Categories: Opinion

Mehreen Farhan

Here’s a small, uneventful story of my name.
So here’s the thing.
My name is Mehreen. 
Not Mahreen.
Or Maheen.
Or Mehrin.

Or like my doctor back in erbil used to call me… Mahrain (!!!)
She even went on to change my husband’s name to Farhat.
So according to that lovely lady, I was Mahrain Farhat in their records. 
Talk about twisting a name to the point where I sound like a man!

And then there is a childhood memory of my mom telling me to speak up when someone asks me my name. 

Beta, what’s your name?’
<<inaudible murmur>>
<<incomprehensible whispering>> (I was really shy, you know)
‘Meem what?’
‘Mehreen.’(Hardly audible still.)
And my mom would lose her patience with me and interject at this point. ‘Her name is Mehreen.’
‘Oh okay, Mehreeeeen!’ The person would repeat now, having finally understood. 

Then there were fascinated people in different places that I met. 
“Oh wow, your name sounds sweet. What language is it?”
I would proudly reply, “Persian”, without having the slightest inkling of this language; only a piece of knowledge handed down to me by my father who named me. 
“Ahhhhh… Persian! What does it mean?”
“It means loving”, and I would be silly enough to give that look which I’m not supposed to give. 
Ohhhhhhh…” comes the obvious reply with a grin, after the silly expression I have given. 

Another story, I have always thought Mehreen to be a rare name. I don’t understand why I still hold on to the belief when…

In play group, I had a classfellow named Mehreen who used to eat everyone’s lunch. I was scared of her. 
In school, a Mehreen who was so good at making the best laugh out of everything and made sure everyone enjoyed. Now she laughs about her in laws’ “passionate” love for having pakoras EVERYDAY and somehow I find it amusing. 
Then a Mehreen in university who used to sit beside me in class, who was supposed to keep me up during classes where I used to fall asleep. This Mehreen was passionate about so many things, especially her love for food and cooking. 
The same Mehreen plus a new Mehreen (another colleague) at work also, we were in the same department. 
Then another Mehreen I met in Muscat. A very lovely, charming girl who was passionate about her career. 

I met so many Mehreens despite me thinking it to be a rare name. I am sure I am missing someone here.
Each one unique in her own way. 

And now that I reflect on it, writing this, I can only say….
What’s in a name? 🙂

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