September 22, 2015

Being me



Two and a half years ago, while I was still on my honeymoon, as a loving gesture towards my boyfriend-turned-fiancé-turned-husband, I changed my last name on Facebook. At that time, it felt good. No, it felt great!

I had been in love with his boy since I was nine years old. Thirteen years later he fell in love with me too, and three years after that, we were husband and wife – a ‘finally’ moment. It was no small feat, because somewhere during those thirteen years, there were times when I never thought this could actually happen. To fall in love, two people need to actually talk to each other and those first six years, while we were still in school, he didn’t speak to me; we were not even friends. After we finished high school, we hung out as a part of the same group, so we still saw each other every other weekend. But it was only in 2007, eleven years since we’d known of each other, that we were able to become friends and reach a point in our friendship where it was okay to meet or talk to each other without the rest of our friends present

I had spent most of my teenage years thinking about how awesome it would be if I actually ended up with him.  When I finally married him, it was like a dream come true.

So that evening in February 2013, in our hotel room in Thekkady, Kerala, when I logged on to Facebook, I changed my last name. As a one-week anniversary present for my husband, I became Nikita Kamath.

Here’s the thing, though. Except on Facebook, I have always been ‘Azad’ everywhere else – my passport, driving license, and even on Twitter and Instagram. I even stuck to my old e-mail address, but that was more out of convenience. I had no plans to do a Social Media overhaul.

It was all fine until Kritika and I decided to work together as The Azad Sisters, because that’s who were are. We’re sisters with Azad as our last name. It’s what we identify ourselves with.

For us, for me, Azad – Urdu for ‘independent’ & ‘free’ – is more than a last name. It defines me – my spirit, my personality, my being.

That’s why, I decided to go back to ‘Azad’ on Facebook.

No, I haven’t fought with Sandeep (he’s the husband, by the way.)
No, I’m not mad at him, and this is certainly not my way of getting back at him for something he did. (That would be so HIGH SCHOOL!)
No, there’s definitely no trouble in our marriage.

I’m doing this because:
a)      Technically, Azad is still my official last name.
b)      My husband calls me ‘Oye Azad!’ *so much loves* :)
c)       I can’t be one of The Azad Sisters if I’m not an Azad.

But I am. I have always been and always will be.

Here’s to being free; to being ‘me.'

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