call me ra.

My birth name is legendary.

Sri Radha, Source
Sri Radha, Sourc

In terms of the spirit of the name, I think the Western world equivalent would be Guinevere.   When you hear it, you never just hear the name.  You hear the beloved story.

You might think of True Love, or Treasure, or Great Misfortune, or Mischief, or Lady Warrior Spirit, or maybe even Betrayal — but it all depends on how you heard the oft-tired tale and what you think of the players.

My name is Radhika.


I think it’s a very pretty name, but it can be a mouthful and it’s easily mispronounced, so I have really never gone by it.

The classically-shortened moniker is Radha or Radhe.  I’ve been called both my whole life.  The “dh” is a soft sound, and Radha is pronounced the way Americans think British people say the word “rather”.  This is the name I used through school because it was the simplest, safest version.


Life happened then– furiously and fabulously.  I started working and became known as RJ.  My nephew was born and called me Rara.  I married Dave and my last name changed socially — if not legally — and the J part of “RJ” ceased making sense.  Then, he changed his name.   My last names switched rapidly here, too– Jaini, Martinez, Queen. I started a blog, based off a nickname which was based off the nickname of a nickname.  I went to prison and Rara was shortened to Ra by my favorite correctional officer.  My husband liked it and absorbed it fully.  It was the last word he said to me.


Each variation of my name is sprinkled with happy memories and painful memories and I use them at random, depending on whatever seems most efficient.  I answer phones as R.J., and introduce myself to bankers and officers as Radhika.  I call myself Ra, and tell others to call me Rara or Radha.   I don’t actually use Rarasaur in real life at all, except in stories where I’m talking about the louder piece of my personality or my blog, but wouldn’t that be fun on a business card?


The truth is: I don’t care what you call me.  I really don’t.  You are you, and who I am to you is singular to our relationship. 


There are feelings wrapped up in my names, of course.  Big ones.  Potent ones.  But they flash and they fizzle, and I don’t feel them for more than a micro-fractured millisecond.


Radhika is a beautiful name, but it hasn’t been mine since I stopped wearing bows in my hair.  No one knows how to pronounce it and it’s a little more everything than I am.

This is Radhika.


Radha doesn’t bug me one iota.  It’s a compromise name.  It was invented for the General You to be able to refer to the Obvious Me.  It’s a safe name for those afraid of syllables or the less-than-obvious me.  At some point in my life, it was very important to offer people that tether.  It matters less now.

This is Radha.


R.J. is catchy, easy to spell, and basically meaningless.  It often reminds me of the man who came up with it– the one who sent me to prison and hurt my heart, but mostly it reminds me of why I bear no ill-will towards him.

This is R.J.


No one likes saying Rara, it seems.  It’s a little too childish, fanciful, and nonsensical.  This is Rara.


And this is Ra.

Balloon Girl, by Banksy
Balloon Girl, by Banksy


People keep asking me to pick, and I keep explaining that I’m a little bit of all these names all the time. I feel like the fancy of Rara sharpened against the reality of RJ. I feel like the wild colors of those leftovers– muted by the comforting compromise of Radha and then darkened to the highest contrast by the extravagance of Radhika.

Right now, I feel like Ra.

It’s a little sad.  A lot darker, more gritty.  It’s smaller, sharper, and its permanence is radical and imprinted.  It’s fragile in a way that suggests I’m barely holding onto my last syllable.

But to me, it’s a victory, because “barely” doesn’t count when it comes to living.  We do or we don’t– and no matter how dark or flattened I’ve become– I am still holding on.

So if you can’t find the name that suits who I am to you– call me Ra.
I’ve earned it.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


If you could change my name to anything, what would you change it to? Do I call you the right name or would you prefer something different? Do you like balloons as much as I do? (Does anyone?)

173 thoughts on “call me ra.

  1. I was called Susan at birth (should have a been a David, so they had to pick quick…). Sue has stuck by me through thick and thin. Susie or Lucy to my family (except when I’m in trouble…) and Suzanne, which I loved, to the french contingent. Each name carries its own memories, its own colours., strengths and frailties. But the ones I like best aren’t really names.. ‘Mum’ and ‘Little Grub’ ( don’t ask… 🙂 ) but do you know, I don’t think I think of myself by any name… I hadn’t realised…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. 🙂 Yes, exactly. I didn’t really ever think of myself by any name either. It’s a running joke that I’ll answer to any name if you call it in my general direction (PTSD from being one of six kids, no doubt!). I was Durga till the day I was born, so Radhika was a quick pick for me too– it suits. In its own little way. :

      Sue fits well for the person I know, but of course, we all only know dimensions of each other– still, I rather like it for you. 😀

      Names are so odd. Having them. Wearing them. Holding them. Giving them, getting them… everything about them is strange. They’re like… puffins.


  2. What a beautiful name!
    I do the same with my name. My name is Rhiannon, but I tell people to call me Rhio, mostly because they always shorten it to “Rhi” and I hate that so much. It sounds so sharp compared to my full name and doesn’t represent it in the way I’d like. I think vowels sound nicer, so to me being British, Ra doesn’t sound sharp.

    My brother wrote a birthday card out to me one year and called me Rhio, and it stuck. I tend to use it now when I feel good, the good parts of me, I think Rhio suits that a lot, whereas I tend to associate Rhiannon with some negative aspects of my life. “She was the person the bad things happened to”, “She is the name the doctors call”. However, I do really like Rhiannon, it’s a name from really old celtic stories from where I am from (Wales, UK).
    I love all your names! They are beautiful.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. How wonderful. Rhio is so wonderfully! Distinct and soft, like a sunset over a particular beach, or the way a specific tree sheds her leaves. I like it very much.

      Yes, full names take the bulk of the brunt– all legal and hospital woes tend to get hurled at those full-government-names. Ours have held up well, though, I think– perhaps it’s the myth buried in their letters?

      Thanks for sharing the story of your names. They are wonderful. 😀


  3. When you come up in conversation here (lovingly, of course), it’s always: “Rara–I mean, Ra” over and over again. Because you call yourself “Ra,” that’s what it seems right to call you … but because you were “Rara” to us before, that’s the name that rolls off our tongues first. Both feel right to me, just as both really do feel different.

    It took me a while getting used to calling my best friend “Mackenzie.” She’d always been “Lisa” before. And now, a few years later, calling her “Lisa” feels about the same as calling her “Tim.” (Whose idea was Lisa, anyway?!)

    My mom used to hate it when anyone called me Deefy. “I didn’t give you that name!” (But she didn’t give me Deborah, either; my dad did.) I’m always Deefy in moments of both whimsicality and plainly spoken truth. It feels right to my heart, though I wouldn’t understand it as being spoken at me if I heard it at work. It doesn’t fit there.

    Deborah is for moments where strength and judiciousness are needed, and Deb when I just can’t be bothered with the extra syllables. D is what my Buffy friends call me. Debbie is the name used by people who don’t know me but find me upbeat; I used to correct them gruffly, but now take it as a sign they don’t see me as cheerless as I see myself.

    They all work, in the right place … not that I’d ever thought it before now.

    Whatever name I utter for you, it’s spoken with both love and respect. Yes, you’re light and airy in some ways, but you’re rough and clear and solid in others. All of it’s freeing to sit beside, no matter the name affixed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t mind Rara at all. I love that some people are fearless in saying it. It doesn’t matter if it sounds childish to them… they still rock it. Dani just called me Rara in a post, and I loved her for being able to say it with the sunlight I feel in it — And Goldy called me Rarasaur like it was a perfectly normal thing, and it is when she does it. A perfectly wonderful normal thing:

      It all works. Just as you say, and just as you explained about your names. 😀 I love them all, but you’re Deb to me because of the oh-so-substance-packed way we first met. Elegant, I believe it’s called. 🙂

      Thanks for understanding. 😀 And for packing so much love in whatever name you use for me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love Rarasaur. It’s one of the reasons I started following you, I think, but that was so long ago I can’t remember for sure. (I just happen to like dinosaurs a lot, which is how I came up with my own blogging name, plus I consider myself “old.”) I also like Radhika a lot, and I’m happy to know your true birth name at last! I never liked my birth name (which is, in fact Domingo.) It’s Spanish for Sunday. I am, in fact (ancestry wise) Swedish, Irish, French and English, and I was born on a WEDNESDAY!!! So in other words, my name has absolutely nothing to do with who I really am, I suppose. But my mom chose it for some reason, and I loved my mom, so now that I’m older I’ve learned to sort of live with it. (I think we all do.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I consider myself old, too– random! Also, dinosaurs are awesome, Domingo is a great name and has always been one of my favorites. Seriously. 🙂

      I love the story of your name, it makes me like it even more. As if I could like another blogging dinosaur even more… but look, I could and I did and I do. 😀 *hugs*

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I first tried to change my name when I was 4. From Ann to Anthea, because you can’t shorten Ann and I thought Thea was cool.
    When I grew up, or was discovering that I wasnt so grown up, I met people who changed their names from plain and common anglo saxon to guru given spiritual names. Why not? I thought, but that wasn’t me either.
    So after 2 children with 2 men and a roomate who insited on Deb-Bore_ah instead of Debrah, I found something in between that suits me fine.
    I’ve always told my kids that they can pick another name if the ones we gave them didn’t sit right. After all, they hear it most often. So they have tried (on facebook only) things such as Jade China, Mirkat, and Charlie Rae, but so far they prefer the ones they were given.
    I have always found the story of names to be most facinating and used to start infant massage classes by asking parents how they chose their childs name. It showed me how much care often goes into the choosing even before the child takes her first breath.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Names are fascinating! I often wonder if we flux to our names, or if our names come to us. I love that you offered your children the space to find their own… my parents did the same, but our names stuck. All 19000 variations that we came up with. 🙂 Name stories ARE fascinating. I also love how people perceive other names… like I’ve never heard the BORE in Debrah, but I’ll listen for it now. 😉

      So what do you go by now??

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I wouldn’t ever presume to change your name Rara. 🙂 I know you as Rara. I don’t know how others ‘think’ it or say it. But when I think or say your name, as I know you, I pronounce it in my mind and my speech as RARE-A. You are rare. Special. Unique. We all are. But your name, in my thoughts, says so. I appreciate the differences in your names. And how they ‘feel’. My name isn’t it’s self changed, but I have many nicknames from many aspects of my life. And they all have different and good sentiments to them. But some make me feel better than others. ❤ You will always be Rara to me. Because you are. But I also don't mind using whatever name you feel is more you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, yay! 😀 I love that you call me Rara. I love the WAY you call me Rara. It’s the best ever. *hugs* I love the solidity and smoothness of your name.. it reminds me of your doodles. Deliberate. Joyful.

      And thinking of all that reminds me how glad I am to know you.

      Thank you. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I am James Bond Bear, named after my favorite secret agent. I introduce myself as ‘Bear, James Bear,’ but everyone except my parents usually calls me “Bear”. (Daddy calls me “James” and Mommy calls me “baby bear” except when she’s angry, and then she uses all three of my real names.) I don’t really care what I’m called since I want to get used to using all sorts of names before I grow up and become double-oh-bear.

    My absolute second favorite thing to do is set balloons free and watch them float away, soaring to the heavens. One of these days I’m going to get a bunch of balloons and go with them to see where they go when they’re freed…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re 00Bear to me now, forever. It’s linked in my mind. 😉 I love your balloon idea. Maybe if you have the space, you’d let a little dinosaur go along for the ride as well? xo!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t normally have anything to do with girls ’cause they got cooties! But you’re a dinosaur, so that’s different. You can go anywhere with me you want, Ra…


  8. It’s hard to mess up Erica. E is a nice online moniker, and occasionally it bleeds into real life (which sometimes startles me – so unexpected!). My stepmom calls me by my first and middle name, so some part of me is always going to be Erica Jane, and that part of me is softer and quieter and loves big skies more than Just Erica does.

    When I refer to you I say Rara (mom pronounces it Rare-a 🙂 ) because that’s the first name I ever knew you by, but in my head you are a hummingbird drawn around a thumbprint, you are something happy and yellow and you are thousands of brightly-colored balloons.
    A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, and a blogger/dino by any other name is just as frightfully wondrous and incredibly beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, I love that your mom says Rare-a. Many do. And I love that you say Rara. You’re my little blog sister, I just told someone– and you can call me whatever name you please. We met as E & Rara and so we shall be even if we eventually leak over into other names… It’s the ampersand there that really matters, after all. 😀 xo!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I like “Ra” I really do!
    My mom screwed my name up from the get-go by naming me DiAnne. Yes, that is Di, Capital A, two n’s and an e. So immediately I was “Di” and no one ever used the two n’s so I was Diane. Then when it became apparent I was a total clown in grade school it became “Ding”. It’s been various things since then but mostly my friends just call me “D” so that’s what I’m most comfortable with.
    Just “D”

    and, Thanks for asking! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😀 Thank you! Just “D” is wonderful, especially since now I know that letter has absorbed both the heritage and humor of your previous names. I like that our names keep getting shorter and shorter… haha, pretty soon we’ll just be sounds! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I go by many names to different sets of people as well. It’s okay. They all suit us in a way. I’m Daydreams here mainly due to my past issues with privacy, but now, (over the past few months events,) I’m not sure what’s in the cards.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What’s in the cards? Anything we want. I have it on good authority. 😀

      I like Daydreams, chica, because it suits you so well– necessary and yet luxurious. ❤ But as I type that, I realize that… actually, your real name is rather like that, too– how marvelous!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I do loooove your real name Radhika. It sounds magical. Also, I love Rarasaur. I think I’ve always switched between Rarasaur, Ra or Dino Lady, haha. I’ve used Rara, but for me pronouncing it is a bit…I wouldn’t say difficult, but it sounds like I’m a tiny dino in my head and then I have to laugh and when I laugh, I forget what I was saying and then I’m having a proper Dory (Finding Nemo) moment haha.

    As for me, I’ve always like my name Tahira, but there were days where I wished that my first name was my second name, which is Lativa. For the longest of time, I want to have a short cool name (Remember Full House and DJ?) and TJ became it. I mostly used this in the fanfiction I wrote with my friend, but I wasn’t called this in real life. When I started blogging I figured it’d be a great way to just use the name TJ, but as time past, it became a part of me and now people call me that. To answer your question, you can call me whatever you like :). I’ve friends that switch between TJ, Teej, T and Tahira and I’ve friends that mostly call me by a nickname that they have picked for me based on stories or things I did. I don’t have a preference at all and you can call me whatever you like. ^_^

    Ohhh I’ll stop rambling as it’s really bed time for me! *waves*

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I do love Tahira. I always want to type it, but I never remember if it’s a secret-identity-name. So I end up with TJ which is adorable (Oh yes, I so remember DJ. She was great! Haha!) .. but Tahira is more magical. Like you.

      And yep, go to bed, beautiful girl, tomorrow is a big full day of sparkle and magic and you have to be ready to paint it glittery for the rest of us. 😀

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ohh you can always call me Tahira or type it haha. I do like the idea of it being a secret-identity-name, haha. So fun! And we’re both magical. I love that ^_^

        Gosh. I just noticed I left typos in my previous comment as well. This should teach me not to leave comments when I have to go to bed haha! Thank you for adding sparkle and magic in my days as well ^_^ *bows*


      1. Ciaooo Sparkle! TJ is indeed my artist name and I like it that you see it as fun and funky and that Rara sees it as adorable. It fits my characters as well, I think? ^_^

        I’ll always be your Apfel, just like you are always my Sparkle!! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

    1. 😀 I’m a Virgo, through and through… August 27th. I think the sign fits because, no matter what anyone calls me, they’re all taking care of the same ‘ol me. I think I’m pretty much the same person everywhere I go. For better or worse! :/

      I’m excited to check out your post. Thank you for sharing it!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Noelle likes Rara, and Ra. She doesn’t think Rara is too kid like, and she likes Ra because of what it means to you. 🙂 and you HAVE earned it! I like all the names too although I can’t imagine I would ever use RJ. . Like you I don’t think I can pick. I got used to writing Radhika on the letters I wrote and I really do think it is most lovely. But I love Rara and Ra too. You have earned it. When I read that part aloud as I often do so Noelle and I can share, it brought tears to both our eyes because we remember the letter where you earned it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, Noelle is a beautiful thinker… and, I suppose I can say I earned all my names. I love being called what hits a chord with the person calling it. I think there’s something wondrous about that. Having someone look at you, and know you by just the right word– the ones that brings up images of you in their mind. 🙂

      Whichever y’all decide, thank you. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I like your unusual attitude, Ra. Seems most people would be less forgiving of someone who sent them to prison. So maybe another good name for you would be “Rare”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eh, hard feelings don’t help anyone, least of all me. It’s a good quick little name– and those two letters are faultless in the whole thing. 🙂 More than anything else, maybe.

      Rara means rare in Latin, actually… that just happened by chance! 🙂

      Thank you for reading, Glazed. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, shoot. That was lovely. I missed your brand of poke-you-in-the-eye charm, X, I most sincerely did.

      I love that you want to call me Rara. That makes it absolutely perfect. 🙂


  14. My birth name was Carol. I don’t remember ever liking it and I cringe when I see it now. I was very excited to be able to let it go by asking my guru, Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi), to name me. I really love the name she gave me, Karuna. I generally pronounce it the American way, or else people would have a hard time pronouncing it. In fact, I even have a hard time pronouncing it the way it is supposed to be pronounced myself, although I’m getting better at it since I’m taking Sanskrit classes where the students are almost all Indian!

    I could certainly pronounce Radhika although I have a hard time associating you with that name. I’ve only known you for a short time, but Rara and Ra are the ones that seem to best fit the glimpses of you I’ve seen during that time!

    I love your posts!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The very outskirts of me suit the name “Radhika” perfectly. I think if you saw me at a distance, then it would work. It has a sort of intricacy to it that sometimes applies. But the insides of me… oh, no, they’re not quite that delicate. They’re silly and fiery, but not delicate. 🙂

      I love that you can pronounce Radhika and the fact that you’re learning sanskrit, and the whole story of your name. Karuna is perfect for your spirit. Amma is wise in many ways. I can pronounce it correctly, but I admit I pronounce it the American way in my mind. I haven’t the slightest idea why! 🙂

      My middle name was guru-gifted, too — Atma Ram. 🙂 The world is a sort of amazingly connected place!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, the connections are amazing.

        I enjoyed seeing the different pictures you picked to represent your different names. It would also be fun to see photographs of the real you that fit your various names! But maybe that would spoil the mystery of imagining what you might look like! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

            1. I’m glad you’re on Instagram now, Karuna. I’m a little selfie-obsessed lately because I didn’t have a chance to take any pictures of anything for a long time, but eventually I’ll settle into fun stuff once again. Till then, I’ll be following you! 😀

              Liked by 1 person

  15. The part about the nickname of a nickname tickled me. I actually wrote a post about that a while back too, regarding, of all things, my cats…because the names we give them almost never end up being the names we CALL them, and in some cases, unless I were to detail the thought process, you you might not be able to discern how we came up with the nicknames at all. Our Bengal’s name is Chloe, but we call her Bizzy. 🙂
    I understand why people ask you to pick one, only because it feels weird to me to be allowed to decide what name to call someone by. But I think of you as Rara. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the name Rara. I just don’t like that feeling of uncomfortableness people have when speaking it. I want my name to be spoken with happiness, or ease and love.

      You’re so right about cats! Flash & Perdita are just Flash & Perdita, but every other cat I’ve had has had nicknames that make NO sense whatsoever without several long, rambly stories being told. 😀 Bizzy, eh. That sounds like a wonderful nickname for Chloe, haha. 😀

      Thank you for choosing, and reading… and ya know, existing and loving cats. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Well … I’m still getting acquainted with you, but if it’s okay I’m going to stick with Rara. To me it sounds like a soft friendly growl, not necessarily limited to two syllables – Rarararawrr works too… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, rararawwwwr! I love it. 😀 And it makes me happy to think of a soft friendly growl whenever I see you use it. 😀 Thank you… what do you prefer being called?


  17. I was always confused when Matthew will tell people that he doesn’t have a preference in what they call him (Matt or Matthew). I wanted to say, “it’s YOUR name!”

    Then I realized that it probably came from me being called the wrong name constantly. Jeanette =Janet, Jennifer, Annette, Janetta, etc (and don’t get me started on the spelling! :-D)

    My name doesn’t lend itself to any real nickname that I like either. My name on my blog profile was really just me making a silly joke from a Ramones song. Legally, I want to change my first name to make it more difficult for certain people to find me, but I don’t know what to change it to. My last name I changed back after my divorce. I liked having a unique last name, but given the circumstances and his job, people thought they “knew” me through him and I needed to break the association.

    I’ll call you whatever you want, because any and all those monikers =friend 🙂 just let me know which you prefer! (though, your contact information in my address book is ‘Rararararara!’ )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think Rarararara is ideal. 😉 I would like to see you introduce me as such at a dinner party, haha! 😀

      But no, seriously– call me however. Only you know how you see me. And any of the names is fine. And I trust you because no matter what you say, I hear “friend”. 🙂

      (P.S. I am confident the perfect name will come to you. And Matthew is Matthew to me because I dunno. 😀 )


  18. You’ll always be Rara to me. Because it’s a special name for a special woman. 🙂 As for my name, Jackie, when I was growing up most adults wanted to call me Jacqueline and I would have to correct them. It’s Jackie…middle name Lynn…two names. My mom thought Jacqueline was too difficult for a little kid to spell so she cut it in two. At one time, I hated the name and wanted everyone to call me Lynn, only because my sister is called by her middle name. Now, I like it. I’m not sure if it suits me, but I like it. Just don’t call me Jack….I’m not a Jack. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jackie. 😀 I would never call you Jack, haha, especially not now. But Jackie Lynn has a certain ring to it. 🙂 I like the break between the usually linked name… it sort of gives a permanently youthful flair to a very grownup name.


  19. I have two names, my first and my middle. All my friends and family call my middle name, but in a professional setting it is always my first name.
    It’s funny, but I kind of like the separation

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand completely. The separation in names almost gives you room to stretch into that name… and what it is to be THAT name. It’s a good thing to have many names, I think. 😀

      Thank you for sharing a piece of your name story. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  20. It’s pretty hard to shorten or change Lisa, and that name suits me just fine. My family and very close friends call me Lis and my brother and dad call me Sis, or Dad calls me Pup sometimes. (Fitting for a future veterinarian 🙂 when I was a kid.) I have a lot of Indian friends and learned very quickly that the “t” is a soft “th” and so the “dh” must even be softer. Radhika is a beautiful name and I got the pronunciation right before you explained it!
    So E said I pronounce it Rare-a and yes that’s how it sounds in my head…and NOT childish AT ALL. More like a rare precious stone or anything beautiful and resilient. When she first said Rara like rawr-a it took me a minute to realize she was saying your name! hahahah Love names and how meaningful they and all of their variations are depending on who is speaking them, who gave them to use and in what context they are spoken. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, exactly! Context and meaning fluctuate so brilliantly with names. I love the distance a simple word can go, but then– what else can be expected from something that is supposed to describe a complex human in a few short sounds?! I love that Pup has followed you into your future, haha… 😀 Dr. Pup. Yep, you’re going to do juuuust fine. 🙂



  21. I like Ra. I went to call you Ra in another comment recently because Michelle had referred to you that way in a letter I’d received from her. Somehow it stuck, and seemed just right. But then I stopped myself and called you Rara. As you say, barely doesn’t count when it comes to living, so Ra it is. Ra is also the Egyptian Sun God. How fitting! 🙂
    Alison xox

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How wonderful. 😀 I’m glad the name resonated with you. It resonates with me. ❤ And I'm glad Michelle wrote back to you. She's a bright spirit! Thank you Alison… for being so adaptable to my adaptations! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m a Virgo too. Adaptable is our middle name 🙂
        I’ve been through so many name changes it would take a whole blog post to write about it. Can you believe I was once Lynette Ethel Alison Louise Cayzer, known as Lynne? Just the thought of it makes me chuckle. It was another person, another life.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I know. We have matching birthdays, right? 8/27? I cannot believe Lynette Ethel Alison Louise Cayzer… that’s a mouthful! It’s nearly as bad as Radhika Kumari Atma Ram Jaini, known as Ra. 😀

          Liked by 2 people

            1. Haha, well, I don’t know about one-upped.. you do have a Z in your name. That adds bonus points. Of course, I have several K’s. I think we’re about even.

              And of course I remember. 8/27 is usually a “bad luck” number to me, but over the last year or so I’d remind myself that it’s the day you were born… so it can’t be all that bad, right??

              Liked by 1 person

  22. Names fascinate me. I love them and their family origins. I love all your names (it’s lovely to know how to pronounce Radhika) and although I first came to know you as Rara, I’ve quickly taken to Ra. I think that’s how names should be – they should evolve. Most people call me Kate, some family friends (particularly those my parents’ age) call me Katie. My very nearest and dearest family call me Wally and people who don’t know me call me Kathryn. I have to really pay attention in waiting rooms because I often miss it when they call out my name! Only a handful of people call me Wally so if/when people find out it’s my nickname, they tend not to use it simply because it is strange and they don’t understand.

    Mostly, I’m happy for people to call me what feels right to them. Very occasionally, I get precious when someone I don’t know or dislike is being smarmy with my name – though, I’d guess they’d need permission to call me anything! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I knew names would be as fascinating to you as they are to me. I call you Wally in my mind, but Kate is what I type (and then delete) whenever I write something to you or about you (mostly because I don’t remember if Kate is a secret name, and not for the bulk of the ‘net to know – yes, despite the fact that it’s in the name that shows. I really don’t pay attention to anything but the words, obviously. 😀 ). Wally always made perfect sense to me.

      I don’t know too many people I don’t like, but if they got smarmy with my name, I’d probably grawr. In fact, the deputy in county jail who pronounced my name Raw-Dick-High-Knee (Radhika Jaini)– did make me grawr. Not that I was allowed to do it to her face, but still. Inside. FULL grawr.

      Friends, on the other hand, are allowed to smarm. 😀

      Thanks for telling your name tale here. I swear I’m made of curiosity. I needed to know! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  23. My given name is Kimberly Lynne, but only my Grandmother ever called me that; and then, only if she was really angry with me. (Of course, being Southern, it was “Keamh-buh-lee Le-yunh.”)
    I still flinch on hearing my full name, but it’s because I immediately think that I’ve been caught (for whatever) and am in deep crap.

    I think Radhika sounds magical, Rara is lovely and full of love and light and Rarasaur is a wonderfully whimsical creature. Ra is the Egyptian Sun god, so it’s a name of power, but maybe that’s what you need at this time? All your names are you and I think you pick the one that best suits who you are at whatever moment you feel like naming yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, “Caught (for whatever)”, 😀 That’s hilarious.

      I love your interpretation of the shifting names… and I definitely see the logic behind it. Maybe I do need a little bit of sun-god power right now. I sure hope it helps. 😀

      Thank you, Kim. xo!

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Of all the names I use the one I least prefer to use is my birth name, not out of shame or any related motive but the simple fact that the life I have under that simple four letter word is very different to how I project on the world as a Humble Shadow, Wordsmith or Bob (my fav and oldest alias)
    A name reflects many things, has a wieght as heavy as the life that hangs off it, and it evolves as yours has when it comes across different groups and situations
    A name can also chain us to the ideals people expect to see, perception of myself at work differs to the soul heavy depression that exudes from my words here and if the two perceptions were ever to collide…. An event I plan never to happen
    So call me what you will, within the digital empire I’m building I am many names except the one true word I was born with!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A name does carry so much with it. Mine are always light enough to float, though… so far! I think perhaps because they only encapsulate a tinge of me, instead of the all of me.

      Well, I think I might just call you Shadow, even though when I saw the options, I thought “Smith” would suit you quite well. 😀

      Thank you for your thoughts on names. I appreciate the insight… it made my brain sing. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, lovely lady. I think your name is beautiful, too. And so is “Jaded” actually, even though beautiful seems like an odd word for that word. Maybe it’s just because you’re beautiful?


      1. Thank you…I’m fugly…and here is why. I’m reading your comments and realizing you can’t just go anywhere. I wish those fers poop their beds every single night. It still won’t even the score. If I ever get back to Cali, I’m so visiting you and DJ.


  25. I’ve had a whole stack of nicknames over the years. At this point, there are still two that I answer to, both given me by people I remember fondly.
    At this point, I’ve learned to just not react when pezheads give me new nicknames.

    I like your names – they are melodic.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Haha, story of my life here…
    I totally got Ra when you said it was the correctional officer who first said it. Now I can really hear it.
    I normally talk about you with friends as Rarasaur, but that is because I’m talking about the personality, and the blogger. When I write you I usually use Rara, because it seems most natural but I know I wouldn’t be able to say it out loud because Rs in the middle of a word are hard for me. I have a number of Radhika friends so actually that is the easiest for me, but is not really your name anymore – I don’t want to be an official- never worked in an office…
    When I lived in the US most people pronounced my name wrong. I went to school with Americans but I worked mostly with Latinos. So Americans would normally call me Streejit, because it is closer to street and makes sense to them. But stri in malayalam means woman, so then the name becomes conqueror of women and was an inside joke that only I got. Latinos mostly called me sergit (or e-sergit) because it was closer to sergio, and I kind of thought that was cool. The funny thing is that in the US only I pronouced my name right but now in India I’m the only one who can’t pronounce it right. Because is some parts of India they say it the way that I say it like shrijit with an sh sound, but in the part of India where I’m living they say it with an s to r sound which I’m not able to make. So if I say my name in my normal way they’ll act as if they can’t understand but will get it with some humbling embarrassment on my part, but if I try to say it in the local way then it just comes out as something completely different. One person called me Sweet -jit for like 6 months. I thought he was just making fun of me but then he heard someone else call my name and he understood that he was just mistaken all this time. Luckily it is a big community here and I know everybody by now so I don’t have to introduce myself, but when we’re traveling and someone asks my name I always tense up…
    So when we eventually meet, what am I gonna call you in person?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I say it with the s-r sound that you’re talking about. Should I adjust to the shree? I want to be prepared for our future, unplanned tea date… where you can call me Radhika because I do appreciate the name when it’s said just right. Or Ra… because I have a feeling that’ll be the name I call myself for a long while.

      The Sweet-jit story made me laugh. I’m going to have to drop it into normal blog conversations now. “He’s such a sweetjit.” 😉 Just know that I mean it lovingly. 😀

      I know it’s awful to say, but I’m sort of glad someone else understands the struggle of a name that never quite settles in as comfortably as it should. 🙂 *hugs* Thanks for empathizing and sharing your story!

      Liked by 1 person

          1. I lived in the Bay Area for 16 years at Amma’s San Ramon ashram, but last 6 years I’ve been permanent in India… I’ll probably come in about 4 years when my visa expires and go for Amma’s US tour. She goes to San Ramon, and LA. Maybe we can visit during the LA programs time… Oh shoot, since you are a felon now does that mean you can’t get a passport? My dad can’t come to India, because he was in jail like 30 years ago. Rediculous.

            Liked by 1 person

  27. So I didn’t see anyone say this, so I guess I will be the first – can we call you She-Ra ( 😀

    I think your full name sounds lovely, I say think because I can only pretend to hear it. This is one of those posts where it would be neat to have an audio bit with the pronunciation. It is interesting how you compartmentalize each name depending on the situation, which makes a lot of sense actually. It is kind of like a reset button for the brain to behave a certain way when needed. That is a very useful skill you’ve developed.

    Anyway, my name is Brad or Bradley. I like both. Yup… I’m boring. I think Bradley is from a foreign language meaning boring (actually it means ‘broad’ which is also apt).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She-Ra! That’s so wonderful! I was stalling on replying to this comment because I was going to post myself speaking a portion of my post on Instagram, but then… long story short: pie.

      I like your way of looking at my strange name collection as a survival skill. You’re probably spot on.

      This will most likely not make you love your name more, but it makes me light up whenever I see it… and will also explain that you’re always Bradley to me, never Brad… you see, Bradley has an anagram. DRYABLE! I haven’t the slightest idea why that cheers me up as much as it does, but it does. I sometimes even blow kisses at the screen when I see your name. True story. Maybe it’s because my name does nothing nearly as fun?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. dryable – ahahaha. Well brad does have the anagram of drab but that’s not as fun as dryable. 😀

        What do you mean your name is not as fun? You have balloons and dinos associated with your name, totally fun.

        My name appreciates the kisses but is rather shy so has found itself blushing. Definitely a good thing, gets it out of its comfort zone. 🙂


  28. I appreciate your full given, your clipped version, what I’ve always known you as and the new one-syllable you, each and every, Rara. My mind has been in the Rare-a pronunciation gang from the start, by the way, but I also liked the feeling of the cheer-inspired Rah-Rah version that my head would go to when I was hoping for good things at tough times.

    I’ve been called Bialz and still hear Beels from various friends, but Mark works well for me too, Rara.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Each and every Rara appreciates your appreciation, too. D The Rah-Rah is how I’ve always said it, but I seem to be in the minority as more go for the Latin way… Rare-a, which is where my new email “” is based from — Rara avis means rare bird. And in a way, I am. Dinosaurs are rare birds, right? 🙂

      Mark is a great name, but Bialz is fun, too. I might just switch to that one… 😀 It’s peppy!


  29. I love all of the names you listed. I confess Radhika sounds fantastic, though I could see myself mispronouncing it. Besides, why not use what suits you at the time? They are all your names at all times. I have known you as Rara, and will continue to call you that if that is okay? I like Rara, and the fact that the image you associate with it Is clearly uplifting, and reminds me of the film Up, creative, imaginative, and brave, I like it a good deal.

    As to my nicknames? I have quite a few and they have evolved. One day I may list them as it is funny how they changed over time. For now, here, I am known as Niaaeryn, and it works for me. It is a bit of a privacy thing…for now. Have to be cautious being a woman on the Internet. Maybe I will brave it out and use my name in time, authors do after all have to be recognized to be followed in a good way, not a creepy way. Still, not there yet so it is not a big deal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m happy that Rara suits me to you, and I’m honored if you call me it– especially since it comes from such a happy place. 🙂 Names evolve for all of us, it seems, which makes me feel a little better about the rapid changes in my own name, haha. 😀

      I thought about the author thing myself. I think, should I actually complete this book I started, I might just use “Ra”. I don’t care for my actual last name, and using my husband’s… well. It makes me a bit sad. Maybe that will change when the time comes, but we shall see. I look forward to the day your successes fall on your doorstep and push a post about silly nicknames out! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. For the author thing I like Ra too. It is catchy for an audience, and maybe like Prince you could have a symbol but it would be cool because it would go with Ra and not confuse anyone as it is not like a sudden oh I am not Prince I am this symbol thing instead? Dunno but could be spiffy.
        I look forward to that day too, just have to get better at finding time and being more disciplined. It is getting there though so woot. 🙂


  30. Ra is also the ancient Egyptian sun god, so I think that’s an excellent name for you right now. You are in the process of rising again, of being reborn into the world.

    I like the way you equal your changing self with changes to your name. I’ve always been just Mary. There’s been a few nicknames and variations that include my middle name, but my name is pretty simple. I’m not really like my name, but I wouldn’t change it now for anything in the world. Besides, I’m way too old to learn how to write my signature again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😀 Thank you, Mary. I really do feel like I’m being reborn… what a wonderfully apt analogy! 🙂 “Just Mary” has always been fascinating to me, but maybe that purple adjective is what adds the first-impression-zing to it. I’ll never know now that I’ve already decided it’s the perfect name for you, haha. 😀 Thanks for adding to the conversation!


  31. My first name is really Nancy. For my 40th birthday I announced I didn’t want a birthday party I wanted a name changing ceremony and my friends obliged with a lovely ceremony in which we said good by to Nancy and hello to my middle name, Leigh. So I always feel people should get to be called the name they choose (although I let my relatives forget and call me Nancy — it reminds us all of how long we’ve walked together). Since I first knew you as Rara, that’s how I think of you but if you ever say you want something else I’ll do my best to make the switch.
    I adore balloons too. So much that when I bought a house a fabric artist friend of mine got a hot air balloon pattern and made me a big stuffed, hanging hot air balloon with a design I’d seen in meditation on it. I don’t know if you like them more or less but we do both love them apparently 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s genius! 😀 I love the source of happy energy behind you calling me Rara, and (here’s a Southern expression for you)… since I am happy with the roots, I have no complaints on the leaves.

      A stuffed hot air balloon sounds amazing! We had a huge digital frame, once upon a time, and Dave loaded it with hundreds of pictures of balloons… from the regular small ones, to animal-shaped ones, to hot air balloons. It was beautiful and we used to sit and drink tea, and watch the slides go by… yes. I love balloons and I’m glad it is a love we share!

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Whatever name you wish… whichever way you choose to go. It is, after all, your name. I’ve known one Radhika, but it didn’t end very well. She ended up with a Herbert. And Mina, with whom it also didn’t end up well, foreclosed on a Janice. When I write, I pull names out of the air without thinking, but after I’m done I always wonder if I should have chosen different ones. But by then it’s too late. Those names have been imprinted… those people exist (only they don’t). What’s in a name… we are, I suppose. And as you say, life happens fabulously and furiously, and onwards we go, our names following us everywhere like a cloud of butterflies.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. What a beautiful name and a great name evolution you’ve had. And they all fit you at various times, stages of your life. Wonderful.

    When I started first grade, I didn’t realize that my full, “real” name was “Elyse” — my family all called me “Leasie.” My then best friend, Margie, said she was “Margaret” from now on, because now she was a big girl. I figured I had to be and was “Elyse” (she told me that was my “real” name, too. And that is how I introduce myself.

    I hated it for years, because nobody could pronounce it, nobody could spell it. But I became determined that they would get it right!

    Now, I actually love the name, but am perfectly content when somebody shortens it. I automatically correct people, but generally don’t care if they mispronounce it or get it slightly wrong (although that happens less frequently as the name became more popular).

    But if anybody ever calls me “Elsie,” they go on my list. And it ain’t a nice list to be on!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love Elyse for you. And the way you spell it. It reminds me of my father’s tendency to spell everything “the french way”. 🙂

      And the story, haha, it’s marvelous! Isn’t it funny how small moments like that become the ripples that cause Big Shifts in our life? We all have Margaret’s in our childhood. Mine was named Aberline and she told me that we were odd ducks and plain janes and it was our job to be “perfectly alright with it”, and so I was. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  34. I tend to remember names the way I’m used to reading them, in your case I’ve always read about you as “Rara.”
    It’s funny because I went to a “gathering” of people from across the country that I’d previously known through Twitter. It was difficult not wanting to call them by their Twitter handles.
    Fannie F. isn’t my real name, it’s a name I found in a local directory from the 19th century. She was also an unmarried teacher, so I adopted the moniker.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The adopted moniker works quite well! I think she wouldn’t mind at all.

      For me, I tend to shift into whatever I call someone and forget all about internet privacy, so I tread carefully. None of my monikers were ever designed for internet safety, you see, so it’s a stretch for me to remember it’s a pressing concern for everyone else.

      The Twitter Gathering sounds fun!! It’s a blast to meet people from the ‘net. Literally one of my most favorite things to do! 😀

      And Rara is just fine… out of curiosity, in your head, do you say Rah-Rah or Rare-a?

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Mae is actually my middle name. Although it is beautiful, my first name lends itself too easily to misspelling and mispronunciation. For some reason, I hate the thought of people on the Internet getting it “wrong” in their heads when they read my blog posts. In real life, I can correct them; on the Internet, not so much. Thus, I use my middle name.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand that, it’s part of my hesitation with Radhika. 😀 Though I took mine to the real life, too– I got tired of thinking people were saying it all wrong in their heads! 🙂

      Mae is a lovely name, to hear — yes, of course– but also to see. The shape of it is quite nice, I think!


  36. I like Rara, to me you have been Rara for as long as I have followed you. I like Rara, it reminds me of music – some people when they are humming or what they call their non-singing-singing they rara!

    My birth name is long, people always misspell it or make it into new versions. Some of my half English friends started to call me Maggie, first I hated it but by the time I tried to get them to quit calling me Maggie – I had gotten so used to it that when I worked with different nationalities they were told to call me Maggie. I always wanted a short name like everyone else – so I guess Maggie does the job. Only problem is that no one would ever call me that in real life except my friends.


  37. My name is Rebecca. It’s a family name and I’ve always liked it. While I was growing up, my little brothers and sisters all called me Becca. When my siblings were being silly, they called me Ro-Bucket or grasshopper (which implied “crippled grasshopper” because I was a terrible dancer). I was Rebecca at school, though I secretly winced when some people called me “Ree-Becca” instead of “Ruh-Becca” . I had one or two friends who called me Bex, because they wanted to have their own special name that only they called me.

    When I went away to college, everyone called me Rebecca because my odd compulsive brain would not allow me to introduce myself by my nicknames–those were not my “real” name so it felt dishonest. But I answer to whatever people want to call me.

    My husband called me Babe pretty much as soon as we started dating. I hated it. To me, It sounded like what delinquent biker dudes called their girlfriends. I grew up watching Rogers and Hammerstein musicals and listening to my dad sing Barbershop music. I thought true loves were supposed to call their girls things like “Sweetheart” and “Darling”. But after 16 years, I’ve come to realize how much love is packed into that quick one syllable “babe”. I would miss it if he stopped calling me Babe now.

    Mostly, I am called Mom these days. I had even forgotten than I was ever called Becca. All my siblings are grown up now, and there were no babies who need to shorten my name to something easier. Recently I have nieces and nephews who call me Aunt Becca. I love it.

    Occasionally I will meet a new person and they will call me Becky a few times before they realize that everyone else calls me Rebecca. Though I was never called Becky when I was growing up, except occasionally by my dad, I always feel extra loved when someone calls me Becky. Maybe it’s because when my dad did call me Becky, he always hugged me to.

    I’ve always answered to whatever people called me, but I do feel like nicknames add a special something. When I have named my own children, I think a lot about what nicknames are going to grow from their name.


  38. I am mildly obsessed with names, from a socio-linguistic point of view. I put a huge amount of time and thought into naming my children, almost as much as I put into naming my characters. But perhaps more important than a name or a meaning, is being able to fluidly embrace more than facet while still maintaing a concrete connection to the source. Something you seem to be able to do in spades. Welcome back.


  39. My mom purposely named my sister and I one syllable names that can’t be shortened, because her name is Cynthia. Not Cindy, but Cynthia. People randomly call her Cindy anyway and she didn’t want us to go through that. I don’t care what you call me: Goldy, Fish, Fishie, or my real name. It’s what you say that matters.


  40. I was thinking, as others have mentioned, of the sun element of Ra. Not sure how to write out how I say Rara in my mind. Something like Rahr-uh.
    My first name is unusual and I rarely use it on the internet, having become slightly protective of it, after going through so many years of what unusual name-bearers go through.
    I like your “official?” name and find myself wondering how it would be written in Arabic. Perhaps عأضيكة


  41. You’ll always be Rara to me.
    But I do wonder about the pronunciation. Does it rhyme with “bar-a”? Or does it rhyme with “Sarah”?
    There are other ways to say it but I can’t find words to rhyme. How would you spell it phonetically?
    I’ve always loved your pronouncustion of my name. “Sa-mawr-ra,” as in rhymes with “bar.” A long “a,” as opposed to the way “air” is pronounced. “Sa-mair-ah.”
    I go by both. I love the way you say it.
    I think I just love hearing your voice, chica. 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Fascinating. And rather lovely. I was introduced to you by Samara (whom I call Precious) as Rara, and so that’s stuck in reference to you, but that’s a bit utility because I only say that so anyone else has a clue to whom I’m referring. Radhika is a beautiful name (I have a consultant at work who is a Radhika, except she’s Radhi (again, with that beautiful soft ‘th’ sound)) but it’s your prerogative to choose how you would like to be known. I took a massive liberty and began calling you Sparkly One, because your writing is full of glitter, which shines brightest when there’s a contrast with shadows, and so it seems to fit. I’m confident you’ll cope with my audacity.

    I love nicknames and have slowly begun to be awarded them, which is wonderful (I’m not fishing for a new one, btw – they happen organically or not at all), and I feel that they come from a specific point in time and relationship which then goes forward most beautifully, perhaps tying a ribbon to a special moment between two people.

    And they matter, those nicknames, just between the two of you, which is lovely, because it speaks of being special to someone, and worth their time to endear you.

    I’m soon to change all my names. Officially, and permanently. And I cannot WAIT!



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s