Once upon a time, 26th April, 1990 to be exact, I was born in Madras, Tamil Nadu. My first name was already set in stone, but the surname was a tricky dilemma. You see, my parents and I are part of the same bloodline, but don’t have a common family denomination. My dad has a different last name (which happens to be the first name of his dad), my mother’s last name is my father’s first name (her maiden name is my maternal grandfather’s first name’s initials). Basically, this is what a sketch of our family tree of names looks like:
Try explaining that to the courts and passport offices! They see us as one big happy live-in family! We could have gone with “Iyer” like the majority of the herd, but it blatantly reveals the identity of caste, no matter how “upper” it is. My maverick “Tam-Brahm” Dad would have none of it. He didn’t want his daughters to be branded, just so people could judge us by our origin. That’s only for bourgeoisie conformists to wear as proverbial signs (Holy ash?) on their foreheads.
Hence, he decided to anoint me with a random suffix. Into a hat went an assorted range of words on chits of paper. Mommy dearest picked the lucky draw and thus- “Garg” was born!
Purpose defyingly, a lot of Gujarathis and other North Indians are called Garg. Daddy Cool should have predicted the snooty, elitist spoilt brat I was growing up to be and christened me with a western name instead. Speaking of which- you better learn to pronounce my first name correctly, without a vulgar vernacular twang. Clearing throat, repeat after me:
I dig what the Spaniards do- every new progeny is dubbed with three last names- the place of birth, the father’s last name and the mother’s last name. There is no need for an existence of a “family name” on account of marriage. No government official in Spain is going to ask “Thumcha adnaav kay ahey?”. They have had this figured out for ages now, but the true egalitarian science of entitling babies has evolved in our very own 20th and 21st century.
These are some examples of celebrities whose names have nothing to do with religion, caste, creed, origin or descent:
Here is a probable list of what boys and girls in 2050 will be called: Twig, Leaf, Branch, Square, Rubber, Legacy, Dollar, Red, Cage, Orca, Wolf, Hufflepuff, Ring, Slim, Florescent, Smiley, Pop Tart, Sky, Pillow and “Etc”. The idea is to name that cute bundle of joy over something as lame and inanimate as an opposite meaning.
Fun Fact: Did you know that Oprah was actually a typo of “Orpah” on the birth certificate!?
I’m too good at the language to commit THAT mistake honey. I call dibs on this name for my future baby, regardless of what it’s father will have to say. Ladies and Gentlemen, say hello to