Sunday, June 12, 2011

What's in a name!!!

My name had always had an impact in my life.From when I had to spell my name to friends and teachers, it was a problem for me.

M.Rahmathunnisa.Spelling would always be wrong.From  1st to 4 th standard , I remember having a sinking feeling in my heart regarding  my name.When I was 5 years old I used to think that such a big name (old fashioned)is OK for a small girl like me .But what will happen when I go to 2nd standard(Even one year used to be soooooooooooooooooooooo big).

Every school year beginning I would pray for some miracle to happen so that I could have a stylish and modern name like many of my classmates did.

By the time I reached the fifth standard, I had made my peace with my name and decided to shorten it to Rahmath while introducing myself.You might wonder why I never did that before.Well my father was someone who hated nicknames.He used to detest reducing beautiful and meaningful names to mere sounds.

Well, it took ten years for me to realise that Rahmath in itself was a full name.My father understanding that it was indeed a big trial for a small child,he gave me a green signal to call myself Rahmath.Thus I made my peace with my name.

Once that happened, I actually began to have fun.When I was 11 we had moved to our new house and i started in a new school.Whats your name? The class teachers would ask to enter in their attendance sheet.I would stand up and with an extremely patient face say "M Rahmathunnisa teacher"Friends would giggle and teachers would be confused.

"Now how to you spell that ??? R....e?"

The all knowing teachers not knowing a spelling??? More giggles (Studied in a all girls school)

I would spell.....Rah.....math....unn....isa...almost like a tune..Sometimes more than once.

A friendly teacher would pass a comment.Others would ask.."hmmmm what do your parents call you?is there any short form????"

"Rahmath" I would say and they give a sign of relief.This was a little difficult too but at least it was smaller.

And this charade would be repeated in every new class for every new introduction the first few days ....

Rahmath is quite well known name in primary schools.Not because of me ofcourse.We used to have a story in our text books`named "The kabuliwala" ,a short story by Rabindranath Tagore.The main character's name who was a trader is Rahmath.Is not Rahmath a boys name? Friends would ask. I would shrug and reply"short for my name."

One of my best friends used to study in another school. She used to talk of our games and exploits to her friends in school and they would listen in awe.She never thought of it much until a friend asked."Do your parents allow you to mingle with a boy so freely?"(conservative society....that it is)
.It took her a minute or two to understand what they were talking about and then she laughed out right.It was fun.It was a fun name after all...

It was not until my early 20s that I began to appreciate my name.I used to think my name meant that i was girl of mercy.Father used to tell me my name meant so and I was meant to be so.But then someone told me that my name meant the lady on whom God was most merciful upon.I had fallen into many troubles and I had always come out of it unblemished.And my name began to be a fact i clinged to.Whatever troubles I encountered, I began to be positive.I began to feel my name was extremely befitting me.I was indeed blessed by god .My positive attitude grew and with that my blessings too.

Maybe it was myself who brought about the change.Maybe my name had nothing to do with it.But now the quote "Nothing sounds sweeter to one than the sound of his name" makes sense to me.So when I name my children I will surely think about it a lot."What's in a name?", Shakesphere may say but hey, I don't want to take any chances :)


Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.
You made my day :)