What’s in a name?

My name, just like everyone else’s, was kept once it stuck the fancy of my parents. I grew up recognizing my name as my ‘only’ identity. It meant the whole world to me and somehow I always felt that my name wasn’t complete if it did not have the last name attached to it. Just like all kids, I grew up writing my name innumerably on books and diaries (thank God never on desks and walls) in appreciation of how wonderful the name looked and sounded.
Anyway, everything in my life, with respect to my name, was hunky dory, till I got married and all hell broke lose. No, my husband did not demand that I change my name, nor did my in-laws. They were okay if I wanted to use my maiden name forever. But, the whimsical one that I am, I wanted to alter the name and make it sound ‘contemporary’. (C’mon people, I was young and wanted to experiment, don’t give me that look!) Therefore, I decided to use my maiden name and hyphened it with my husband’s last name. There. I had a fancy name and friends came up with a variety of nicknames for me based on my new name. I was thrilled that I had coined myself a new identity. Only to discover later that celebrities borrowed the trick and knocked one out towards me.
I was, still, hell bent on keeping the name, since I did not know what else to do. It was not long when I was required to get the identification proofs made and I set out to get my first identification in my married name. The first target was getting the PAN (Permanent Identification Number) done, which was already in place with my maiden name. Went online and filled up the application for name change, only to discover that the marriage certificate was not valid till I have a bank statement in my new name. Off to the bank and they claimed the marriage certificate is required. Since the same was in Hindi (certified by the Panchayat) it was rejected immediately. They required a voter id or a passport in my new name for altering on the account. Phew!
What I’m going to tell you now, will draw a lot of jaw-drops and raised eyebrows; the plea is ‘please don’t judge’. I DO NOT have a passport or a voter’s id *covers face with the palms*. Off I marched to the Passport Office, anyway. Applied in the new name.
‘Where are the proofs?’
‘I have the proofs in my maiden name…’
‘Err, how can you have your passport made in your maiden name when you are married!’ She was horrified as if I had asked her to chop off her thumb!
Back to square one…
I understood too well that getting a thing done here would be a mammoth task so I retired. I finally decided to keep my maiden name.
Along the way, when I took up a job (my existing one) I had applied with my married name. At the moment no proof was required so when I wanted to alter my name back to my maiden name (why! for heaven’s sake) I was asked if I was divorced! Huh!! Discovery of sorts, as well was, my e-mail id was recorded with my maiden name and my office directory name was mentioned as my married name. I usually get the question, ‘So what is your real name?’ Aargh!!
After this whole rigmarole now whenever some one asks me the dreaded question again….I go- William Shakespeare! After all, what’s in a name?

Image courtesy : Google


44 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. ho ho ho..that was some struggle you had with your name ..but yes keeping the maiden name after marriage is much easier since its documented already ..afte all whats in a name?

  2. I went through this all and to make matters worse the first change in the PAN card came out all wrong. Then we discovered that my husband's name in our marriage cert was wrong! Apparently this couldn't be changed because we're governed by the Special Marriages Act. It took me two years and several threats to have it changed. But our Church marriage certificate is wrong and I haven't dared change my passport yet. Meanwhile my married name has been included in my husband's passport! Waiting for the s*** to hit the fan when we do travel abroad. What's in a name, as you say? 😉

  3. baap re! Such a headache! What business is it of theirs if you want to keep your maiden name?! I remember the headache I went through to correct the spelling of my name in my BSc certificate!

  4. hahahafunny yet painful saaga. So whats your name 😛 ??Its a pain getting passport of voters id. My name was printed wrong on a voters id and I had to continue with it . Its still the same 😦 I got a perfect aadhar card though. Have to see how it helps. Try getting an aadhar card. I believe its easy of all :DEnjoyed reading this 🙂 good day

  5. Oh how terrible! Yeah it can get quite bothersome. Luckily my marriage certificate is in English :). Always took care of the proof part. Now all my documents are in my married name.

  6. I hope things get sorted for you. Probably the easiest way would be to get a court affidavit with the name you want to use as your official name.

  7. It can be terrible confusion, running in circle in wanting to change, if one wants to change, I prefer to keep to the certified name, meaning what the certificates say Genevive Angela, definitely not janet, or janet David, which is my pet name, and David was added after my marriage. So I am happy, I am called G Angela and sometimes David is added. Thanks for sharing !

  8. Whoa, that sounds very complicated. Not sure if it's related to our countries or not, but the process seems easier here, and not quite as circular! I wish now i had added my married name to my full maiden name, but I dropped my maiden name. Oh well. What's I'm a name, as someone elegantly once asked. SiouxsiesMusings

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