What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet.”
When I hear this I often wonder if Shakespeare actually knew what he was talking about…. If you are wondering what am I exactly ranting about then you have to know this story, my story.
When I was born, my mother wanted my name to be unique. She also had other specifications regarding my name. My brother was named Manu, so she wanted my name to be similar to his. She wanted my name to have only 2 letters when written in Malayalam. They tried and tested multiple names and spellings on me. Tried calling me to see if I responded,not that I had a say in all this anyway but till this point in time I am ok with everything…. Now I wonder why exactly she gave this name to me…. I mean did I do something when I was in the cradle prompting her to give me this name????At some bizzare moment, probably I was hungry or irritated or whatever, when my mother called out the name “Madri”, Iwould have responded with an “huh”. So that’s how I was named.
Did it occur to her what her repercussions are. But before that my first question goes to parents all over. How do they decide on the name of their child??? I mean if the child smiled in the cradle, they will name him Santosh. Or if the child was born in the morning then he is Suraj? I am perplexed. Gods name are given to children. But what is the intention?? Is it that the names will help the child turn as virtuous as Gods???? But who am I to question laws of society and nature…. So coming back to my name…. as I said before…. I am not cribbing about this…. I was the only MADRI in my school, college and my workplace. Having a unique name has its perks in the world where there are hajar Priyas, arjuns, Sudhas. I mean if you find say a book with Madri written on it, u would know immediately it is mine. There won’t be a need to research and know which MADRI this book belongs to, coz it only me in the game. But this unique name (I refrain from calling it unusual) also had a flip side as well….
Now whenever I go and introduce myself, the people are amused. This is evident by the broad smile on their face when they hear my name. Some even go to the extent of saying “oh, like the capital of spain?”. now I am stumped. How am I supposed to react to this. “Yes Madrid minus the d” or just give that silly grin and let him/her decide. People have even asked me y my parents didn’t name me madhuri or madhavi, why MADRI?? LIke I had a choice of choosing my name!! Going to college was particularly dreadful for me coz I always thought I would be ragged courtesy my ‘UNIQUE’ name…. How many seniors would get a chance like this. I mean my name actually gives them ragging material on the platter….
But that’s not all…. I went to Barista the other day…. Now at this coffee joint I have to order, then tell my name, pay of course and finally wait for my turn till the guy calls off my name from the list…. So I go to the guy and say ill have a choco frappe and a grilled sandwich…. So he takes the order and asks my name…. I say, “Madri” he says, “excuse me madam…. Could u repeat that…. I heard the name as MADri….” I said, “yes, that’s correct… that’s my name….” you should ve seen the grin on his face when I confirmed my name…. worse comes next…. When my order was done he goes, “MAAAAAAADriiiiiiiiiiiiiiii”…. Now I would like to believe that was because he had to get through to me despite the din around…. There are many such instances…. All through these years I have seen people grin, smile, laugh when I tell my name…. the positive way of looking at it is that I have made people laugh and then I get content with it…. if you meet me and u would come to know that the MADri aspect of my character is not exactly just limited only to my name :)
Probably my name is unique, undoubtedly manipulated several times and hard to get the first time. I may even sound mad or act mad at times. People often ask me, if you don’t like your name why u don’t change it…. But then comes my immediate reply, “What’s in a name? That which we call Madri by any other word would mean the same sweet person” wont it????
For those of you who are wondering what exactly my name means, here goes.
In the Mahabharata epic, Madri (Sanskrit: माद्री Mādrī) was a princess of the Madra kingdom and the second wife of Pandu.
On his way to Hastinapur, King Pandu encountered the army of Shalya, King of Madra. Very soon, Pandu and Shalya became friends and Shalya gave his only sister, Madri to Pandu, as a gift of their friendship. Looking at her beauty, Pandu accepted the lady willingly and took her to Hastinapur.She, alongside Kunti, faithfully accompanied Pandu in his hermetical retreat following his abdication as the king of Hastinapura. One day while hunting in the forest, Pandu accidentally shot an arrow killing a hermit. He cursed Pandu saying that he would die alongside the person he lay with. Both Kunti and Madri were directly affected by the curse on Pandu because they were denied the opportunity to lay with Pandu and thus Pandu’s children. However, a boon was given to Kunti which enabled her to call upon any God to bear her a child. She had used this boon once before with the Sun God and thus gave birth to Karna, a child which no one was aware of. After Pandu learns of this boon he begs her to call upon Gods to bear her with children. She call upon Dharma, Vayu, and Indira and she bears Yudishtira, Bhima, and Arjuna respectively. Pandu asks Kunti to use this boon for Madri, who then bore twins from the twin Gods Ashvins named Nakula and Sahadeva.
One fateful day, Pandu desired Madri and the memory of the curse briefly eluded him. Death struck Pandu immediately. Madri, filled with remorse, self immolated on Pandu’s funeral pyre.