This is a guest post by Ayesha Khan
The other day, my brother dug out an old DD animation film on unity in diversity – Ek Titli, Anek Titli… We replayed it umpteen times in a fit of summer nostalgia, until we got all the lines correct. We ignored the political subtext. But only until it rebounded starkly on us, with the wails of a baby that had newly come in to the family. The little one foisted on us the first ponderous responsibility – finding him a name.
The family brief for me, aunt to a six day old nephew, and equally to childhood pal Vandana, who is soon-to-be aunt to a niece in US, was to think up names resonating a core Indian-ness, the Muslimness, the TamBram-ness (in Vandana’s case), with a universal appeal and encapsulating everything that is pious, lucky and great.