Does your first or middle name have any significance (or were you named after another family member)?
I don’t have a middle name. But in the TamBram community, a baby is given multiple names, usually an odd number of names. I have three such.
My “main” name: Lakshmi: I was born on a Friday at dusk, the auspicious time for the Hindu goddess of wealth. Besides, I suspect my dad, being a salaried employee, was always strapped for cash and hoped that naming me Lakshmi and calling me that would bring home the goddess of wealth. Hence my name.
I have a theory about names. The name usually never fits the person in character. For example, I knew a girl in school who was named after the goddess of learning, and she wasn’t very academically inclined. Another aquantance, named after the goddess of valour, is more cowardly than me, if that were even possible – she once stood on a chair screaming because there was a baby bug somewhere in the vicinity! “Lakshmi”, apart from meaning “wealth”, also personifies “beauty” and “auspiciousness”. I don’t think I am endowed with too much of all three. I, however, have enough of them to lead a satisfying life, so I suppose my name is justified.
My second, never used name: Ranganayaki – this was the name of my paternal grandmother who had died way before I was even a gleam in my father’s eye.
My third, never used, and I wish I was never named this, name: Sailatha – my grandmother belonged to the Sai Baba cult and insisted on naming me this. I do not subscribe to that cult (or any cult for that matter), so thank heavens it was not my main name. Isn’t it a little sad that we have (largely) no control over our own names? Thankfully, I like my main name.
My daughter has seven names, believe it or not. All and sundry named her on the day of her naming ceremony.
Music or silence while working?
Pin-drop. And not just while working. I love love love silence. I don’t get enough of it.
If you had a special place for your three most special possessions (not including photos, electronics, people or animals), what would they be?
I don’t have any special possession. I am fanatic about not having any special possession. My possessions are functional. When they outlive their function, I would have no hesitation throwing them out. I don’t have any photos – not even of my daughter anywhere in the house. I periodically clean out the photos in my phone, perhaps after sharing appropriate ones with appropriate people. I gave away my wedding saree to my sister-in-law. I don’t know where my wedding album is – perhaps my dad has them.
My daughter thinks I am a monster.
The Never List: What are things you know you never will do?
Bungee jump. Drive a race car. Go to space.
All of them are intimately related to the fact that my stomach would want to defy gravity and escape from my body through my mouth.
Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
Last week: Decisions made (hopefully).
This week: Tranquil life (hopefully)
Picture of the day: I cannot understand why in ancient Indian literature, deer eyes were considered beautiful; many a drama heroine has been named “mrugnayani” or “deer eyes”. Actually, deer are ok, I guess. Stags look positively uncouth and their eyes, vacant and dull. This was taken right outside our house.