Her Namesake

by shz

Hehey, how do you like the new theme? Nice to get away from the striking green for now.

The other day we were just doing our normal rounds at a shopping mall when Fakhrul bumped into his old friend from high school. Naturally they were all talking in their accent which even up till now I still find hard to understand when they talk so quickly. But you gotta love the difference it brings, when the Kedahans talk to each other they can make even the simplest subject seems so interesting and happening, with hang here and hang there, and the ups and downs of the intonations. Well, especially the ups. Heh.

So obviously it was the first time this friend of his met Daisy, and he asked Fakhrul her name.

“Nama pa?”

“Daisy. Daisy Sibylla.”

“Hah?! Betui ka? Awat Daisy?”

What do you mean awat Daisy? It was as if we ran out of other good names. And recently our company were lucky enough to be associated with Nightingale Associates from UK for this one massive competition to build a medical city in Johor. Two of their directors came down to Malaysia and we invited them over to our place for dinner and Paul, one of them met Daisy for the first time.

“Aww. Look at you baby girl. What’s her name?”

“Daisy.”

“Daisy? Now that’s not very Malaysian is it?”

“Well, daisy is daisy in Malay, so Daisy it is!”

Well, its true. You think I didn’t google it before I named her?! Of course I did.

I don’t have great stories to tell behind the name of my daughter. It doesn’t really posses any great meaning behind it except for her second name which means ‘the guider’. I really didn’t want to name my child of some great long name with big meanings but in the end ended up calling her of some other nickname. A shorter version or in my case a totally different one. And I could name a few of my friends’ but that would be very insensitive of me. They say every time people call you by your name, that it is a prayer to you. But really, how often do you call someone by their full name? So, as soon as I found out she’s a she, I immediately attracted to the idea of naming her after a flower, something directly related to a female. Simply enough my favorite flower are the daisies, truthfully. I used to buy them, arrange them in a vase and put it by my window, especially the white ones. It sounds nice and is not totally weird. There have been people with that name. We gave it a good thought. Doctor Daisy. Cikgu Daisy. Cik Daisy. Puan Daisy. Ustazah Daisy. Miss Daisy. Ir. Daisy. Ar. Daisy. Datin Daisy. Yeah, sounds alright all of them.

And we even rehearsed dialogues before she was born.

“Daisy, come here to daddy.”

“Ma, Daisy tak nak jadi arkitek, Daisy nak jadi doktor.”

Yeah, doesn’t sound bad.

When I suggested it, Fakhrul thought it was a joke and being pregnant and miserable, he led me on for few weeks before she was born. We just called her baby when she was still in me, I started calling her Daisy already on the first day. I think for the first one week of her, Fakhrul was so unsure how to deliver the news of our newborn’s name. Everytime he told people, he needed to justify it, which I find very annoying. If people ask me why, I just either answer “why not?” or “just because”.

Delivering the news to the parents was the hardest. My dad was like,”You’re kidding right?” and my mother even dared suggested a totally different name for her – it wasn’t even a flower! One of my aunty teased the first three times she met her, calling her Daisy margarine. (You know, there’s a margarine brand called Daisy? Not even just that, I think there’s a lot of cleaning products under a brand called Daisy too.)Β  My mother in law was like, “What shall I call you? Sibyilla? Bella?” I think it felt so weird to her to even utter Daisy to her. The only person who immediately loved the name was my sister, naturally, being young and hip like me. She was jumping with joy as if I just solved the biggest problem in the world. I gotta give it to her for defending my choice while a lot of people responded with a frown in the beginning.

But time passed and she’s over 9 months now. Obviously people won’t say it that you’ve made a biggest mistake of your life naming your child that, but the amount of compliments are not bad either. The most common I hear is that how much the name suited her. Especially when they see pictures of her smiling like that. Even when they hear the word daisy, they associate with good things in their mind. Wikipedia said daisies represent pureness of heart. Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail said they’re the friendliest flower and Tom Hanks my hero agreed. And everybody loves Marc Jacob’s Daisy yes?

I’m so happy, that now even Fakhrul’s 80-something years old grandmother calls and pronounce Daisy correctly. And my 4 year old nephew Adam too. Like Day-zee. Not De-si. Well now I can’t imagine her of any other names. Even those who found it hard to digest in the beginning said that the name suits her well, admitted I got it right. Now everybody loves that name. I just hope that one day when she grows up and finally understand what daisy is, she will love it too. Just like I have always do.

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