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Business News/ Opinion / Blogs/  DANCING DIVORCEE: A minor inconvenience
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DANCING DIVORCEE: A minor inconvenience

While taking on the husband’s name is extremely romantic, shedding it becomes a humongous bureaucratic nuisance

The Ex and I never got around to actually going to the concerned office, till finally the marriage was over and there was no need for a name change. Photo: ThinkStock (ThinkStock)Premium
The Ex and I never got around to actually going to the concerned office, till finally the marriage was over and there was no need for a name change. Photo: ThinkStock
(ThinkStock)

A lot of blushing brides with high-powered enthusiasm go about changing their names once they are married. Some of them drop the father’s name and latch-on the husband’s first or second name. Others do an add-on to the father’s name, a dash and two men are joined forever, bonded by the woman they both love.

I remember in my twenties when one of my friends got married she filled an entire book rewriting her new name. At that point, I thought she was nuts. Now it feels like such sweet innocence, which I am incapable of.

While this taking on the husband’s name is extremely romantic when one is married, shedding it becomes a humongous bureaucratic nuisance when one is divorced. It’s like the buzzing of a fly you can’t kill and the road ahead is not easy at all.

The inescapable fact is that the changes have to be done legally. From the passport to the pancard, forms have to be filled in triplicate with accompanying proofs and sent off to the respective offices. A friend of mine who hates to do these things with the nail-biting patience bureaucracy requires, usually hires an agent. She pays him double or triple of what the government charges and spends another small fortune on phone follow-ups.

One day after shelling out half an arm so that all her documents wouldn’t hold even a whiff of her Ex, she muttered darkly that she wished she could send him the bills. Quite rightly she pointed out that he didn’t have to change his name. Ouch.

I consoled her saying that it was a name she hated and had cribbed her entire married life about dropping her fancier sounding maiden name. Another friend, who was there piped up saying that’s the reason she had married a man with the same surname.

It is not always so easy for everybody. Another friend is saddled with the name of a man she hates. There were too many legal documents with that identity and changing all of them would amount to sheer stupidity. So she continues to introduce herself with the name of a man who has abused her most in this world.

As for me, I got extremely ‘lucky’ (A fortunate word that sounds so hollow in this context). I didn’t change my name. It wasn’t because of some deep rooted feminist belief or political philosophy. I simply didn’t do it because of laziness. The Ex and I never got around to actually going to the concerned office. Yes, we postponed and postponed, till finally the marriage was over and there was no need for a name change. The only document that spoke of our legally entwined status was the marriage certificate and that has been filed away, along with my ninth standard debate certificate.

Naturally this doesn’t mean that future brides shouldn’t change their surname. For after all, when you get married, you give a man the most precious thing you have - your heart. What’s a small thing like a name compared to that.

Dancing Divorcee is a weekly happy, sad, funny, obnoxious blog on the misadventure called divorce. It will appear every Thursday. Arathi Menon is a dancing divorcee who also blogs, writes, tweets and repairs brands.

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Published: 11 Jul 2013, 01:19 PM IST
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