Recently I observed that post marriage many girls are maintaining their maiden name and husband’s name just like Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. It has become a trend to carry both the names at least on social platforms, if not on official records. On one hand, girls of similar age group praises the one who has taken the liberty and courage to carry her maiden name too. But on the other hand there is one Pummy aunty in all families and neighborhood who is just against the idea.

From the corner of her eyes she keeps murmuring “These days girls listen to no one but themselves.”. Many a times, girls get to hear that ” It is duty of your brother to carry the family name. You needn’t take this burden on your shoulders.” And if at all the girl decides to carry her maiden name only, then the society goes gaga about it. She is bombarded with curious questions – “Whose name will your child inherit? Don’t you accept your new family to be yours? Don’t you love your husband?” And the best one is ” Are you planning a divorce? You must not be sure of the marriage?” Some not so sensible people are of the view that ” Changing your name is hassle free these days. Everything can be done online.”

Really! Trust me, avoiding hassles is the last reason for any girl who decides to carry her maiden name. She has undertaken a much tougher path which has bigger hassles than anything else.

Around a decade back my father asked me to sign on an official bank document with a disclaimer that this sign would be official till my marriage. This got me thinking about the probable surnames my husband could have, so that I don’t have to change my sign ever. I thought to just sign with just the initials, or encrypt it so artistically that nobody can decipher it except me. After giving much thought and doing all permutations and combinations, I signed with just my first name – Anaishaa. The name I chose to carry for a lifetime without any discrepancies. The name which my parents gave me with so much love. The name I carry with pride. The name that is my identity. The name that is neither maiden’s nor husband’s. The name that is only mine.

I believe that it is all about identity of a woman. Nobody but she has the right to make it her own way. Instead of the society, she should decide how she wishes to be known, by her maiden name, husband’s name or as someone else’s. She should be empowered enough to make her own decisions and make her own life. It is high time women get to practice ‘Right to Freedom’ in true sense.

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