Should a woman let go of her maiden name?

Averil Nunes

Mrs.D’Souza, Mrs.Rane, Mrs.Gupta, Mrs.Khan, Mrs.Chatterjee, Mrs.Shetty, Mrs.Joseph, Mrs.Singh, Mrs.Iyer... – do you remember trying on the surnames of cute boys in the throes of puppy love? Somehow, the names never quite fit me and the babies were thrown out with the bath water. I mean the boys, had to go, with their surnames in tow.

Somewhere along the way, I stopped trying out boys` surnames and started testing their patience, instead. And, well I was lucky to find a keeper. However, after a good three decades of having my father’s, and his father’s and their great great great great grandfathers’ family name appended to mine, it seems odd to switch to another family name, that will not bear a clue to my lineage.

The good thing is—there’s no law that says I have to change my name after marriage. “Names have nothing to do with marriages or divorces,” confirmed women’s rights activist and advocate Flavia Agnes, “and there are no legal implications to adopting or not adopting your husband’s name.” However, there are emotional implications. Most men would up in egos.

I could claim, that as a working professional, I`m already known by a certain name. I can say it’s too much trouble to change the details on my passport, bank accounts, property and other precious holdings. I could compromise, hyphenate, and add on a new name, train-coach style. But the truth is, I would rather leave a good thing the way it is.

Will I feel disconnected from my family some years down the line when I have kids who go by their dad’s surname? Maybe. But then again, maybe the kids could adopt my name. Flavia Agnes, Sanjay Leela Bansali, Imran Khan, Mallika Sherawat, Eddie Vedder, Garry Kasparov, Norah Jones, Antonio Bandares… are thriving darn well with their mothers’ names, don’t you think?

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