Having been an atheist for most part of my life (who recently regained her belief in God due to reasons too embarrassing to be put out there on the Internet) having a name that meant Goddess Lakshmi was quite ironic. I pitied myself for having been given a name that couldn’t even be stylized into something cooler (like how some Sandhyas get a haircut, buy some chewing gum and call themselves Sandy). Many-an-afternoons I thought of cool names that my parents could’ve thought of, but for some unlucky reasons didn’t. Many-an-evenings followed those afternoons blaming naani (yeah, the same naani from the nuskha post; like how many naanis do you think I have?) who had named me.
Because of this, during long gossip sessions with friends, if I had to repeat a conversation in which my name appeared, I would just feel shy. Oh yeah, I would blush at the sound of my own name! Narcissist or dangerously introverted? I am not sure! Seeing my plight, my frustrated daddy (who, until this point had given her sweet, albeit a little crazy daughter whatever she had asked for) said, “Change your name when you get married.” So, I couldn’t wait to get married. Some girls marry for love (yeah, that still happens, believe me!) some for kids (who may or may not have already been conceived), some for money (oh, did I just remind you of someone?). Then there are some like me, who want none of that jazz. Just a change of name, both first and last.
Then a couple of years ago, Virat Kohli became really famous in the cricket team (no, the expletives came later – around that time it was really just cricket). A friend of mine remarked, “Do their parents name them knowing they’ll be famous someday? What is Vi-rrr-aaattt?” She said this with so much emphasis, that I thought, huh! And then I realized, my name is definitely less common than Virat. If my friend could turn that to have extra R’s and extra A’s (both those letters just sounded wrong! Moving on…) then imagine what wonders my name could do – S-rrrr-eeeee-sh-aaa! Bloody hell, I could be a roaring dinosaur if I wanted to! And when I became famous, people would say, they were some intelligent dinosaur parents to name her that!
Not giving all credit to Virat Kohli (isn’t his head big enough already), I began liking the sound of my name. There was the way certain people called me, that I had never noticed before, but it suddenly sounded like my name was my lullaby. Sure, some people messed it up; almost all Punjabis call me “Shee-risha” and all Andhrites and Kannadigas call me “Si-reesha”, and some lazy (or hungry) people would simply call me “Sheesha” like I was, not a mirror, but some kinda dance bar (oh sheesh!) But other than that, I love my name (cos I can pronounce it perfectly!)
And no, I did not change my name after my marriage. Not even my surname. Cos did you know, my surname when shortened reads Diva? 😉