Wednesday, 6 March 2013

My Name Is Anthony Gonzalves!!!

Actually I'm not sure what my name is. You see, I am one of those rare women, who actually wanted to change my name after I got married. Before the wedding, I was chatting with my brothers and they got sentimental about the fact that I was not going to be an Agnihotri any longer. I said, of course I was! We argued and I gave in! They said, I had been an Agnihotri all my life. Why not start my new life with a change? It made sense and I decided to become Varsha Agnihotri Vadhyar. I started calling myself that...and then one day I decided to renew my passport!

I went to the passport office armed with all my papers, including marriage certificate - proof enough of may marriage, you would think. They said they can't accept this proff. I need a bank account in my new name. I went running to the bank to change my name. They said, I needed a ration card or voter ID in my new name. OFF to the ration card and voter ID office then! And they said I needed my passport to be in my new name! We were back to square one!

I decided to keep my maiden name and reapplied for passport. This time, a young girl at the counter informed me I had no right to decide what I wanted to be called. "But madam, I am knowing you are married! So how am to allow it then?' Really? Who made you my mother in law?  I finally managed to submit the form and do the interview.

Then came the police verification! "But madam, what kind of woman does not change her name? How we are to know that you are married?' From my marriage certificate you moron! And the witnesses who are telling you that I am Mrs. Vadhyar! Off he went, muttering about my lack of respect for my husband! Now I needed a letter from the housing society saying I live there as Mrs. Vadhyar!

Once again the marriage certificate, my husband standing next to me and the fact that they have known me for 18 odd months was not enough. I was persona non grata for not changing my name. I had taken leave of my morals!

I realized that all these positions are held by people who are merely literate. There has been no education there. I am within my legal right to call myself what ever I want, but they don't know the law. They ask for random papers because they have no idea of what to do! And of course, they are the moral guardians of the society and it is their job to keep me on the straight and narrow!

So now, I have decided to call myself Gulab Singh Iyer Elizabeth Khanna Anand Chattopadhyaya Thomas Ibrahim, because no matter what, my name is never going to be acceptable anyway! And they can insist on calling me what I want, I will always be me!


  1. Read this...
    It might just help..

  2. jab naam hee rakhna hai to "jhaansi ki raani" rakh na...suits you...besides naam sunkar hee saamne waale ki khisak legi...saale idiots!

  3. Sigh!!!! People look at me and at my passport and then say, 'Mrs Suri...' and I scowl and say, it's Ms and not Mrs. I am not married. Not yet!

  4. I was married. I did not change my name. And I invited the ire of many including my own family. Some actually blamed my failed marriage on my refusal to change names. I plan to marry again. Not to change my name again. And make a bloody success out of my marriage. If only to prove a point.

    And about the Ms. Mrs. thingy, I just think Indians are a seriously troubled lot. I call myself Ms, not Miss or Mrs. I intend to keep it that way even when I lose my single status. I simply refuse to see the point. And oh, it is now legal for a married woman to keep her maiden name in India. I didn't know it was illegal when I was married last. *sigh*