Trend of changing names is catching up fast

Chennai: Instances of people changing names in the hope of altering their luck seem to be on the rise in Tamil Nadu if the number of applications received by the Directorate of Stationery and Printing is any indication.

Between April 1, 2010 and March 31 this year alone, the Directorate received 44,345 applications for name change and collected Rs 1.98 crore, sources said.

Though majority of name change applications are filed to rectify human errors made during school days, trend of changing names keeping numerology and astrology in mind with a hope of altering one`s fortune is also on the rise, they said.

The Directorate is not complaining as it has been able to augment its income. Between 2008 and 2011, it received over a lakh name change applications and collected over Rs 4.5 crore as fee.

However, the directorate does not release any data as to why applicants want a change in their name but publishes the individual`s old and new name in the state gazette.

"Though altering names was and still is a fad among film stars, this seems to have crept into the common man`s life too," says Geetika Rustagi, a web editor working with a daily in Delhi.

The trend of adding extra letters or changing the name`s spelling is catching up with common people too but it creates a problem for the person who has to write or pronounce the changed name, Rustagi says.

It is mandatory for the person to advertise in an English and a vernacular daily regarding the name change mentioning the old and new name.

"We used to get only around 150 name change advertisements in a month five years back. But these days we get more than 500 such ads in a month," says V Chandrasekar working in the advertisement section of a daily in Chennai.

"I added a word to my name after my astrologer`s advice and things have certainly improved," says Lakshmy Devi Venkiteswaran, who has recently added a middle name.

According to Chennai-based astro-numerologist, P R Sundhar Raja, changing one`s name can bring lot of changes in life.

"The way your name sounds is important as it generates certain vibrations. So we recommend names or alteration in the name that can bring a preferred vibration," he says.

"It`s not blind adding or deleting of an alphabet or a word. We change it as per a person`s astrology chart," Raja claims.