What's in a Name?


{Amara} means ‘grace’ in Igbo but also ‘eternal’, ‘beloved’, and ‘unfading’ in different tongues around the world.

{Sain} ‘Sa’ for Sameer and ‘in’ for Indus. You are made up of us both. But in a world that is quick to judge and put up all sorts of barriers, may ‘Sain’ protect you from prejudice. You have a clean slate. You can be anything. You can be anyone. You are the first of your dynasty and the future you create.


{Dulari} For Dadu, Paritosh’s parents, Janak Dulari and Manohar Nath Segal, with a wish that she be as loving and dearly beloved as her great grandmother.

{Nirmal} For Dima, Surat’s parents, Vijay Kawar and Nirmal Das Maheshwari, with a wish that her spirit be as pure as her great grandfather’s.

{Barkat} For Nana, Dharen’s parents, Sudarshan Chopra and Dharampaul Chadha, with a wish that she be blessed with a feeling of abundance from her great grandparents.

{Rohini} For Amma, Reshma’s parents, Rohini Bhatkal and Krishnanand Kalyanpur, with a wish that her life be as blessed as her great grandmother’s, full of her sweetness and joy.


“What’s in a Name? It’s complicated.” in the Summer 2019 edition of the Smith Alumnae Quarterly.

Indus Chadha ’09: I didn’t change my last name when we got married. When we had our baby girl last year, we named her Amara Sain. Her last name is a mashup of our first names: ‘Sa’ for Sameer and ‘In’ for Indus. It was her Daddy’s idea. If you date a Smithie for long enough, it seems to rub off on you. SWG major, after all!

Indus Chadha believes we cannot exist or be understood without stories and spends much of her time reading and writing them. She earned a BA in Women’s Studies and English Literature from Smith College and an MFA in Creative Writing from the School of the Arts at Columbia University.

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