Gurpreet Randev: Bollywood Babies


Naming Baby Girl

Trying To Pick A Name That Both Mommy And Daddy Agree On Can Be A Challenge

I’ve been a bit MIA recently and I have good reason—I just recently had a happy and healthy baby girl! Hooray! Pat on the back for mummy! The pat is for delivering her into this world, duh. We had chosen not to find out the sex of the baby and were overjoyed to tell our older daughter that she now has a baby sister. I have a sister myself so I know how special that bond is and I’m glad my daughters will be able to share that as well.

But one thing we were completely unprepared for was choosing a name. I had no names picked out, nothing prepared in advance, absolutely no idea what we would name our new baby girl. Gah!

The reason for this is because we decided to do it old-school. Meaning that we followed the tradition of taking our daughter to the Sikh temple after her birth where the priest opens the holy book (the Guru Granth Sahib) and the first letter of the first word on that random page is the letter with which our daughter is to be named. We got an A. Thank God (quite literally in this case!) It could have been a U—there seem to be a lot of words that start with U in the Guru Granth Sahib. Do you know how seriously hard it is to come up with names that start with U?!

The letter A is a walk in the park compared to the more difficult U, right?

Umm, so wrong.

There’s Aaniya, Alisha, Ameera, Aariya. That’s just off the top of my head. Argh. Maybe too many choices can be just as bad as too little choice. I mean, get real. When my husband and I have to choose between a mere two options, we often get in a brawl. And that’s just over bath towels. This was destined to be a blood bath.

So we tried to do what every married couple has to learn to do. That dismal word that sounds warm and fuzzy but in actuality, can leave both parties highly dissatisfied and strangely angry: compromise. We each came up with our list of top three names and tried to find some common ground. We knew we both wanted an ethnically accurate representation so names such as Alice and Alexandria were out (lovely names though they are). We also wanted something that was fairly easy to pronounce, seeing as we both grew up with names that most teachers butchered on a yearly basis. Lastly, the name had to have some meaning behind it and couldn’t just be a word we made up because it sounded pretty as tempted as I was to go down that route.

After much heated debate and a few chosen curse words, we came up with two finalists—Aiva and Aryanna. Both have great meanings, are "ethnically accurate," and are easy enough to pronounce. I loved Aiva and my husband preferred Aryanna so we were once again at a standstill. After your child has been nameless for over a week, it gets sort of embarrassing and we were well past the one week mark. Someone had to give but we both weren’t ready to concede.

Luckily for us, we have an in-house intermediary. Someone to make the final call as it so happens. Our older daughter has become the deciding factor in many family arguments and this was no different. We presented both options to her and there was only one name that she would say. Only one name that she would agree to call her new best friend. So let me introduce to the world my daughter’s new baby sister, Aryanna Kaur Binning.

P.S. It means pure. How perfect!