! I had long promised this to many of my twitter friends and finally I am putting this up today! Well, I of course cannot decide which animated movies are my favourite so I have just come up with a list of few must see films!

Lets start with Happy Feet! Happy indeed it was and made me extremely happy! Lol. I had the opportunity to watch it in the Dome theatre and the experience was just brilliant!

Now nothing beats this one! The Incredibles is one film I can watch over and over again and still look forward to watch it! Hahaha...awesome racy action and some cool moves...they are incredible! This is the first feature length animated film in the world! Walt Disney's Snow White is a masterpiece! They say this 2D animated film has so many frames that if you line up the paper will go up to the moon! Absolutely delightful!
Awww...this was my first animated film in the theat…