Ananya, Arushi, Advait, Ankit, Aryan
In class she was C. Geetha. There were two other other girls with the same name. R. Geetha and L. Geetha (whom she recently discovered on Facebook. Only now she was Geetha L Narayan). It would annoy her immensely whenever her name was called out and several heads turned to answer. It was back in school that she resolved never to answer when she heard her name but instead to wait until she was tapped on the shoulder. A habit which continues to date despite the fact that she is the only Geetha in her household.
It’s funny how she now has her own house and family. Just recently she was still her father’s daughter. A third daughter born after much beseeching to the gods for a male offspring. Even as a child she knew what an intense disappointment she was to her parents. Why else would they give her a name that was as commonplace as salt? In fact, she was uncannily right. Because it was not her parents who chose her name. They were still blaming the gods for not paying heed to their prayers and had completely forgotten to pick a name for the newborn. So much so that for months, she remained nameless. Some would call her ‘baby’, some others ‘ponnu’. Until one afternoon in her ninth month when a grand aunt who was visiting them from Bangalore, was playing with her and offered her a bunch of keys to rattle around. The little one clutched the keys firmly in her plump grasp and shook it this way and that way. Its clinking shiny metal kept her amused all afternoon.
Soon it was time for the aunt to leave and she needed her keys back. Papa, she gently demanded of the child, key-thaa...The little one shook her head and turned her face away. The elderly lady persisted in her appeal. Key-thaa, baby! Key-thaa, please! But no amount of pleading could get her to change the infant’s mind. Finally, some one had to prise the chubby fingers open to release the keys. The grand aunt missed her train that evening but the little one had gained a name. Key-thaa which later in the school register became Geetha.
Now, sitting in a far away country, 7-months pregnant with her first child, Geetha goes through Maneka Gandhi’s Book of Hindu names. Abha (glow), Aabharana (jewel), Aardharshini (idealistic), Aadhya (first power), Aadita (from the beginning)…so many fantastic names to choose from. She decides she will have at least half-a-dozen children. Each with a memorable name, unique like no other.