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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What's in a name?

I  am probably among the very few % of people in the world who has a surname inherited from my mother as part of a well accepted social law - the matriarchal naming rule. My mother got it from her mother and she from her mother and so on (well I am absolutely clueless of what my surname- Kavungal Konoor means;Name of a place ?house name?person's name?).So technically my son should be named "Aditya K K " but his offsprings wouldn't get that surname as males don't get to propagate it..

But even though certain communities in Kerala once followed matriarchal system, they have now slowly replaced it by the well-accepted patriarchal one.Thus, you can hardly ever find any surname propagation like mine.I must say I often get offended while filling those forms which asks for a section that says -"Father's /Husband's Name". Sadly noone asks for "Mother's/Wife's Name".It's would seem like the ownership or guardianship has shifted from father to husband and irrespective of whether one's mother or wife takes care of one, they are of no value. I was pleasantly surprised and touched when my baby's name was written as B/O Divya (Baby Of Divya) in his record at the hospital I delivered at. The discharge summary also says that. It made me feel that finally some system recognized the fact that I exist and I am someone worthy of being written in some form or record.

When we went for our baby's first check up, the doctor while entering his data into the computer asked for the baby's name and I said-"Aditya Divya Vinod". She paused , looked at me and asked "Aditya Vinod"? I said-"Aditya Divya Vinod".
While we were discussing the name we would put for our baby , the most predictable would have been Aditya Nair (but considering Adiyta is only a 3/4th Nair by virtue of his mother being only a half Nair, the name Aditya Three Fourth Nair would have been more apt)..The other balanced name would have been Aditya Nair K K..(but considering we don't know who is Nair or KK, that would have sounded equally stupid)..Finally we decided to go for XXX Divya Vinod if it was a boy and XXX Vinod Divya if it was a girl. So here we are -parents of a boy who literally carries his family name !!


  1. --- parents of a boy who literally carries his family name !!

    Not necessarily for ever though. The little sweetheart could wake up someday and decide to exercise the right to rechristen himself. In which case, this blog will probably have to be rewritten to read - parents of a boy who carriers the name "Inqulab Slinger" or such

  2. We all literally carry our names, family names and whatnots, around in our ID cards and passports.