Say hello to
……………our little miss Avni Kunthavai Balan who was born on 08 Jan 08.
Our little girl’s name is Avni/ஆவ்னி, with ஆ/A (of Avni) is pronounced somewhere in between அ(a)/ஆ(aa)/எ(eh). அவனி/Avani means உலகம்/the world in pure Tamil. The name ஆவ்னி/Avni is the modified version of the word அவனி/Avani. It was Balan’s choice from the beginning. As my obsession with names, particularly for my daughter, goes a long way back, I couldn’t just let it go with a name that was not suggested/thought_of by me, and as my suggestions such as Sidharthini and Kunthavai were vetoed a long time back, I kept on insisting on Cassandra for sometime just for the heck of it, as I myself was not convinced to name my daughter after a woman who was raped, though she was shown as a strong character who had the guts to reject Apollo, (and thus acquired his curse). (will add appropriate links later).
Under the influence of heavy morphine, I told Balan I was fine with Avni. Looks like that did the trick that Balan decided to respect my obsession with the Kunthavai of Chola period, so he decided that our daughter will have a middle name too and that will be Kunthavai. In fact I was not so keen on that name since the name is not practically suitable these days. But Balan decided to keep it as a middle name. That is perfect in the sense that we don’t use it in practical situations, but it is there. Also, naming such big names brings burden for the child as the expectations these names bring, but now, since it is a middle name she doesn’t have that burden. It is Avni her name for all practical reasons. She will have Kunthavai in her certificates as her middle name. She will have the choice to use it or not when she grows up. So, she is Avni K. Balan.
(Will do a Tamil version later.)