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A Daughter Called Dhakshayani

February 3, 2015

Logging onto Chennai Corporation website, I was amazed to see my birth certificate issued on 03.12.1968 almost three months after my birth registered and computerized, with my parents’ names listed officially. After 40+ years that is! My house address in Mylapore is the same (door no. changed twice over these years) (we recently rebuilt the old structure into four 3 BHK apartments. no trace of my past life in the new era building) and the nursing home name is also printed. I don’t know how long its here.

Yes some of us cry for everything (i couldn’t stop crying during ‘Titanic’ climax to the irritation of my family) and this one truly got my eyes misty. The old handwritten copy (single issue in those times) was filed with my school and after that I have had only school & college TC supporting my birth for evidence (apart from passport). I searched for duplicate copies of my birth certificate in vain. My aunt recently gave me my original and first ‘kundali’ (my horoscope was computerized before my marriage) written by hand by a noted astrologer by my 1st year – may be these are of no consequence today but mean a lot to me. It reminds me of how important I was to my family when I was born.

Seeing the digital version of my birth certificate with my parents names was a hair-raising experience. Their names do figure in my passport but here in my birth certificate they are listed like principal parties so that is the difference. My own entity is pushed to a second position even though the certificate is in my name. Unexpected gift from Chennai Corporation. Must have been done long back, or may be it is there around for years who knows.

Looks like RTI is in full swing in India. Its easy to access online any file from any government department. Is this good or bad?


Today is ‘Thai Poosam’ – a very auspicious day in Tamil Calendar. ‘Thai Poosam’ is very famous in Batu Caves and is a national holiday in Malaysia (except in Klantan and Terengganu). Had a live telecast of Malaysian Thai Poosam in tv.

Today is also Poornima. My street temple’s anniversary is celebrated always on the Thai Poosam day. So from the morning some discourses were going on (besides ‘Yagnas’) and I could hear every word in my home through the amplifiers.

In my Pooja time, I heard the story of ‘Dhaakshaayani’ – which name also Parvathi/Shakthi, Shiva’s consort goes by.

‘Dhaakshaayani – is my actual kundali/horoscope name. It is the name that was whispered into my ears during my ‘Punyajanam.’ Because people have difficulty with the name, my parents gave me my present name (as if this one is not a tongue-twister). Dhaakshaayani means daughter of Dhaksha/Thaksha whose name is associated with Tashkent (corruption of Thakshakant), Thaksha Sheela (Taxila) etc., he reigned over. Dhakshayani was one real angry woman who flew into a fit of rage when her father insulted her husband Shiva. Sometimes I think our names are the reason we turn out to be what we are. My name I believe defines my character. My impatience, impulsive streak, anger and intolerance for imperfections, injustice and insincerity – and my devotion for Shakthi, my Maa, make me always wonder whether my original horoscopic name Dhakshayani is responsible for my persona. I heard the story as I was starting my Diya Pooja to follow up with Pournami Satyanarayan Pooja. I do this on small scale at home that’s all nevertheless I am regular. I have a lot to thank my Mother Goddess for what She has given me in life so far. Hearing the Dhakashayani story was like getting a gentle reminder. Like a personal message. I think it was actually a recording of Shri Krupa Nanda Vaariyar’s discourse. Beautifully told.

My name Dhakshayani has never figured anywhere other than in my horoscope. Rarest of rare names. Interestingly the name I go by today does not figure in my original horoscope! But it is the one registered in my birth certificate. Since i have only used my current official name all my life, the same was given for the ‘lagna patrika’ for my wedding muhurat. My computerized horoscope generated for my marriage purpose uses my regular name. (My original handwritten manually computed horoscope drawn up in my 1st year and the machine-written one printed by my 20th year tally mostly but differ slightly at unimportant points. The end years are left deliberately vague in the handwritten ones always. The computerized one goes on upto my 105th year lolz). But the name Dhakshayani always resonates and reverberates in the back of my mind. Everytime I recite the ‘Lalitha Sahasranama’ I go slow when my original kundali name in the Nama approaches. Its like a powerful mantra. It has an effect on me. I am a believer in destiny, not horoscope. Believer in ‘Karma.’ And although none knows of my original name except my family, I have always associated myself with my Kundali/birth name as much as I am called by my usual/adopted name. My attachment to the name ‘Dhakshayani’ is that immense.

Who says our names are mere names. They reflect something from our 6,000-10,000 year old ancestry and culture, how we have retained our roots, how we pass on our heritage and how the lineage continues…

We are what life makes us. But our genes too have a role to play in what we become. At the end of the day, a life is well lived when we know we leave something good behind us on earth. When we know we are ‘used up.’ Filling our homes and hearth with happiness and positive vibrations is the key.


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