When a woman buys a saree, she thinks about fulfilling some basic requirements. The saree must be traditional but should fit in with the latest fashion trends. It should be light, but should not look cheap. It should have somber, rich colors, but should be befitting a dinner party as well. It should be long lasting and should require minimum maintenance. And lastly, it should look great on her. That’s it. If the person selling the saree is a man (which is often true), he starts banging his head against an imaginary wall.
Now imagine when a mother wants to decide the name of her baby, fulfilling similar basic requirements. And people say that women take so much time to decide on a simple name !!! The problem is, its not just a simple name.
Earlier, it was easy, when in an elaborate ritual, about 30-40 days after the birth of the baby, the pandit would tell the first letter of the name and the baby’s Bua would decide on the final name. Now our cultures and traditions are getting mixed up and the baby’s name has to come urgently before the mother even leaves the hospital. Also, most of the times, it also has to keep in consideration the generations of the families involved, along with the emotions of the Dadas, Dadis, Nana, Nanis, etc. So much for the namesake, Gogol!!
So to avoid the confusion and reduce the pain (which is already quite a lot for the new mom) here are a few tips to consider before naming the baby.
1. A name that grows with time.
So you love to call your baby with all the lovely names like kuchikoo, pikuu-chikkuu, chinki, tinki, just remember that your baby is going to grow up very fast. So decide on the name which will sound and feel good even after your baby is 50 years old.
2. Is it Universal?
As time changes, cultures change and so does the place of living. Our generation has already left our towns and villages to different and newer cities and countries, and the same will happen to our children. So think about a name which would not sound too much from the medieval era. Imagine if you name a girl ‘Mahishasurmardini’ and she has to live in France all her life. Get the point??
3. What are the initials?
If a person called Suresh Sharma named his son as Aditya, then the initials would be – not a thing the child could feel very happy about. And imagine the teasing he might have to face at school with those initials. So please, don’t forget to check the initials before you finalize the name.
4. Does the spelling cause headache?
Out of the 10 places I have to ask a person to write down my name (hotel bills, medical shops, official documents) 8 people do it all wrong. Till the time I was 20 years old, I used to wonder why it was so difficult for people to correctly write the spelling of JANHAVI!! But later I accepted it as a nuisance, coming up with a different name. The point is, you might feel some name to be very fancy and different, but also give a thought to the spelling as the child might have to deal with explaining the spelling for the rest of his or her life.
Some people might think of tradition as old, but there are some gem of names available in our Puranas, Vedas and Shashtras. Did you ever imagine that Bipasha is the name of a Devi ? Or even Aaradhya for that matter. Check out the Vishnu and Devi sahastranamas (a thousand names) for thousands of brilliant names.
This comes without saying, there should be a meaning to the name. So even if you love the sound of Pinky, Sweety, Bittoo, Sunny, Bobby, it might not have an impact later on when the child grows. The child would be grateful to you if you give him a good meaningful name. He would love to explain what his name means and how it is different from others. A feeling of pride and joy.
7. How does it sound?
You might have to call your child dozens of time in a day. So both you and your child should love the sound of it. It should not sound too harsh or too dull. Think calling ‘Maganlaaaaaal’ or ‘Surdaasssss’ for the twentieth time in a day. How would that make you feel ??
8. Not so fashionable.
I have observed that there are certain names which (for reasons beyond logic) become very fashionable and every second set of parents name their children with that name. So earlier it was Rahul, Raj, Sameer and now its Era, Ria, Anvi, Ovi etc. The drawback is starting with being different, they become very common. Remember, there are some names which are ever green and never go out of fashion. Make an effort to find out those names.
9. Personal Connection.
Parents often want to find a name having a connection with them which can be done by combining their own names. Like one of my colleague Ankur and his wife Puja named their daughter as Anuja. Aditya Chopra and Rani named their daughter as Adira which is great and is also a name of a Devi. This is possible only in certain cases. But its always good to try all the possible permutations.
10. Straight from the heart.
In spite of thinking on all the above mentioned points, if you finally like some different name altogether which does not fit into any of the above and still you think is perfect, GO FOR IT. There is nothing more important than the passion and love you feel for the name as much as you feel for the child itself.
If you think that you’ve found the perfect name for your child, share it with us through the comments. Tell us why you think it’s the perfect name.