My friend went on a sojourn to India, and upon her return, she decided to re-identify herself with a new name. ‘Susan’, from Indiana, now wants to be ‘Padma’. She now re-identifies with the lotus flower, the sacred National flower of India, which symbolizes purity, beauty, majesty, grace, fertility, wealth, richness, knowledge and serenity. No matter how much she identifies herself with India, she isn’t from India. She’s from Indiana. Yoga class after yoga class, I keep referring to her as ‘Susan’. She corrects me, and I still get it wrong. I ask, “ Why Padma?” She responds, “I am now pure again… Padma represents Purity.” And I remember her tears over the last five ex-boyfriends, and question the ‘purity line’. She shrugs. I suggest other names that represent purity. ‘Blanche’, the name associated with whiteness and purification. Or ‘Lily’, the other flower -name that is the symbol of purity and innocence. Or ‘Candida’, the color associated by Christians for purity and salvation.” [We agree Candida might be a bad choice.] I then say, “I already know three other white women that are named Padma.” And she concurs that Padma is popular name and yet accepts this with a kind twinkle as so goes into headstand without any struggle.
I’m wondering, why are so many white women named Padma? If you have an answer, please write a comment and let me know. I would love to hear it!