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  • Writer's pictureSonal

What's In a Name?

Updated: May 2, 2021

The elder one of the family was named "Komal",

And like her name, she grew up to be soft,

But of course, younger siblings always know better;

Then seven years later, on a wee winter Wednesday morning,

I was born, oh, and fun fact -

I opened my eyes a week after I was born,

My mother's mother thought I was blind,

(Which is partially true now, thanks to my glasses),

But I was just sleeping - I wonder if that lead to my insomnia now;

Komal's younger sister was supposed to be named "Kaajal",

Which growing up I got to know meant mascara, which I rarely use,

But knowing my mother, I am pretty sure that I would have been "Kaajal"

Because I was born on a Wednesday, and my sun shine is Gemini,

Something that I obviously don't follow,

Otherwise I wouldn't have been Swagittarius,

Anyway, years later, and when I say years,

It means five years after I was born,

When my father went to get my birth certificate made,

(Let me tell you, I did not have a name till then,

Not at least one that would be officially used),

In a spur of the moment decision, he named me "Sonal",

Now "Sonal" has multiple meanings -

In Odia, it means "Like gold"; Marathi, "Gold";

My parents tell me that I was named after the Odissi dance, Sonal Mansingh,

Perhaps that explains my admiration for classical dance forms;

But Sonal also means "The golden rays of the sun",

Perhaps this keeps me alive when everything else ceases to do so,

I remember when I was seventeen, and a notorious being of my class,

Because not only did I have a boy for myself,

But I never backed out from questioning authorities,

This one teacher who found me standing near a window,

Called me just to mock and tell me, "Sonal? More like peetal",

Now for a seventeen year old dealing with anxiety,

That was more than enough to bombard myself with self-doubt -

Did I never, and would I never do justice to my name?

And I'd be lying if I tell you that I don't think that way anymore,

But here's the thing - when you are the rays of the sun,

You don't stop shining, you don't stop lighting,

Sure, the sun hides behind the clouds,

But isn't that also why clouds have silver linings?

//NaPoWriMo, Day 14

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