Why We Named Our Daughter Meera?

Darling Daughter, You’re To Be The Best Princess Ninja In The World!
Someone once said that names affect personalities (well, someone,
somewhere must have said it sometimes). So, we named our daughter Meera, of course, after the Hindu Rajput princess of the 16th Century.
You see, our daughter Meera is blue-blooded royalty; at least we definitely think so. She may not have been born in the bloodline but it is definitely in her blood. How do we know? Well, she’s hardly subtle about it!
  • Like when she puts Lewis Carroll’s Queen Of Hearts to shame when she goes all “Off with her head!” on me when her meal is not ready to be put right in her mouth the minute her eyes open. Of course, we mustn’t make royalty wait, when will we learn!
  • Like when she wants to be held in a particular way only, (in a way that either breaks your back or builds your biceps) and she is loudly making her wishes crystal clear to everyone who just doesn’t understand! Of course, we minions must obey!
  • Like when she wants her grandpa to come home everyday and massage her feet, no one else will do and nothing else will distract her from this ritualistic routine. Of course, royalty is set in their ways and will break but never bend!
  • Like when she refuses to accept any cream, ointment, bath soaps, oil or the works when the smell is not to her liking, no matter how much we love it. Of course, it is the royalty that makes these important decisions, how dare we think otherwise (even when the royalty in question is just the size of two-foot-long subs and weighs just over 4kgs).
  • Like when she protests being removed too early from her warm bath no matter how cold it is outside or how sick it might make her later. Of course, royalty just loves their sweet-smelling, exotic soaks, the ones with cream, rose petals and scented candles!
  • Like when she has all the royal mood swings and bawls behind closed doors but when with company, everything’s peachy hunky-dory! Of course, no matter how many skeletons are stacked in a royal’s closet, if there are eyeballs, there’s a very public, pearly white smile and the best possible behaviour!
  • And like when she gives a look of pure disdain when you try to entertain her with puny toys of the average type when she prefers colourful planes, windmills and the natural outdoors instead. Of course, there’s expensive taste mixed with royal regard for nature.
So there, so our girl hasn’t ever been shy of showing off her regal tastes and imperial temperament. Yet, choosing the right name for her was an exercise that started in February!
The Long-Drawn Process Of Finding, Researching And Short-Listing
Yes, by February I knew the gender. Shailesh wished to have a surprise and chose not to be informed, making keeping the secret as well as short-listing the names that much more difficult for me. But the instructions were simple…
The name needed to be short as well as easy to pronounce (or be rather difficult to mispronounce), said Shailesh. The name needed to be Hindu and related either to our mythology or to our history was, of course, my desire. You see, I have a distinct dislike of names that sound great but mean absolutely nothing, zilch!
So then the quest started. Initially, I started by limiting myself to the letter ‘S’ (of course falling prey to the cliché, Shailesh, Sayali and S…), but that idea was chucked out the window fast enough when no good names that fit the bill came up.
Other names shortlisted were names of goddesses such as Ira, etc. names of celestial bodies and constellations such as Vishakha, Ashlesha, etc. and names of strong historical figures such as ancient scholars and sages, namely Maitreyi and Gargi. Yet, while some were too old fashioned, some were too long and difficult to pronounce; while some didn’t fit well with the surname, others didn’t have the numerology vibration that I was looking for. Yes, of course I also looked up the numerology of all the names selected, I mean, doesn’t everyone?!
Oh yes, I forgot to mention that since Shailesh was unaware of the gender and we needed to keep it that way, the same short-listing process was followed for boy names as well, making my life that much more difficult, not just in terms of research but mostly in terms of keeping the big, fat secret!
So then, we were down to three names by the end of it all. All three fit the bill, they were short, easy to pronounce (irrespective of cultures, countries and pronunciations) and had historical or mythological significance. We chose Meera to the surprise of many.
Well, for starters, Meera’s story might indeed be famous, but it hardly is an emulatory one. For many it is somewhat sad, for many others, it borders on tragic.
For most people who know the story, Meera was a princess who was told as a child (in jest of course) that she world marry Lord Krishna. By adolescence, she was so much in love with the lord in question that she sacrificed her marriage, her throne, her heritage and even her reputation so she could be with the divine Lord of her dreams. Yet, while most people who know the story know it right, they don’t know it right enough. Her story may be tragic, but her story is nothing short of inspirational; one that makes you believe in miracles that come true, should one’s belief be strong enough.
What Meera Means To Us
For a woman born before 1500, Meera was a veritable scholar of her time, having received education in music, religion, politics, horse-riding, fencing, archery, tactics of war and governance, and of course the scriptures. By all records, she was soft-spoken, well mannered and had a beauty that befitted royalty. And of course, if you’re a Rajput, valour, courage and bravery are already in your blood! While these are all great accomplishments that can and should be emulated by any child of today, what really had me hooked was her devotion.
Her love for Krishna made her renounce her throne, her birthright, the luxuries of a kingdom, a good reputation (she was often maligned by jealous royals), societal norms and even social standing; which she did without batting an eyelid.
Such was her devotion for the Lord, she spoke of him in all of her poems and writings (the ones that make the world remember her name even today in the 21st century) with impassioned longing for unity and absolute defiance for what society thought about it.
For a woman to be thus empowered, in spirit and in thought, as early as 1500, is certainly something worth remembering and learning from.
Meera was a lone-standing woman, standing up against the rules society had set regarding how a princess should behave and appear.
She was the lone standing woman fighting a losing battle to try and make society understand a love that could not be moulded to fit their definitions. And, she was also the lone standing woman to withstand societal torture for something she believed whole-heartedly believed in. She let nothing stand in her way! She was that powerful in her mind, where it matters the most!
For my daughter, I hope her name carries the right message. I hope my Meera moves past the superficial stories of her namesake’s persecution by her family and society, and her tragic albeit happy end in the arms of her lord (if you get the antithesis) and reach the essence of a truly, truly strong woman who let nothing stand in the way of her passions.
I hope my Meera takes after that inspirational Meera by embracing her message of true freedom (of spirit, mind and thoughts), an unmovable resolve and an implacable thirst to stand up for what’s right, speak up against what’s wrong and hold on to her convictions even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
Darling Daughter, I hope I Get That Last Part Right!
Little girl, may you be pampered like the princess you are and you grow up to be the Queen you were born to be, in thought, mind and spirit!  
Oh, and did I mention, the numerological vibration’s pretty awesome too! 😀

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