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The Namesake

Our trip to India was for two reasons : Mr.R’s mum’s 75th birthday and my brother’s wedding.

Baby bro (grown up too soon) married a co-worker. He also proved my theory that there are no such things as coincidences. Here’s why: My new sister-in-law (SIL) not only lived only 15 minutes away from us, but also (gasp!) shares the same name as me!

Those who know me, know that my first name is not only unusual, but also rare to come across either in reality or literature. To me it sounds like a concoction of other names, but obviously other parents also had the same idea. The only other person I ‘knew’ of with a similar name was the niece of my 8th standard teacher who suggested my name to her family because she liked it. In the 8th standard, I was flattered. Today, I feel sorry for the kid.

Coming back to the SIL, the only difference between her name and mine is that mine has a ‘y’ whereas she has an ‘i’.

You can imagine the confusion.

Every time someone calls out, both of us respond. In the days before the wedding, I remember taking a call where the caller asked for *my name* or my brother. Since it was my home, I answered and couldn’t figure out what the guy was talking about. The tube light went on then and I passed the phone on to someone who could take a proper message – my mum.

The wedding was peculiar for that reason. I struggled to ignore the MC, stray voices and calls from the photographer calling out *my name*. It’s a reflex action – responding to your name and it’s hard work curbing that reflex.

For those of you with more common names, my sympathies. I never really stopped to think of this as a problem!

I wonder what it’s like for my mum. When I left home, she had a while, a spell of not having *my name* mentioned or called out at home. Now suddenly, like Arnold, *my name* is back – just in a different avatar! Does my mum find it weird? Having lived with one *my name* for decades, she’s suddenly faced with the prospect of living with another.

I just hope that my namesake is nicer to my mum than I was. I hope she treats her better, listens to her and cherishes the woman who brought up her new husband through tough times.

It’s surely more than mere coincidence that baby bro came halfway around the world and found someone with his sister’s (unusual) name. Divine intervention? Lets hope so.

Being a new daughter in law in a new home is not the easiest thing for a woman. But for my namesake, her name will make her feel at home.

To her, welcome to the family.

To my mum, sister and brother – you can’t get rid of *my name* so easily 🙂

To everybody else – come up with a way to call each one of us. *my name* with a ‘y’ or *my name* with an ‘i’ is just too lazy.


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