If you are an expectant parent, you must already be sifting through a deluge of books, articles, to-do lists and compilations on being the ideal, new-age parent. There are so many important questions, right from financial planning to stocking up on baby essentials, and most of all, picking a perfect name for your child.
Numerous studies conducted over the years reveal the consequences that an unusual or culturally loaded name can have on a child's future, right from their self-esteem to the job opportunities they get. Nevertheless, many parents are opting for names that are unique and make their child stand out. It's but natural for parents to wonder -- "How offbeat should we go with our baby's name?"
If you don't want to take a risk with your choice of name for your baby but still want to ensure it makes an impact, we've got you covered. Here is a list of top 10 'exotic' yet evergreen Indian names that you can consider for your baby.
1. Saisha: Saisha is a Sanskrit word that means a meaningful life or the truth of life. It is also known to be the name of an Indian princess and is often heard in many Hindu religious chants. Saisha has a deep-rooted connect with Indian culture, yet it displays an element of freshness.
Famous personality with the same name: Saisha Beecham, celebrity makeup artist
2. Kalki: Kalki means eternity, or destroyer of filth (derived from the Sanskrit word, kalka which means foulness). Kalki is also known to be one of Lord Vishnu's forms. This gender-neutral name can be used for a boy too.
Famous personality with the same name: Kalki Koechlin, actress
3. Tara: This ancient Indian name has many connotations. In Sanskrit, it means light and according to the Hindu mythology, Tara is the name of one of Lord Shiva's wives. The word tara also means star in Hindi.
Famous personality with the same name: Tara Deshpande, actress/writer
4. Akira: In Japan, this name is gender-neutral and means dawn or bright. It is also a popular Hindu name signifying graceful strength. Akira stands for the traits that describe a modern-day woman -- someone who practices authority with utmost poise.
Famous personality with the same name: Akira Kurosawa, filmmaker
5. Maya: This mystical sounding name is derived from the Sanskrit word maya, meaning illusion and magic. Maya is also the name of Buddha's mother and another name for Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth. This name exudes power with a touch of femininity.
Famous personality with the same name: Maya Angelou, author/poet/actress
1. Aarav: Aarav originates from a Sanskrit word that means peaceful and calm. This name also denotes traits of thoughtfulness and spirituality. According to a BabyCentre report, Aarav was voted as one on the most popular Indian names in the UK last year.
Famous personality with the same name: Not available; maybe your baby one day!
2. Aryan: This Indo-Iranian name is derived from the Sanskrit word, Arya, meaning noble warrior. A western variation of this name is Arian. The name Aryan depicts strength and aristocracy.
Famous personality with the same name: Aryan Vaid, actor
3. Kanan: This unique name means forest or garden. In numerological parlance, Kanan is considered a lucky name associated with trade and commerce. It is a gender-neutral name.
Famous personality with the same name: Kanan Gill, Comedian
4. Vivaan: Vivaan comes from a Sanskrit word meaning the first rays of the sun. It is also one of the names of Lord Krishna. The name Vivaan signifies life and new beginnings. Vivaan as a choice of name has gained great popularity over the last four to five years.
Famous personality with the same name: Vivaan Shah, Actor
5. Palash: Palash is a Hindi word, meaning the blossom of the "flame of the forest" (Butea monosperma) tree. This tree is said to be a manifestation of Agnidev, the god of fire. Palash is a name that depicts love for nature's creations.
Famous personality with the same name: Palash Sen, singer/doctor
Your most important consideration while choosing a name for your baby should be its adaptability. A name that is too complicated or hard to pronounce can backfire on your child. Make sure whatever name you choose is simple yet memorable. Good luck with the name game!