Friday, April 29, 2016


It is interesting to reflect on why I chose Dhakshayani to be my sobriquet if at all I have one! 

I remember the day my parents took me to a movie called "Thiruvilaiyaadal" which literally means the games of God!  Though I did not understand many things, I remember I was upset that Shiva did not allow Sakthi to visit her own father. At a very tender age, only thing mattered in the whole movie to me was a girl not able to see her father; nothing else mattered! For the next few days, I was worried if someone will prevent me from seeing my dad!

I listened to the dialogues of the same movie many times in the temples during festival seasons. (Oh! They played only a few movies all the time!) I took it very personal! More and more I listened to it, the fear of not seeing my dad became an anger at a later point in time! I could not stand a thought of someone else having the power to stop me from meeting my dad!  Whether Dhakshan was right or wrong did not carry any weight in my mind. She may fight with him one day and the next day she may shower all her love on him; It is absolutely between the daughter and father I felt. It is none of Shiva's business to worry about what is happening between her and her dad, I firmly believed (believe still) .  

"Where did you come? How could you face me" were some of the lines that keep ringing in my ears even today. That made me even more furious. How can he be so rude to her for trying to defend him, claiming what is rightfully his? Final explanation that Shiva only tried to protect Sakthi from insults infuriated me further! So he can try to protect her from insults but she can't try to protect him from insults! To be able to protect is only a man's fort, is it? Moreover, who is he to stop her from entering the house? Is it not her house too? It was a strong feminist rage brewing in me during my teenage. Fortunately, the dialogue writer of the movie did not have a chance to meet me during that period! :-)

In early twenties, I was nick named as Kaali - the most ferocious form of Sakthi - as a result of a righteous anger  I expressed :-) . Around that time, I read that Sakthi did not like to be called as Dhakshayani and she took birth as daughter of Parvatharajan so that she will be called as Parvathi. I felt even more annoyed! I thought it was a story written by men to brainwash women to accept whatever the husband says; if she does not, her reputation is at stake; she will have to do a lot more to fix the "bad name".  I rejected the story as a mere lie! When all the Gods incarnated or manifested to protect someone or kill a monster or bless someone, Goddesses had other reasons too to incarnate in addition to killing a monster or blessing someone - to wipe out a bad name or a curse or do penance to be back with the God! These story lines irked me to the core. That is when I decided, I will retain my maiden name as my last name for ever! If world considers "Dhakshayani" as bad, uses it as a moral / emotional threat against women, that is the name I like the most. When I write this paragraph, after close to 20 years, I can still feel the smile with anger I held when I read the "Dhakshayani becoming Parvathi" story and felt close to "Dhakshayani"

Though, I mellowed down in several aspects as life progressed, my inclination towards "Dhakshayani" is intact!

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