Aditi Wardhan Singh.
My middle name is precious for oh so many reasons.
Singh is one of the most popular last names in India. Rajputs, Pujabis, Singh, and most families that have warrior lineage (so they say), have this last name.
So yes, to say I’m glad I have a middle name is an understatement.
To be fair to my parents, when they named me, they thought they were giving me one of the most unique names of those times. Unfortunately, a decade or so later, many other parents had the same idea for their kids.
If you are interested in learning, Aditi comes from the Goddess Aditi in mythology who was the mother of Gods as opposed to her sister, Diti, who was the mother of all demons. The name stands for “boundless, entire” or “freedom, security.”
You may be surprised to know that Wardhan is actually my maiden last name.
I’m actually the only one in my entire family who carries forward my grandfather’s last name: Singh. His name was Devendra Singh.
It seems almost like destiny that when I married my husband, his last name was Singh. So, I’m very conveniently Aditi Wardhan Singh — a lot of my last life…a lot of my this life. For after all, what are women but pre and post some incident that changed their life forever. In my case, it was my marriage.
I especially enjoy it now that I’m a writer. When I tell people to Google me, I can say, “Please make sure to search for Aditi Wardhan Singh.” I don’t have to compete with the thousands, maybe millions, of the Aditi Singhs out there. Yay for small wins!
Why I Gave My Kids Middle Names
Now middle names are not something that are essentially done in Indian families, especially in northern India, and definitely not for girls. Girls mostly just take take their husband’s name after marriage. Ahem! (Cough! Patriarchy.)
While I always loved my long name and was extremely thankful for the angst it saved me from changing on the passport after marriage, I often wondered if it was too long. It was during my pregnancy that an incident changed my perspective.
I was visiting a new acquaintance’s home when she said, “I love how regal your name is. It’s rare to see people have a middle name. Both you and your husband have such wonderfully long names.”
You see, it often takes a third person to tell you the obvious — that something you have is awesome!
My husband’s long name is owing to him having two names in his first name. And me? Well, I have always had a proper middle and last name. But when looking for our kids’ names, it hadn’t occurred to us to think of middle names for them, too.
That one statement had me left pondering. Wait a sec! I wanted this “regal feeling” for my kids, too. After all, there has to be some Rajput feeling + meaning to their name.
So off I went searching for the perfect full name for my then unborn son. I ended up giving him a name that roughly translates to “The Great, Peaceful Lion.”
When it came time to name my daughter, I was not going to have her left behind in having a middle name. So her name translates roughly to “Beautiful, Magical Lion.”
If you haven’t figured it out yet, Singh in Hindi means Lion. 🙂
That’s the story of our middle names. What about yours? Do you have a middle name you love?