What’s in a name? A lot, actually. People say your name defines you. It is your visiting card. It sets impressions even before people have met or interacted with you. I love my name. It is unique, uncommon and poetic. Nayantara is the apple of her mother’s eye and I think I am that. Nayantara has beautiful eyes and I have been told I have them. Nayantara is the name of a flower and I would like to believe that like the blue periwinkle, ‘Nayantara’ in Bangla, I too am low maintenance but spread a lot of cheer and brightness.
I wasn’t quite ready to become a mother, but I knew I wanted my child(ren) to have uncommon but meaningful names. However the road to my search for perfection in names was a difficult one. My little black book of name ideas was running out of pages with list after list of girl name ideas. But boy’s names – I had zero. And I knew destiny would play that game with me, where I… would be blessed with a baby boy!
So let’s get down to the guidelines (I am a blue personality type, can you tell?) I knew I wanted the name to be a Sanskrit word. I wanted it to have deep meaning, something which held true for our life experiences. I did not want to name him after any of the 33 crore Gods. Also, the world is a melting pot, no? Just like I had become Nine-Tara when we lived in the UK I did not want the name to be difficult to pronounce for people from other cultures and countries.
Such well meaning motives. But also incredibly difficult to fulfill. Month 6 of my pregnancy and I had still not narrowed down on one name. After years of searching I had no boy names. The prospect of choosing the God’s name suggested by someone in the family, which was trending in Bollywood at that time, loomed perilously on me. I just didn’t see myself as Shivji’s mummy.
Until one fine day…
Facebook was a good distraction. Oh look, a meme about NaMo. Oh wait, here are some cake pics… yummm. I was craving cake.. and I felt a kick, the little tyke inside me also wanted a bite perhaps. Blue cakes, green cakes, cakes with animals on it. Cakes with little baby booties on it. Aww baby shower cake. And then I saw it.. a beautiful cake with blue and gold frosting, on top of it was the name piped in silver lettering – Happy birthday TASMAI.
I had found my name. My eyes shone, stars glittered, fireworks lit up the space around my head and heart. This was THE NAME.
I did not know what it meant at that time, but I knew it was from the popular Sanskrit shloka – Tasmai Shri Guruwe Namahh which pays obeisance to one’s guru or teacher or God. I searched every resource online and holy books I could lay my hands on and I discovered that – Tasmai means Unto Him, entrusted to HIM.
And truly my baby and pregnancy was all in God’s hands. When I had reached the point of breaking in life and giving up on my dream of ever hearing the words “Mumma”, I learnt that I had fought all odds and conceived. Naturally, too! It was all the doing of a divine order. God if you want to believe! And my TASMAI was that blessing.
Down the line I also discovered this quote. It reminded me of the struggle before we actually conceived, the disappointment month after month of fertility treatment. I also remember the day we said “Screw it, let’s drink wine instead” and let the baby find us instead. This is exactly what Tasmai means!