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What is there in a name

It was a fine breezy morning when a security personnel of one of the customers of my company in Pittsburgh, PA, USA returned back with a wide smile on his face. It was not a simple smile as it seems though; rather it was the mixed reaction (not in proportion) of his inability to pronounce my name and his ability to find it in his computer database, thereby giving me permission to enter into their huge premises. Momentarily, I could not stop myself blaming my father for giving me such a name. But later realized that your name in India is not just the name. It is more than that. My father did what generations have been doing in India.

When the Vedic culture in India was about to become an extinct; all of the Indian decided to defend it. In doing so they decided to name their kids as one of the character of the Vedic era. Their esteemed offspring followed their path. You will find lots of people in India with the name Vishnu, Venkatesh, Arjun, Bhism etc. which are most known personality of Vedic era. Little did our forefathers know that the population of India would cross 100000000. Alas! There was no more Vedic character remaining to be renamed as another Indian. Necessity is mother of innovation. With shortage of Vedic Character Indian parents took the most innovative techniques to give a name to their kids. Thus in doing so the process of naming a child was re-defined and twisted a bit to suit the current scenario. Now synonymes (not the antonymes) of the original words, the adjective of the name or their offspring, the hybrid methodology was used. Thanks god colonial european didn't find any issue with it.

Now, the Indian Parents start looking for the name of the kids the day an embryo is conceived in the mother’s womb OR even earlier. They apply their all intelligence in doing so. The name is supposed to be unmatchable. It represents the aspiration of the parents. It represents their un-fulfilled dream which they want to visualize (read realize) in their kids.

My name Dr. Kumar Padmanabh has so many constituent drivers. Obviously, I have earned the first two letters of my name by putting my efforts and therefore I am bit different Indian who can dare to go beyond his father’s imagination (You may not disagree once you will happen to meet me). I don’t have my surname (Mishra) which is a custom in Bihar a state in the Republic of India to protest against the cast system (In India your surname represents your caste). Kumar means the ever young. Padmanabh Consists of two words (i) Padma: The lotus and (ii) Nabh: The navel in the middle of the abdomen. Literally means a person who has grown a lotus in his navel. In hindu mythology it represents the god Vishnu. The Vishnu: who takes care of all the creatures of this universe? So I am Dr. Kumar Padmanabh, the ever young Vishnu who had gone two letters beyond his father’s imagination.

It is not only the name, it is more than that. Had I ever got a chance to meet Shakespeare he must not had stated, “what is there in a name”.


P.S: I put all my resources and efforts to name my SON as “Ayachi Padmanabh Mishra”.

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