I always imagined my future children would have Indian names like those I’d grown up hearing. For boys, those were names like Raj, Sanjay, or Mehul. But in the throes of a baby-name discussion during my sister-in-law’s pregnancy, I realized for the first time that the origins of my babies’ names would one day be a huge point of contention – not only between Robbie and me, but also perhaps between our families. My sisters-in-law were discussing names like Ethan and Alexander – even Maximus! – but when they asked me what names I liked for a future baby boy, my top choices – all Indian names – got less than rave reviews. Not because they disliked these names, but because they were so unfamiliar to Robbie’s family that the prospect of a nephew with such an unfamiliar name was difficult to imagine. My list of Indian boys’ names instigated a single thought-provoking (and nerve-wracking) question:
How about the name Robert?
Why not, right? I mean, my husband, Robert Conrad (Robbie) was named after his maternal grandfather, Conrado, and his father, Robert Joseph (Bob), whose middle name is the same as his father, Robbie’s grandfather, Joseph. One day, we would have a little Bobby, falling perfectly in line with the Milla tradition of passing on names.
But that was not my immediate reaction. Read more