For the last few weeks so much has been said about the name of a baby boy of a celebrity couple. I am not going to comment about that. Not because I don't have anything to say about the foolishness of the whole thing. But because I know parents have the choice of naming their new born with what appeals to them (for whatever reason).
I mean look at my name. Binty. I have no idea what my parents were thinking when they named me, asking them has revealed no better. I am a Punjabi, so a pet-name type name is expected but usually a formal name is also given (which of course no one ever knows). But in my case it was just this one name that has seen me through school, college and other formal platforms. My name has been the source of lots of fun (for my students who called me Bhindi, I know dear children and it is okay), disbelief (Really!, Are you sure?), ridicule (what a silly name!). Also the fact my brother and sister have lovely beautiful names with meaning didn't help at all! Many times I wished I had a more common name like Ritu, Seema or even Anu! It has not been easy to answer the following questions all my life, like even till yesterday!
- Is this your real name?
- Is it on your degree and passport?
- Is it Vinanti or Vinti or Biniti (which has some meaning)?
- On phone I invariably have to spell it.
- I have been called Bunty, Minty, Bindi and dont ask how but Pinky and Dimpy also!
- Never heard it before, so unusual!(and that leads to the next very important question)
- What does it mean?
When my daughters grew up the world of Google was well established and one day on Internet they found out by sheer chance that Binty in Swahili and Arabic means... hold your breath... 'daughter'. (http://babynames.merschat.com/name-meaning.cgi?bn_key=68554)
Accidentally finding this beautiful meaning for name after five decades of my existence should have been a cause for big cheer, but I realized that it didn't matter to me any more... whether it had a meaning or not, I was still the same person. My parents were also totally unaffected by this big revelation, as they had kept my name because they liked the sound of it. And confidentially let me tell you somewhere in all these years I started to like the uniqueness of it. Many people remember it not because I have to repeat it but because it is different.
So even if you come across a person that you do not like socially or politically, STAY OUT OF IT! Because it really is none of your business, it is always between the parents and the person.