The Wife’s Surname
I might be the from the rare breed of husbands who gets addressed by the wife’s surname. My wife’s last name happens to be Kumar – and I get addressed as Mr.Kumar more than I am addressed by my real surname.
No, it doesn’t have to do anything with the fact that she earns more than me, she goes out to work and I am a house-husband (who does unproductive things like blogging) or I am the one who is assigned to do the dishes. But I am still the one who wears the trousers (Ok, boxer shorts), while she wears the ridiculously priced sarees and salwar suits.
Yet, I am supposed to be Mr. Kumar. And it has to do more with circumstances rather than my own choice. Allow me to explain.
When we got married, she already had a bunch of educational qualifications, professional certifications, bank accounts and tax accounts – all with her maiden name “Kumar”. It was a pain to try and change all that – so we continued with unchanged names for all official purposes. Now, the lady has the habit of issuing cheques – even for paltry sums. So everyone – from the doodhwala, cablewala to the kiraana ki dukaan were issued cheques. And all had the signatory as a certain “Mrs.Kumar”. And suddenly everyone in the neighbourhood thought that this my name was Kumar.
And whenever I walked out – all greeted me politely. “Kya haal hai Kumaar Saab?” I usually clenched my fists, returned my best fake smile – all the while muttering – saale, Kumar mere sasure ka naam hai. Things kept getting worse. All her colleagues thought that I was Mr.Kumar. All calls from them addressed me as Mr. Kumar – and wedding invitations were always addressed to Mrs. And Mr.Kumar. Soon, I got used to it.
That brings me to the Why-The-Hellwa question: why can’t the husband take the wife’s surname? Why does it always have to be the other way round? Or simpler still, why do they have to change names in the first place? There are some Maharashtrians and Bongs who go on to force-change the wife’s first-name after a wedding as well – but you can’t expect much from these idiots.
Let’s assume I have an aunt called Raffu Chakkar. Who goes on to marry someone called Champu Darzi at the ripe young age of 52. Now, why should my bechaari aunt be called Raffu Darzi? Why can’t my uncle now be called Champu Chakkar? Doesn’t the latter sound so attractive, amazing and alliterative?
The patriarchal society is dead. The fact that Eve was created from Adam’s ribs sounds good only on a Sunday afternoon. Still there are people (and courts) who create such a fuss when somebody decides to take his wife’s surname.
That brings me to the Bollywood’s so called first-family. The first-family of nautanki to be precise. Why should the former Miss World be called Aishwarya Bachchan after her wedding?
Let’s try and compare things between Aishwarya and Abhishek. She earns more than him, has a lot more fans, has more Google searches, has more hit films, is a lot more smarter (he fell for her didn’t he?), is more sexier than him, and commands a better price. So why shouldn’t the Dostana stud be called Abhishek Rai?
Give me one reason why Aishwarya Rai’s trophy-husband shouldn’t be called Abhishek Rai.