Our names; the first and the most obvious forms of our identity. We do not get to choose it (at least not most of us), and yet we associate ourselves with it so fondly (again, most of us). I often look at random people and try to guess their names. You know, judging, simply practising my role of being a human being. I do not recall a single time having guessed anyone’s name right.

I cannot recall how I learn to spell my name, but I am sure that our names are what we learnt to spell the easiest. I keep asking people for the meaning of their names and try relating it to their personalities. Not many parents can predict the future even approximately, let us say. 😉

And the there are common and uncommon names. Each name has a beauty of its own. Had it not sounded so nice, it wouldn’t have been so common. Also, had it not been uncommon, it wouldn’t have sounded so special.

We take pride in being able to create an e-mail or user id with purely the usage of our names and not having added funny prefixes or suffixes. Besides having an apparent ‘rare’ name, I haven’t had that privilege yet.

And that takes it to my name. There is a little story behind my name. Before I was born, my mum was told my various sources (turns out, unreliable ones) that her second child would be a boy. She being a devotee of Lord Shiva, planned on naming her son Shiva. And then, I was born, a girl, obviously. She had to manipulate the name. Hence, Shivali. Throughout my childhood, if anyone would ask me for the meaning of my name, I would simply say that it has something to do with Lord Shiva. That was what I was told, after all. Eventually, I looked up for the meaning of my name and confirmed that it does indeed have something do with Lord Shiva. Its another name for Goddess Parvathi: the beloved of Lord Shiva, it means. Ah! The relief. I would be living in deep guilt for having lied throughout my childhood, otherwise.

What’s in a name you ask? A lot, I would say. If you do not believe so, try not responding to people calling you by your name for a day at least.

So what’s the story behind your name?