“Lakshmi, Lakshmi” my dad yelled!
I didn’t bother to respond ad concentrated in drinking my green tea.
“Sri” mom called.
“Yes mom” I said without taking my glance away from The Hindu.
“Dad is calling you”
“Oh” I said.
“She never responds to me, but to you she will respond even before you finish calling her” he grumbled.
This wasn’t anything new at my home. I never respond to my dad but to my mom I instantly respond. Why??? Well, it isn’t about who I love more. It is about how they call me. My official name is Srilakshmi Indrasenan and I love being addressed as Sri. The Sri-Obsession is so high that I don’t respond to people who address me as Lakshmi.
“I named her as Lakshmi so that I can call her daily and in that way I am chanting goddess Lakshmi’s name daily” he said.
Yeah, I was named after the famous Hindu Goddess Lakshmi but, why? Well the reason is simple. When my mom was pregnant with me my dad got some insanely brilliant job offer that steadily lifted my middle class family to an upper middle class level. He thought I was his luck charm for wealth and he named me Lakshmi or should I say fought with my mom to name me as Lakshmi and not Sahana! Indeed, I seem to be his lucky charm. His career grew multifold in the past 23 years and he never had faced a downfall in the past 23 years *touch wood*.
“She hates being called as Lakshmi. Why should we irritate her by calling so?” questioned my mom.
“What’s wrong with Lakshmi?” he was bemused. He has been asking me the same question for past 23 years! What’s wrong?
Well, technically nothing is wrong! I am Srilakshmi Indrasenan and I am proud of it! Yeah, there are troubles when I have to repeat my name twice along with spelling while ordering pizzas (especially in foreign countries), at times the space give to fill the name (boxes in the application form) won’t be sufficient that I had to nag the officials about what to do who in turn reluctantly question their superiors. However, these are not even the teeniest worries. My problems started as early as in age 3.
—-Age 3, KG School—-
Jhansi Miss (we used to address KG teachers as Miss :P): What is your name?
The 2.5 year old me (in a chirpy voice): Srilakshmi
She writes it down as “Sreelaxmi”
I was pretty clueless back then as a kid we wouldn’t be sure of spellings but I was sure that she was writing it wrong as my mom has written it in different way in my belongings.
—–Age 8, Primary School—–
Fellow Classmate: What is your name?
Me (in a proud manner): Srilakshmi
She: Oh, it is so old fashioned. I am Pooja.
Me: Nice name. (Inside my mind: That is the name of the ritual my mom does every morning. My name is far better than yours, you irritating idiot).
——Age 13, Middle School——
My Crush: Hi
Me: Hey Hi.
He: Do you know Snigdha?
He: I like her.
Me: Err, Why her?
He: Her name is so cool and stylish. I like girls with stylish names!
Me: Okay brother. (It’s better I brother-zone him before he sister-zones me for having an antique name)
——-Age 16, High School——-
Classmate Story Writing Competition – I made it to the Top 13 finalists.
Host: Your name is Srilakshmi?
Host: You want to be an author?
Me: I hope so!
Host: What will be your pen name?
Me: Why do I need a pen name?
Host: Srilakshmi is too old, and people may brush your work off as writing by an old lady!
——-Age 19, College——-
He: Do you ever behave in a way that matches to your name?
He: Srilakshmi is divine. It means beauty and wealth personified. Do you know? Srilakshmi encompasses all the eight manifestations of Goddess Lakshmi. Adi Lakshmi “Primeval Lakshmi” – The great goddess, Dhana Lakshmi “Money Lakshmi”- The goddess of wealth, Dhanya Lakshmi “Lakshmi as goddess of grain” – The goddess of Agriculture, Gaja Lakshmi “Elephant Lakshmi” – The goddess of royalty, Santana Lakshmi “Progeny Lakshmi” Bestower of offspring, Veera Lakshmi “Valorous Lakshmi” Bestower of Courage, Vijaya Lakshmi “Victorious Lakshmi” Bestower of Victory, Vidya Lakshmi “Knowledge Lakshmi” Bestower of Knowledge.
He: When I hear the name Srilakshmi, all I see is a lady with all these characteristics but what I see is a tom boy!
Me: It’s your misconception.
——–Age 23, Home——–
Again the same He: You are doing a fabulous job with the blog.
He: Stri – Why Stri?
Me: Stri means lady in Sanskrit.
He: Yeah, it suits you. You have turned out to be a charismatic lady so true to your name,
He: Stri and Srilakshmi – both suit you now!
There were times in my life where I badly wanted to change my name to stylish ones like Tanya, Shravanthi, Shristy, etc but then Name is the identity. I am known to more than 1000 people or may be even more by this name. This is my identity and I have no rights to change it. This is why I said, “I am Srilakshmi Indrasenan and I am proud of it”.
“Lakshmi, what are you writing?” my dad yelled.
I still didn’t respond.
“Sri, what are you writing?”
“You are writing about yourself?”
“I am writing about my name.”
“I forget that Srilakshmi Indrasenan is your name. I am used to call you as Sri.”
“Happens! I also forget your name often as I call you mom.”
“Sahana suits you more because…”
“Mom, already 1000 words I wrote! I pity my readers. Let them see the why Sahana suits me from the Chapter 3 of The Unbreakable Bond Blog-o-Novel”.
– Curse (read: bless) IndiSpire for making me rant about my name via their latest edition “What does your name mean to you? Do you like it or hate it? Why?”