Legend has it that when my mother was pregnant with me, my sister was a little over a year old. For a baby who could barely say a few words, my mother asked her what she wanted her new brother/sister to be called.

“You’re soon going to have a new friend to play with. Would you prefer a girl or a boy?”


“What do you want to call him?”


“Do you mean Ravindra?”

“No. Naveenda.”


“No. Naveenda.”

“Okay. And what if it is a girl? What should we call her?”

Naveenda!” (The frustration clearly rising)

It turned out to be a boy. My parents and sister negotiated and decided to meet somewhere in the middle.

It was going to be Naveen.

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