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Surnames

Just when I had decided there is nothing I want to write about, I read this on google news feeds.

“And now cometh the progeny of my son that shall bear the surname Bachchan - the first in this generation…” Amitabh Bachchan has himself expressed.

A harmless statement about names which is nothing but true, for even today children do get the dad's surname. In the north its usually Srivastav, Sharma etc but down south the children get their fathers first name! No one wants to change this.

I wish we had retained our original surnames instead of hiding behind first names to escape discrimination. All my attempts to revert to IYER surname have been dismissed so far with mildly indulgent looks...my dad now thinks its a great idea but he had his way with amma and both his daughters who now bear his name. Needless to say P also wants the same! Sigh!

Are we doing the right thing for all the daughters of the next generation? Will they resent the fact that they have to deal with same issues as we did? Are we moving forward?

P.s- I have retained my surname (read as father's name) simply because I am used to it and it feels weird to change it. It's now as much my name, as my fathers. Thankfully P is at peace with this aspect now ( took him almost 2 years) and has found that there is too much red tape involved in this name change business!

4 comments:

Guru said...

@ lipstick - i beg to differ, i think having a surname is a root cause for a lot of discrimination. esp in North india. people treat you based on your surname.. differrent treatment .. i have seen it happen with a lot of my friends.. they judge based on surname..

having my father's name solves that..

Pretty Woman said...

ha ha ha I get that ALL the time! Don't I want to take my husband's name? doesn't he mind?...the actual truth is again all the hassle in changing the name in all the formal documents...also, I will always be my father's daughter, right? married or not?

lipstick said...

@ guru- ya that's why the south Indians got rid of it but adding only fathers first name is kind of sad... I mean why not add mothers name also in that case? if given a choice I would have picked IYER over my dads first name.

@ Pretty woman- Ya..but i like my second name not cos its my dads name but because now it is my name too!

fullmoononearth said...

I've thought long and hard on this subject, since I was able to think. I remember that when I was about to enter my teens was a time when I did not like my surname. I grew up around north Indians and a lot of them were the Sharmas, Vermas and Singhs. I would find my surname uncool. I tried chopping it off. The labels on my notebooks started to read only my first name when I was in my 6th std. Then I found having an initial was cool and I didn't have any. So I turned my Surname into an initial. Then came 10th and I had to use the same name as in my birth certificate. That was the time I realised how unique my surname was. And unique seemed cool back then. Gosh! it seems so long ago. Right now I wouldn't mind taking my husbands name. It feels a li'l odd though. But it's gonna be so much work. May be I'll just hyphenate. I prefer that idea to dropping my maiden name altogether.

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