While this is something I do ask little Zo often, in fact every time she showcases her creativity at finding newer and better ways of ensuring that I soon adopt the salt n pepper look, which I guess she believes is the ‘in’ thing, while I struggle to tell her that I am 30, not her great grand mother, this post isn’t about that.
Right from when I was a child, I always knew that I was going the traditional well-known path of life. Study, get a job, get married, and have kids. Yep, kids. I guess I knew I wanted kids when I was a kid myself, and derived great pleasure out of playing ‘ghar-ghar‘, where I would wake up ‘Dolly’ for school, feed her the breakfast I made, send her off, pick her up, feed her again, and then make her study and sleep. Side thought < I just realised I never was a working mother when I was playing these games, though the fact that I had to get a job someday was firmly planted in my brain at a very young age. Interesting, yes?> End Side thought.
Yeah, so I soon got bored with ‘Dolly’, what a sad name, plus I was fortunate enough to have a number of dolls, and they all couldn’t be ‘Dollies’. They needed an identity. Which meant, names. Me and my sister would pick our dolls, or ‘kids’ and name them. These names would be revised once in a while, when we found a fancier option, or when we generally had nothing better to do. We would even name the stuffed toys. If you ask me now, all I remember is Dolly, Cabby (short for Cabbage Doll), Uneeda (the name was on the box), Teddy, Puppy, and other such amazingly different names. But all of them went through a spate of Misha, Bobby, Nikita and at one point even Kavya and Nitya. Yep, kill me. No offense to Kavyas and Nityas, those were names rhyming to ours, but seriously which doll would want to be called that?
Anyway, I realised I could name my future kids quite early on in life. I was also convinced I was having a son. Don’t ask me why. In any case, the oldest name I remember shortlisting was Vishwas. I also had Arihant, Advait (for the longest time ever!) and Abeer. For girls, I had Niharika, Nayanika, Madhulika, and other longish names stored away.
Eventually I met The Dude, and married him, so here was a guy who would have to have a say in the name. So I brought up my options. His varied responses included ‘ Do what you want, I am not interested’ , ‘ There is a long time for this, why are you thinking so much’ , ‘ You are kidding me right, HAHAHAHA ‘ to ‘ Aaliyaah? Guys will go Aila! when they see her, HAHAHAHA!'( I know, he thought he was being funny, I apologise on his behalf). Eventually I realised his only requirements, no names with A, because ‘poor kid will have a roll-number right in the beginning’, no long names, which I was fine with since my name is like super short, and no God names, which he didn’t say per se, but I think he vetoed all options.
Then one fine day, I read the Zoya Factor. Now this book is one I loved, l still love. It just makes me very happy. I went to him with my new options. Yep, very original again, I wanted our daughter to be names Zoya. And, if we had a son, it had to be Zoravar. He laughed himself silly, especially about the boy name I had chosen, but I thought I had him convinced.
And that is how, Zo, who I initially thought of calling Zee, was born. This was way before we even thought of a child. Between then, and when I was finally expecting, I went through a spate of other names too. Zoya/Zoravar were out. But in 2011, Zo returned. The year of the World Cup, I promised myself that if India won, which happened in Zoya factor, and if I had a daughter, I was naming her Zoya. Period. Zoravar was still out though.
Long story short, I didn’t keep my promise. Though India did win. We went on a different tangent of trying to blend our names et al, different story that. Anyway, I could not let go of it completely, so I started blogging about my baby as Zo. Zo for Zoya, Zo for Zoravar, whatever it turned out to be. Yeah, you finally saw it when Zo entered the real world. But there is more, most of it as drafts about how much I was puking and bloating (trust me, you don’t want to know).
And that’s that. At one point, I thought I would call her Zo at home, a nickname of sorts, but that didn’t happen. But here, Zo she will stay. Now, as I blog about how her favorite passtime is to juggle all things breakable, to later, when I blog about how she turned up home with her hair dyed a brilliant pink (and purple. I have a premonition about this one.), to eventually, when I blog about how kids these days have no time absolutely for their old ageing parents (who by the way I am hoping are on a world tour at that point, or atleast in Antarctica to see Penguins).
And that I believe, makes her more Zo than anything else.