What’s in a Surname?

Pic Courtesy: Google

We don’t have control over certain choices in life. Like, we never got to choose our genes, our relatives, the color of our eyes, and our surname.

Yes, surname.

Well, I hated mine! There! Out with it finally! Feel so much better now!
From the time I learnt what a surname was, and especially what MINE was, I have hated it!
Yeh bhi koi surname hai!? Why couldn’t I be born an Oberoi, or a Malhotra or, my all time fantasy, a Kapoor?

I was in school when Chetan Sharma was a new member in our then Indian Cricket Team. He was gaining popularity as a bowler and so I had my classmates asking me if we were related. To shine in reflected Sharma-glory was a temptation I couldn’t resist and I, proudly and pompously, lied through my teeth and said yes.

It may have been my imagination, but I got more respect at school after that.

All good things come to an end though.

That fateful cricket match happened, where Javed Miandad hit my soon-to-be-disowned ‘uncle’s’ last ball for a six and won back a match that went down in history.
I didn’t go to school for a week after that.

As a teenager, I had a wild fantasy that I would wake up one morning to hear that the government had banned the usage of the surname ‘Sharma’, and ahem, yours truly has been appointed to choose a new surname. It remained a fantasy.

Notice how all movies/serials/adverts have these typical safari-clad ‘Sharmaji’s’. Also all the corrupt or weak or smarmy or slimy people will definitely be, you guessed it, Sharma’s!
Thinking of holy matrimony, there was just one thing that scared the hell out of me.
Will ‘he’…biting my nails here…be…a cold shiver going up my spine….a…rolling my eyes till the whites show…Sharma? Followed by a shriek that was recorded 10.5 on the Richter scale!

When asked what kind of a guy I was looking for, I had just one thing on my list. NOT a Sharma.

Well, God works in mysterious ways, he giveth and taketh away.

Marriage helped me to get rid of Sharma. In return for ‘Nidigallu’. But then that’s a topic for another blog post.

Shakespeare once asked, ‘What’s in a name?’. Thank God he never asked, ‘What’s in a surname?’ Or I would have had plenty to say!

Disclaimer: This article has been written in good humor, so all my fellow-Sharma’s , safari-clad or otherwise, please read it in the same spirit.:-))))

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  1. Haha I remember your love affair with ‘sharrma’… Thankfully us south Indians (atleast tamil) don’t have a surname, but then I added dad’ s name cos there were way too many Aarti’s around..

  2. hahaha I thought Sharma was a perfectly acceptable surname. 🙂 Mine was Srivastava which seemed perfectly fine to me. I still use it with my marital surname which again is fine. But in the South, people use their husband’s/father’s name as surname so it sounds like two names. A bit different

  3. Love this I like Nidigallu. It sounds like there’s a good story there.

  4. haha i never thought it in this way btw good post 🙂

  5. Really it was hilarious. I also dreamt to have Bachan as my surname … 😛

  6. Haha…. I am waiting for the next post on your present surname, Mayuri!

  7. Ha Ha! Nidigallu is cool.But I dont see anything wrong with Sharma as well!
    At least you have a surname.Down south it is not a practice to have a surname.Found it very difficult once I started my career with people asking me what my surname is.I guess I should write a separate post on south indian surname practice.

  8. Hahaha! That’s too funny, Mayuri. 🙂 Thank God, I don’t have one. I only have my Dad’s name as my initial.

  9. Okay you’re weird. Sharma is perfectly fine. And yes I’m waiting for the sequel to this post eagerly

  10. Hahaha. My Dad’s is Rao and I wanted to have it so badly but my dad was against it totally. And no certificates have that last name. But only I have a say in my social media profiles, so Ramya Rao 😉
    In south people hardly have surnames but yet I wanted this surname. 😛

  11. Hahahaha I hear you… I hear you… I have Hati in my surname… yes a Hati… and I spent my childhood with pet name of Chooha because I didn’t look anything like Hati… Sharmaji is such a common denominator in most of our tv serials… like shriman shrimati … hahaha this was a fun read.

  12. I am totally against the use of surnames! I know it may sound a bit confusing, but in Tamilnadu we do not use surnames mainly because it is not a name but a caste name. This in fact is the reason why there is very less untouchability seen there.
    In North the moment you are introduced to a person the first thing they ask is , wts your surname, I have had real hard times telling them “WE DO NOT USE SURNAMES”

    Nice Article
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  13. Ah here’s my side of the story… as Rachna has mentioned down south it’s always name followed by Dad/ husband’s name. Before I got married I was Ramya Ramachandran. And how I hated this long thing that followed my name. And weird a it may sound one of the reasons I said yes to.my husband for marriage was his name. I quite liked Abhinand to follow my name. Strange… I know… but I don’t really have an explanation..

  14. Mayuri Nidigallu Novemberschild

    Most people usually don’t even get that far when they try to say my surname. They give up halfway through or trail off with an awkward laugh. I am south Indian and I do have a surname and i dont use my father’s name at all.

  15. Ha ha ha Sharma is fine! I share mine with all the dakus of the world -remember Gabbar Singh? But I like mine still. And the good part is my husband’s is the same so I didn’t have to change it. It would just have been so much trouble.

  16. hehe Sharma is such a nice surname! 😉 Though it’s common but so easy to spell and pronounce. Mine is like a puzzle- people jumble the letters and goof up in fixing the same. 😀

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