Did you change it too?

It hit me when we went to obtain the legal papers certifying it. I always knew it’d happen some day, but hadn’t expected it to affect me so much. It’s very normal, happens all the time and is a part of any girl’s life. I never had any qualms about it, but the feeling that I’d become someone else from then on wasn’t comforting.

Don’t want to create any suspense here. I’m talking about the time when we went to obtain our Marriage Certificate, the very paper that changed my name and my existence forever. It was the first document that bore my new surname. The name that carried my father’s name and maiden surname was gone, and it seemed like within those few moments I’d become a different person altogether.

I don’t know if it’s strange to be so attached to your name. Is it normal? I remember the time when our teachers in school and college (sometimes even friends) always identified and called us by our surnames. You heard your name so many times; while answering the roll call, while participating in any contest, while accepting prizes. It always stayed with you, when you came first and even when you didn’t do very well. It was you after all, wasn’t it?

People always attach surnames to one’s religion. I know it’s not fair, but there’s one habit I have till date, trying to find out what faith a person belongs to from his surname. In a time where people are getting exceedingly touchy about knowing and speaking native and local languages (read Marathi here) and favouritism is the norm, it does help to a great extent. I’ve personally experienced that people react positively when spoken to in their native language. Is trying to be nice to people with a little background check bad then? I wonder..

I digressed a bit here, but let me tell you a small anecdote that brought a pleasant smile to my face. I was at an art exhibition cum sale with a friend of mine few days ago. We’d settled on what articles we wanted to buy, but since there was a beeline at the billing counter she waited there while I went around having a quick peek at the items again. She paid for both of us, but called out for me since they were planning some sort of contest and wanted our personal details and postal address for the same.

One would imagine I’d make it quick, but it was rather shocking when I told my name but my surname simply blacked out. I was stammering as if she had asked me some rocket science related question! Eventually when I did tell her my surname, it interestingly turned out to be the maiden one. The new one had not yet come out of hiding in my mind. My friend was bewildered too. For information sake, I’ve been married for more than 5 yrs now!! We had a good laugh over it later. 🙂

I know one can contend that I always had the option to retain my maiden surname but the thought never struck me. I mean, how could my husband and me have a different surname? Pinsy once told me that the population survey lady who visited her place thought that she and her husband were only living-in since they have different surnames! Now that’s hilarious! 😀 😀

I know its easier for paperwork to retain the old one, but as a girl it was probably the first thing that I sacrificed for my marriage. A finds my love for my old name rather amusing. I don’t expect him to understand. It’s a sacrifice he’d never have to make in his life, or rather no guy has to make in our society.

What do you think of this? Did you feel the same?

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12 thoughts on “Did you change it too?

  1. Actually no…I was not reluctant or sad about changing my surname post marriage…the only thing I was and am touchy about is my first name…in us Maharashtrians there is this name changing ritual on the wedding day and I had already made it clear to husby that I don’t want to get my name changed…it was not an issue between us but then few nosy relatives did pinch him under banter hood that he has lost the very first battle to me since I didn’t let him change my first name,huh!

    any given day I won’t change my first name not in the name of tradition or any legality cause more than anything else that’s my identity since I was christened by that name…and my parents must have gone through so much searching and discussing before zeroing in this one so nobody has the right to wash away their love and hard work ! makes sense ?

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    1. Well in my case I knew there was no question of changing my first name since there was no such ritual involved, thankfully. Yes, I’m very touchy about my first name too. I’ve lived with it since I was born, and even now when someone calls that out in my near vicinity I’m bound to turn back and check if it was for me! There was always a certain amount of affection for my namesake. Crazy? 😛 😀
      Although I love the ring to my name, its the whole name that has an altogether different sound, don’t you think? And yes, its the somewhat emotional attachment to it that made me a bit sad…my father’s name got replaced by my husband’s and my old surname got replaced by a new one…as if a chapter had ended and a new one had begun…
      No one has the right to change our name at will, makes sense…yes. 🙂

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  2. Havent changed and dont plan to. And ditto with the census folks. Not only them, many people wonder (out loud) about why I havent taken the Boy’s surname. Let them keep guessing 😛

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  3. That was an interesting read……esp enjoyed the bit about how you forgot your sir name & finally gave ur fathers……sweeet really 😀

    For me I still go by my fathers name……maybe in the beginning I might have changed if the H asked[we had let it be for convenience sake..passports, etc] but now I’ll never 😀
    And I love it that the kids have already decided that like mama they are never going to change their sirnames too 😀

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    1. True…it is more common now for girls to retain their maiden surnames than it was earlier. 🙂

      Well..I have a son and he probably would never face this…but who knows when he grows up the trend of boys changing their surnames might come! 😀

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  4. I decided some years ago that if I ever get married, I’m not going to change my last name. I don’t think I could…everything I’ve done, my identity…all of it is with the last name I currently have (which is my dad’s name…Tamilians, you see!) and I can’t fathom not being who I am. I remember telling my dad that his name was definitely going to continue as there was no way I would change my last name…

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    1. Its funny you know. I applied for a professional degree with my new surname but it got registered with my maiden one, since all mark sheets and certificates carried that name! I’m going to speak with them and get it changed, but this sure made me smile 🙂

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  5. As a kid I was embarrassed with my surname simply because it is really long.
    But with age came the value of why a surname is what it is.
    I haven’t yet reached that stage in my life when I might have to change my surname, but when that stage does come I don’t think any decision would be an easy one 🙂

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    1. Yes, its never easy. There are practical as well as emotional reasons to be considered. Like I said, I was a bit hesitant but I agreed to change my name voluntarily. Guess its more of an individual choice.
      Thanks for dropping by and welcome here 🙂

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