What’s in a “Daak Naam”? A Bengali’s Eternal Walk of Shame

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What’s in a “Daak Naam”? A Bengali’s Eternal Walk of Shame

Illustration: Juergen Dsouza

Y

ears ago, when my aunt delivered a boy after a succession of four daughters, it was a cause for immense celebration for my grandmother – as if Durga Pujo had arrived early. Content that she had a grandson to carry forward the family name, she made a grand proclamation. She summoned my parents, multiple aunts and uncles and instructed them to commence on the pursuit of bestowing the most princely bhalo naam (“good name”) for our family’s newest member.

My family members had just about a week before my grandmother would get them to congregate again for the naming ceremony. By contrast, my name and those of my sisters were zeroed in on within minutes.

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