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?