“Hi… I am Gayu” She introduced herself to her new found friend Patricia at the Boston University; she recently got admission to for her bachelors in Computer Science.
“Gayu…. That’s a beautiful name” said Patricia. “What does it mean? I’ve heard all Indian names have meanings.”
“Well er….It’s actually Gayathri Subramaniam.” Now why would my parents keep a name like that….Gayathri….not to mention the difficulty in pronouncing the surname, thought Gayu. I mean did they not realize that she would aspire to go abroad to study and probably have a career there or maybe even a groom from there.
“Oh Gayathri….am I pronouncing it right? I think that’s an even more beautiful name” Gayu was suddenly woken up from her thoughts.
“What? What did you say Patricia?” asked Gayathri.
“I was saying Gayathri is such a beautiful name. Is it not the name of a Goddess in the Indian Mythology? asked Pat, as she was lovingly called by her friends.
“Oh you think so Pat? Well yes, Gayathri has a lot of meanings….it’s the name of Goddess Durga, it also means the chant of salvation” Gayu explained with a sudden sense of pride.
She was never going to mention to Pat or anybody her pet name “Guddu” that her parents lovingly called her at home. Why would they want to call me Guddu when I had such a beautiful name, Gayathri pondered, forgetting that she was very close to re-christening herself to Gayu a name she thought was more modern and stylish.
“So Gayu is your nickname for Gayathri?” inquired Pat with fondness. “Well No….I thought foreigners would find it difficult to pronounce my name so I was thinking of……” Gayathri’s voice trailed off.
“That’s not true….I mean there is so much richness and meaning in your Indian names. I love your names.” Pat was so re-assuring. “You know what? I am going to call you Gayathri not Gayu. There is music in your name” said Pat.
“Oh thanks Pat….I feel so much more confident now introducing myself. I was beginning to think so vehemently about my parent’s choice of my name.”
“But your second name is definitely a tongue twister Gayathri….” giggled Patricia.
“No worries, we shall find a Nickname for my dad” chuckled Gayathri. “Besides I am the student here not him”
Names could be ancient, modern, rural or urban. It could be musical, beautiful, meaningful, Christian, Jewish, Arabic, German and so on. The fact is Names don’t define you….You define your Name.