“What’s in a name”, questioned the bard. We Indians replied “but everything, sir,” which is perhaps why we have always chosen names that require a sound thought process, rather than just a name that someone suggested. We picked up names from our great epics the Mahabharata and the Ramayana for every kind of name for our children of either sex. We even looked for simple, yet unheard of names like Prabhav for a boy or Anagha for a girl. All said and done, Indians were once the best at naming their children. Then came the era of common names – when every other boy turned out to be a Rahul and every other girl a Neha – which eventually led people into thinking where all the ‘good names’ (puns intended!) had gone. Luckily, with the internet revolution, even technology has come to the rescue and wonderful Indian names have come back into fashion (much to the chagrin of the western world that never seems to have enough vowels or consonants to pronounce them). If you too are looking for a wonderful name for your little bundle of joy, rather than turn him or her into another Rahul or Neha, here’s how you can choose a name for your child.
Choosing Names For Your Baby
Here is what you need to look for names for your baby:
The Write Way
To begin with, write lists of names you love, people you want to honor, names that have special meanings, and so on – remember, both you and your partner should do this activity. Compare the lists and names you both love. Maybe your partner likes a name that you can't stand. Cross off the names you don't like and add names you do like to your list. These lists probably will change over time. After you have decided on one name, make sure both of you like it. Try saying your child's name over and over to see if you'll get tired of hearing it. As a parent, you'll be saying it a lot.
Search On The Internet
The internet can also be used to find out excellent names for children. Most sites that cater to an Indian readership offer a wide variety of names – from Bengali to Malayalam, from Hindu to Zoroastrian. However, do expect to find even names as old-sounding as Damayanti, which you would have to filter through. If you are tired of the usual Rahuls, Priyankas, Deepaks and Nehas, you are sure to find excellent names, many of them unheard of and yet beautiful, over the internet.
Keep It Short And Simple
This goes out to the South Indians and Bengali readers – please find a name that can easily be shortened or else you will be stuck with a child whose name is too long to be pronounced. Bengali people often come up with imaginative pet names that stay with people all their lives, but pet names aren’t everyone’s cup of tea or coffee (or kaapi!) – for example, Bhagyashree can be shortened to Bhagya; both the names are not without meanings. Do not try and look for names that are either too complex or will involve the usage of vowels and consonants not known in English language, especially if you live abroad – names like Dhritiman and Mrinalini would come in such a category.
Auntie Names Database
Sometimes, family members and even distant relatives can come up with wonderful names – and some simple and unique ones that you may have never thought of. Never underestimate their ages of experience and knowledge that is gained by hands on knowledge of life. Also, you can take it or leave it – you are under no compulsion to pay heed to their advice.