It’s all in the name

William Shakespeare said

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

Then somebody quoted –

All important things have names.

The Naming Ceremony holds an auspicious value in every culture and tradition. So was for me.

I was born in my native village. On this auspicious day, the pandit, on the basis of time and place of my birth, calculated my naam rashi (moon sign) and gave a list of Hindi letters to choose from, for naming me. The letter chosen for me was ‘Ne’. My grannies (I had 3 of them – My father’s mother, his dadi and nani) thus named me ‘Netravati‘. I know my mother must have cringed at this name but who was she to challenge the order of 3 mothers-in-law. The rebel in her acted later.

If you are capable of recognizing the irony here, I was named Netravati which means beautiful eyes and all my life until today I have struggled due to my poor eyesight.

There are 2 theories behind my not being Netravati.

  1. This state of my eye-sight existed since birth, or
  2. It weakened, subsequently, over the course of time as I grew up remaining glued to the television set.

At this juncture, I would like to ask you to pause for a few seconds to appreciate the intelligence of my parents for coming up these 2 brilliant path-breaking discoveries.

Assuming my father is going to end up reading this particular post out of the blue, he is surely going to opine “Haan haan, isi din ke liye is ladki ko sar par chadaya tha ye bol kar ki tu achha likhti hai” (He is going to repent for the days he encouraged me by saying I write well).

However, this post is not about my Netravati story. This is about my ‘Anamika’ story.

You know my name, not my story.- Anonymous

The name ‘Anamika’ was given to me by my mother who was fond of Hindi movie songs. She named me after one of the trending songs of 1970’s.

Growing up, I formulated a theory of my own with respect to names.

My theory said – A person’s personality, character and destiny is going to be just the opposite of what the meaning of his/her name holds.

Consequently, I began working and gathering empirical pieces of evidence.

  • In my class at school, there was a boy named ‘Anand’ which means happiness and the only thing he ever did all those years was a lot of cribbing.
  • Then, there was ‘Aman‘ in the class and was he even a symbol of peace, the answer is NO.
  • Closer home, we had a neighbour by the name ‘Santosh‘ and you guessed it right her prominent characteristic was Asantosh, forever unsatisfied.
  • Another lady, mother-in-law of my mother’s favourite cousin was known by the name ‘Shanti‘. You can imagine, in case you are a married woman, that there were 2 forces which must have played havoc in this case – her name and her MIL status.

And my own birth name ‘Netravati’. We have already analysed the irony behind its meaning.

The result derived from my theory –

Since the meaning of ‘Anamika’ is ‘no name’ , I am surely going to achieve a name (Read: a big and a far name reaching name) in my lifetime.

You may take your time in rolling over with laughter in case you found it amusing or rolling over your eyes if all of it appeared utterly silly, before proceeding further.

When I started working, I was forever calculating the reach of my name just like the TRPs of TV programmes. My first workplace was a domestic company where only a handful of people knew me or my name. I reflected, it was not working in the larger scheme of things in life – the far-reaching name, and I decided to switch. Off course there were other reasons too.

Later I joined an MNC and was relatively satisfied that even though, still, only a handful of people knew me in person in the Delhi office but my name had crossed geographical barriers across Phoenix office in the US, London office, Santiago office, Kuala Lumpur and a few more. I was handling global operations.

Therefore, now I believe the same story has to continue with blogging with respect to my Name Theory playing its role unless this particular post causes it to crumble down, I hope not.

P.S. Maybe, after reaching the end, you are beginning to look into the meanings of your names and contemplating its consequences, my advice is to take it with caution.

I am co-hosting #MondayMusings today with Corinne and Vinitha.

Join us with your #MondayMusings post.

All you have to do is:

Write a post sharing your thoughts with us – happy, sad, philosophical, β€˜silly’ even. Make it as personal as possible.
Use the hashtag #MondayMusings.
Add your link to the linky which you will find either here or on the post of a co-host.
Use our #MondayMusings badge to encourage other bloggers to join in too.


Today’s linky can be found here below and on my co-hosts’ posts . Please visit and comment on their posts too.



  1. Now that is funny. I like Anamika better:) My name means ‘River’ and there can be as many interpretations as possible for the word- like it keeps running mindless of the obstacles; it is in a haste to reach its destination and that it always flows towards the low pressure realm and so on. A few of them are true, a few not. You were right. You did make me contemplate:)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know… Anamika is so much better or else I could have never come up with such an uplifting and motivating name theory, for myself. Maliny means ‘river’ so lets do an experiment. Look into all the meanings of the word river and choose the one which you find totally unfavourable. Then turn the meaning around into the most positive thing and believe that you are the same πŸ™‚ What say?


  2. That was a nice POV regarding names. And very funny too. I agree that many a time the names of persons are in direct contradiction to their natures. A dusky beauty called Shweta and a bad frog in the throat bathroom singer called Dhwani….really sad! Enjoyed this…..oh…unnamed one πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Enjoyed your post, Anamika. Interestingly, the first thought that came to my mind when I came across your name for the first time was the famous song, ‘Bheegi bheegi si’ by Kishore Kumar! Now, I know I wasn’t too far from the origin of why you were named so:D
    For us Indians, names continue to chase our entire lives – the naming ceremony is just the start…then we have how names ‘make’ or ‘mar’ our destinies, sometimes we are renamed to suit the positions of certain stars to better our chances of success and we either bring a ‘good name’ or a bad name not just to our families but to our entire khaandaan by our actions, which then proves how we have truly lived up to our name or not!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Firstly I thought I have a connect with you and now I think you have a connect with my mother too πŸ˜€ that you could accurately guess the origin of my name.
      I agree with your profound thought over the Indian treatment of the names. I have relatives who named their daughter ‘Rajeshwari’ when she was born but changed her name to something else when she grew up. Probably they unknowingly went by my theory, which I had still not come up with still being a baby, that she will never be able to Raj (or find Raj πŸ˜› ) if they continued with the original name.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Ha ha…you made me smile on a Monday morning and that’s something! Loved the story and your premise. My husband and I have another theory – that people with the same names have similar characters. We have three cousins between us who have the same name (not going to mention it!) and all three display similar tendencies of cribbing! Having made a theory of this, we began to gather evidence with other names and so far, our theory is doing well! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I feel immensely glad for making you smile on a Monday morning. I have never really come across 2 people, whom I know very well, with the same names. The day this happens, I will surely be applying your theory and derive some fun πŸ™‚


  5. Anamika, Like Soul Talks message, my first thought was also the Anamika song. But, Netra without the vati would have also sounded good. Of course, no one can predict how the child will turn out to be. Its a good perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What’s in a name, Shakespeare asked through Juliet in their warring context of love then, and from then on, we have had a question whether it really is that important.. until Saussure came up with the arbitrary theory of how everything is given a name.. Like you said, I’ve met these santhoshes who are asanthosh, shantis who were anything but peaceful.. Nethravati, reminds of a name of a train that starts from Bombay and ends in Trivandrum! I was wondering why it sounded so familiar to begin with..

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Anamika is definitely better than Netravati! And anyone who has grown up in India in the 70s and 80s will always associate your name with the song πŸ™‚ your theory is interesting but I have never tried to find any correaltion between personality and name actually… now I am intrigued!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Nice post-Anamika. Secretly, I searched a lot of times in google to know how popular is my name πŸ™‚ I get pissed off if someone pronounces my name wrong. Other than that, never analyzed much about my name.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t Ramya a common name in South India? I already know 2 bloggers by the name Ramya. With respect to wrong pronunciation of your name, imagine hearing your name from the mouth of an American. As Shantala says Americans have the knack of butchering Indian names beyond repair πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Such a candid post Anamika, I am sure the idea of having her daughter named after her favourite hindi film must have been more than just that, sheer freedom to do so must have been more important for your mother πŸ™‚ Surely making a name here in blogging love πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I see a co-incidence here. While the title of your post says ‘Whats in a name’, mine says ‘Its all in the name’. Hehehe… I think I have read your post earlier and can vaguely remember but let me hop over to your blog and become sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I got first attracted by your name, then by your blog name and About page and later to everything. This post revealed the most hilarious part of your awesome character. Really I love your name. Thanks to your mother.

    My name Vasantha means: β€œbrilliant” or β€œspring” in Sanskrit. Vasanta is the name of the Hindu god of spring. And please read the good analyses on my name @ …. Mostly matching and quite interesting too. As Ramya said, secretly, I too search a lot of times in google to know how popular is my name is … :P. So my theory about names is that the person’s character will be as their names.

    For info : My hubby’s name Vivekanandan – Inteligent, Joyful, Balanced, Secure, Focused, High
    willpower – My theory suits ….. πŸ™‚
    My son’s name Mitesh – One with few desires – Anamika’s theory suits…. πŸ˜›

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Hahaha..interesting theory. Shantala is one of the names of Goddess Parvati, so I am not sure how your theory applies to this.

    But I feel that one’s name is one’s strongest sense of identity, and hence is very important. That is why I gave a lot of thought while naming my son – Dhruv. The meaning is clear – the brightest star in the sky, and since he will grow up in America – I knew they will pronounce it as Drew- which is still okay, and his name will not get butchered like some other Indian names.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I do not think of applying my name theory to my son’s name, yeah, he is Dhruv too πŸ™‚ It will not work unless I am ok with a black hole but I am not. While you gave a lot of thought while naming your son, I named him after the comic character Super commando Dhruv which I loved reading as a child and moreover me and my husband reached agreement over this name only. I also visualise how he might be called in US and could think of his name becoming Droov. The British comfortably called him Dhruv and even my name correctly too which the Americans used to mess up in conference calls.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep, the Americans butcher most Indian names, but then this is the only place I have lived outside of India, so no experience with the Britishers.

        P.S. I disliked my name for a very long time while growing up. I just wished for something more ordinary and commonplace. πŸ˜›

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I love the name Anamika. My best friend’s daughter is named Anamika, that was before I ever knew you existed. πŸ™‚ Netravati reminds me of Netravati Express. Anamika suits you, not Netravati. πŸ™‚ I am glad your mother changed your name. Vinitha means humble, polite, etc. which I think I am but during the ragging days in college, a senior commented that I don’t look tht polite. πŸ˜›

    Liked by 3 people

  13. An interesting take on names Anamika…yes it suits you.Glad she changed it. Mine was given by my Father’s sister and I think it suits me. I am spiritual but not go-to-temple-everyday kind but finding God in silence. I wrote about naming some time back-
    I named my Son after good research- KAVEER- meaning Sun.


  14. That was one mythological name. I think that name jinxed your eyesight. Stop blaming TV!

    I wanted my name to be Sadhana after that famous haircut which was named after a famous actress. I think names have too much Bollywood influence in our country. My name is a tall tree found in Punjab and look at the irony I barely touch 5 feet. 😝

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahah Saru…but why Sadhana? She was the heroine from your parents’ times. How could you not want Juhi or Madhuri πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ My theory, thus, comes true for you too. If not the Saru trees, I am of the same height as you πŸ™‚


  15. My name means star and lily in Arabic/Hebrew- I really like my name. Ironically my name is most butchered by South Indians rather than any other people.:)
    I would never knew people could mis-pronounce a 5 letter word so much till I went to school and my teachers needed help to read out my name.
    I love both Netravathi and Anamika as names. About names reflecting character or not reflecting character- it often looks as if parents can foretell there is something not desirable in the appearance of the baby or his/her traits and they try to thwart that evil by renaming the child something exactly the opposite- in the hope of getting past that trait. We can never underestimate the distant vision of parents or even grandparents for that matter.
    You wrote an interesting post and I would love to name your theory the “Anamika theory” .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha I loved the term Anamika Theory πŸ˜€ South Indians also have similar butchering complaints against North Indians.
      Thank you Susie for sharing your thoughts with me. I love reading and writing longer comments, so you have made my day πŸ™‚


  16. I admit, I, too, used to do this a lot…think about my name, criticise it for being oh-so-boring and badger my mother to name me either Avantika, or Anamika (yes, yours is one of my two fav names!) Mother would patiently reassure me that it was the perfect name for me and that I would one day prove it to the world how I had been christened perfectly! I did hear it from one of my dance students how it indeed was the perfect name for me as I demonstrated bharatnatyam poses to them. So, I have been lucky. Phew! But, mother did tell me that many a time, kids don’t turn out to be like their names, therefore it’s better not to name your child Gautam, or Dnyaneshwar, or Veer. What if kids named thus turn out to be complete opposites? Hehehe Loved this post, Anamika, and am glad I could read it now!


    1. You wanted to be named as Anamika! This is quite a revelation πŸ™‚ Aur bataiye kin kin kalaon se paripoorn hain aap – likhti itni achha hain, sketching bhi badhiya karti hain aur ab ek aur ujaagar ki bharatnatyam main bhi nipun hain. Your mother was so right to believe in you and in the name she chose for you πŸ™‚


  17. Hahahaha what an analysis of name. I prefer your current name… Thenother name sounds so old. I have the same problem with my name. I always wanted a stylish one… But look at my name. Takes me back a hundred years. That’s why I have everyone call me Raj πŸ˜€


  18. And here I am. Yeah i love Raj (as well as Rahul). Oh and I absolutely adore the song you got your name from Anamika. Loved the film too – Jaya Bhaduri and Sanjeev Kumar. Thank Goodness Netravati didn’t stick. It sounds like it came from another age.


  19. Hehe Really Anamika is so much better than Netravati. Like you, I analyze names as well. Thank heavens that my parents named me Rachna. In my case, it means creation and I am happy for being the creation that I am and for being creative as well. 😊


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