suhana safar aur yeh mausam haseen
humein dar hai hum kho na jayein kahin
*in response to Daily Post*
What’s in a name?
My name is Suhani and this is the story of my name.
I am born and brought up in India, a nation where a kid is named several days after his/her birth.
The name keeping ceremony [Yes, it is a proper ceremony] includes a Pundit (read astrologer) reading your birth chart and identifying an initial that shall suit the child’s grahas (planets governing the child’s future).
Mine was S. After considering several options my Mama (maternal uncle) came up with my name – Suhani – meaning pleasant.
Where my father liked it in the first instance, my mother detested it. She thought it was weird to name her daughter Suhani as she had never heard this word ever being used as a name.
While my mother got used to my name and eventually got fond of it. I was facing issues at school 😐
Poor me. My parents had chosen such an uncommon name for me that everybody who heard it thought me being a kid I was just mispronouncing my own name and took it as Shivani – a very common name in India. When I was just getting used to people calling me Shivani at school, I realised in conversations amongst the elders at my house that my name was unique and had a really nice sound to it – Suhani…wow. This lead me to learn what my name actually meant.
A still from the song ‘suhana safar…’
So now the responsibility came unto me to correct everyone who pronounced my name wrong. I often used reference to the very popular song suhana safar (pleasant journey) and hence started my journey of falling in love with my name.
I not just did fall in love with the pleasantness of my name, I became proud of its uniqueness. On the day when a distant relative named their daughter Suhani after me – I was offended. I literally went up to her and asked “why did you keep her name Suhani? My name will become common!”
This was innocent anger; but I would lie if I said I wasn’t happy on the day I got to know that a Pundit had stated to her that the kid was getting sick over and over again because her name did not suit her, which lead to the change of name of the kid from Suhani to Shivani.
Shah Rukh with daughter Suhana and son Aryan
After a few more years – Shah Rukh Khan – the king of Bollywood, named his daughter Suhana. and that day was the end of uniqueness for me 😦 I hate it but today there are a lot of girls named Suhana/Suhani.
All this does not change the fact that I fell in love with my name and am still in love with it. Suhani has a certain ring to it that it brings a smile on the face of the person who takes the name. Just like its meaning it spreads pleasantness around. And it certainly does help keep negative thoughts at bay and keeps my positive.
I wish I would come up with such a pleasant name for my kid when its time. For now, I am content after naming one of my niece – Tiara (A jewelled ornamental band worn on the front of a woman’s hair)