Home Columns Anantha Narayan Mumai??i??s the word

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    October 29th was a red letter day for Indian sport. That was the day Mahendra Singh Devaki, Virat Saroj, Rohit Purnima, Ajinkya Sujata, Amit Chandrakala and six other mammaai??i??s boys teamed up to beat New Zealand in a series tilting victory.
    The ODI stunt to promote the ai???nayi sochai??i?? theme of Star Plus, may have been just that ai??i?? a stunt. But the message it sent to our suffocatingly patriarchal society was earth shattering. Because, for long, the ai???fatherai??i??s nameai??i?? has been a burdensome thing many people have been forced to carry all their lives as an adjunct surname or a vestigial initial.
    Ask the children of single mothers and they will tell you how they are made to squirm at schools and colleges for not having a masculine sounding surname. ai???Why no fatherai??i??s name?ai??i?? and ai???What, no father-ra?ai??i?? are some thoughtless questions routinely flung, like red hot daggers poked into a suppurating wound.
    Iai??i??ve often wondered why, in families where dads are wastrels and moms wear the pants, children should not proudly proclaim that they are the fruit of their motherai??i??s labour. My respect for Sanjay Leela Bhansali went up manifold when I learned that his middle name is a tribute to his mom who brought him up almost single-handedly after his dad passed away.
    Which is why it was truly heartening when I read a news item that several Dalits in Gujarat were dropping their caste-laden surnames and replacing them with their motherai??i??s name. Kaushik Parmar, for instance, has now become Kaushik Jamnaben Babubhai. What an elegant solution to an age-old curse!
    Internationally, there have been many celebrities who have opted for a matronymic nomenclature. Zorro actor, Antonio Banderas was born Jose Antonio Dominguez Banderas. He preferred to drop his patronymic surname for his motherai??i??s maiden name.
    British musician Eric Clapton should have logically been Eric Fryer but he chose to model himself after his mom, Patricia Molly Clapton. The Kasparov in Gary Kasparov is a Russian variation of Gasparyan, his Armenian momai??i??s maiden name. Spanish painter, Pablo Picasso, perhaps put it best, on why he chose his motherai??i??s Italian surname, ai???Can you imagine me calling myself Ruiz? Pablo Ruiz?ai??? Thatai??i??s entirely the point. Sometimes momai??i??s works best.
    Know anyone who bears their motherai??i??s name? Tell their story to anantha@albertdali.com

    -Anantha Narayan Order yougaramdewababa


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