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Dear Son, No Matter What It Takes, You Will Bear My Maiden Surname!

Posted: March 2, 2021

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Since his birth, I have single-handedly taken care of my son. Today, I fight to give him my maiden last name so he carries my legacy forward!

“Ma’am, you have to submit his Adhaar Card within one year of admission, at the School Office. Oh! It says ‘Mukherjee’ on his birth certificate but you’ve written ‘Chowdhury’ here,” exclaimed the Principal, as I admitted my son to the nursery class of his first formal school.

So I explained to him the unexpected and sudden divorce I had to undergo after my child’s birth. But I promised to submit my baby’s new Adhaar card within the year too.

It has been a few months now, but my dad and I ae still struggling with changing my son’s surname from his dad’s to my maiden surname. We are trying to change it on his birth certificate so that his Adhaar card will have the proper name.

The process was nothing but draining

My son was barely a year and a half when I had to stand in the long queues in the District Magistrate’s Court, type affidavit papers and stand in the sun and rain. Day after day, I kept trying and rushing back to breast-feed my baby and put him to sleep.

Why should I not fight for my right? What has my son’s dad done since his birth that I would let my son have his name? He hasn’t even bothered to buy a single toy or a diaper for his kid!

My baby was my desire, after all, my dream, my hope, my creation. I am just grateful to his dad for his sperm, that’s all. The baby is very much mine and deserves his mother’s identity!

Ever since I was a child, I have heard my grandfather tell me that we belonged to a prestigious family of freedom fighters from East Bengal. He would tell me how the names of our brave ancestors were written in a big book at the National Library.

But then he would say, that the chain will now break since I was a daughter and will move to another family with another surname. Each time he said this, I would get annoyed. I wanted to carry on the legacy too. And why couldn’t I, just because I was a daughter, I would think.  

But my son will carry my legacy with my surname!

Today, I am loving the struggle quite a bit because I know I shall be passing on my maiden surname to my son and not let the chain of brave ones break. I shall keep that courage flowing in his blood.

Why do people say the child has their dad’s blood? Don’t they have their mother’s blood in them as well? My son is very much his mother’s blood, bones, flesh, thoughts, ideas and legacy! He is his mom’s reflection and his mom’s identity and roots should stick to his name.

The challenge feels sweeter now. Whether it is rushing to the court or the BDO’s office, the Panchayat or even publishing it in the local newspaper that my son will officially bear my last name now, it feels like it’s worth it.

I am loving every bit of this fight to win my right over my son, to pass down my name, identity to him. My fight is letting me give him everything while doing my duties towards him!

Picture credits: Still from Hindi TV series Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hain

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A single mom, freedom lover, passionate about life, self-employed (teaching and learning), love writing

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