Yes, the names also tell many things!

Normally it is said, “What’s in a name?” But it tells many things. Most of the times, the names of persons are indicative of their social or religious background but also tell about the time and era when and where they were born.  There was also a tradition was to name the child on the first alphabet given by the family pundit which is still in practice nowadays.
It looks that some people in the pre-Independence days were more enthralled about the geography of the country.  The names used to be derived from cities as Pishori Lal, Lahori Mal, Hardwari Lal, Banarsi Das and Ayodhya Parshad.  Not only this, the names were also kept on the places like Dwarka, Gaya Mallika as the first names of many people. The freedom movement also gave the names as Swadesh Kumars and Azad Singhs.
Even the sacred rives were taken as the first name, Ganga Ram, Yamuna Dass of male and Jamuna, Gomti and Godavari for females.
When I go through the various names based on specific background, the names like Satluj Kumar or Jehlum Singh were not heard.  But Punjabis preferred to show their strength by keeping the name as Sher Singhs and Bahadur Chands and the attractive symbolic names of colonels and generals as Karnail Singh and Jarnail Singh.
Then came the names of Ulfat Rai, Husn Lal, Naseeb Chand, Mushtaq Rai and Huqam Singh were quite common during the pre-Partition era when Urdu was the dominant language. Many decades later, the elite class started keeping Urdu based names like Sahil, Khusboo, Shabina and Seerat but these vanished with the passage of time.  But the names were followed like Bimla, Kanta, Leela, Saroj and Khushi Ram, Nathu Ram after the Independence due to obvious reasons.
Hardly any event is left when you deeply go through the names chosen from time to time.  Names were also chosen on superstitious belief also like Maghi Ram and Basakha Singh who were born on the first day of particular India months and Pooran Chands on the full moon day.
Really, it becomes entertaining sometimes when I find the name of an intelligent person as Ruldu Ram and one of my skeleton-thin school friends as  Nathu Ram who has nothing to do with the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi but he used to be called as Nathu Ram Godse. Another one of my colleagues was at a very senior post with handsome salary but his name was Garib Dass.
Another interesting feature of keeping the name was located when it was named as Tripta when two or three girls were born in succession the younger and Mangat Ram and Tarsem Lal were named when they came into this world after many years of the marriage of their parents.
I have also observed that very senior officers who did not like their names as Kundan Lal Dawra used to write their names officially as K.L.Dawra.
The naming of a child is definitely an important ritual now a day. In this digital era, beautiful names of both male and female are available with their meanings in a booklet form or on the internet. Everything is so advanced now that even the couple decides the name of their child both for male and female, that too from the various websites available suggesting the names alphabetically.
Frankly and broadly speaking, the name of one my daughter was kept as Shabina despite ours being a Hindu family – based on Muslim TV character when the Pakistan TV serials were popular but she is still sometimes asked a question - when she is now married and blessed with a daughter – “Are you Muslim?”  We can then say, “Yes, the names do tell many things.”




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