I. Introduction

If you were to go to Google, click on the more link located within the dark grey toolbar of the homepage, scroll down to Translate, then proceed to set the translator from English to Hindi, type in the adjective “silky” into the text box area afterwards, click on Translate on the right side of “Hindi”, and then click on the Listen button under the Hindi script, you will hear a lady’s birdlike voice chirp, “RAY- SH - ME.”

I often wondered why my parents chose “Reshmi” to be my name. In Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu, “Reshmi” is commonly used to describe hair. I have dark hair - a black color that accentuates my west Punjabi ancestry and a dark brown color that gets lighter during the summer so that you can clearly distinguish the golden strands from the black ones. This hair is naturally curly and thus prone to being dry. Not surprisingly then, there are not many times when my hair is silky soft and uniform in texture.

With that said, whenever I was stressing about bad hair days or life in general within this past academic year, I would listen to old Hindi film songs. You could say it was a phase. Every time I studied, I would youtube a song I knew and then click on the suggested videos until after hearing enough songs, I would come to know which were my favorite. Most of the songs I favored were sung by Mohammed Rafi.

In full honesty, his song “Yeh Reshmi Zulfein” was what won me over. Hearing your name, pronounced correctly, and in song form no less is legit, yo -

Actually, a lot of the lyrics in his songs had “reshmi” in it…

Mohammed Rafi - fellow Punjabi that he was, I came to remember, is one of my father’s all-time favorite singers. How did that skip my mind?

Epiphany! My dad got my name from Mohammed Rafi’s songs!

No. No, he didn’t. According to my parents, they simply decided that it was a unique and pretty name for their baby girl- the only girl to carry the Oberoi surname till date.

I still don’t know how I feel about my name. I like the uniqueness of it, (even though I discovered a Pakistani TV sitcom “Reshmi” a few years back). I think the biggest concern with my name was the sound of it. To me, ironically, “Reshmi” does not sound very fluid or silky in nature. I do prefer it to the all too common “Reshma”, that’s for sure. However, I have a strong leaning toward “Resham” - that my friends, sounds pretty.

Whatever the reason for my name, I’m giving my name a definition and have been for twenty-one years, (wow- I sound so contemplatively old), and will continue to do so (and yet so contemplatively young).

Being Silky.