Like any other normal day, I was up for an adventure on 15th of August 2015.
To be particular that day I was cycling from Chennai to Bangalore, a distance of almost 350KMs.
But this journey was not like any other normal one for me because that day I didn't just travel physically from one city to another I also travelled internally. I started from Chennai as "Aakash Mishra" and reached Bangalore as "Aakash Ranison" on that journey I discovered a little bit of myself.
"An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward."
Before I begin to tell you the story let me tell you 4 important things about me which will complete this story and will help me find my new identity;
1: Because of a rough childhood I have this habit of talking to myself as I didn't really have friends to speak to.
2: Also because I didn't have anyone to guide and inspire me personally I somehow ended up watching TED Talk while I was in school.
While browsing TED Library I found a talk named "Start with why" by Simon Sinek, no doubt I really loved the concept and automatically it got saved in the back of my mind.
3: I will not remember if I read or write something but if I see & hear something that's a great possibility I'll remember it as it is forever and can see it as it is in my memory. It's called photograph memory.
4: I am a big admirer of Piyush Pandey, the way he works. Connecting real-life experiences with brands vision and packing the final product.
I started early morning from Chennai saying goodbye to my dear friend Gokoulane and to his loving family. The day was going normal; Happy, Energetic, Paddling with the progressive music by Hardwell until the second this mind-blowing thought struck my brain. "What's my name and why it is whatever it is?"
I knew my name but never thought about "Why" and so I started another conversation in my brain answering this question:
FIRST NAME: AAKASH
SECOND NAME: MISHRA
This is not a conversation I am having with anyone, this is what I talked to myself most often and I am not trying to demean anyone, any group, community or religion.
About Second Name:
So I decided to be just "Aakash" and leave Mishra behind. I was happy about this new feeling and this filled me with more energy and so I kept cycling meanwhile another thought struck my mind. "Almost everyone in the world has minimum two-word name" where the first name is their personal identity and the second name talks about the religion & for father family name "It's something that they belong to, love, follow, admire, and at the end endorse that particular it."
Like when I say "Sanjay Tata" you think about Tatas, When I say "Ananya Kapoor" you think about the Kapoors, and so it's because of the people who have this second name and they did we well in their life that now these second names are more than just a second name, they are the identity and they are a brand.
So I thought now when I am just "Aakash" I have an opportunity to give myself a second name which will be my identity and to which I will endorse. For sometime, I kept thinking to come up with various options but obviously, I didn't like any because I didn't come up with the best of them all till then. I gave some rest to my brain and just kept cycling out of nowhere. After a few hours, so many frames passed through my mind from my childhood, where I was in different family gathers and function and the people around me are addressing me by "Rani Ka Beta".
And that's it, I realised something about me I just discovered my real identity, my real last/second name "Rani Ka Beta".
Now when I called myself "Aakash Rani Ka Beta" I thought more about it and realised my mom is my religion as well, as I follow each and everything she asks me to; never smoke, never consume alcohol, never hurt anybody, never do anything wrong, stay happy, live your dreams.
And that's not all what's important here, what's important here is, what she has done for me. I am a single parent child, when I was in 7th standard, my mom and my dad got separated. This wasn't the first time though, it was the fifth but the final one.
My mom and dad never had a good relation. They both had different thoughts about education, money, life and what not. My father wasn't a person who would plan his future and his finances and would prefer not to invest in things like education.
Where my mom is totally opposite to him, she would keep education on the priority and would plan her finances well so that she can do everything possible. I believe that there were many other issues between my mom and dad but I didn't come to know much as I wasn't always there with them and I was a kid so no one really shared everything with me.
But I knew it well that one major conflict between my mom and dad is the investment in my education. My dad didn't want me to go to a good school as it costs a lot and my mom wanted to send me to the best school possible as she knew education can only give me a happy life.
She fought with everyone and at every situation for me and that not only with her husband at many points in life she also fought with her family, her friends just so that she can send me to a good school and give me everything I ask for.
Life was never good to her but after dad left at least life wasn't uncertain to her. She knew what she is and where she is. She started working outside it was a 10 hours a day job in a jewellery shop. She could hardly earn 8000-10000 rupees a month.
And with that money, she paid my school fee, got me new cloths, sweets, toys, and everything I every asked for. I surely have the best mom in the world.
With all these thoughts going on in my mind I was clear that I can't have anything better then this, let's finalise it.
I was feeling better and sorted but wait before I finalise it there one more step;
Rani Ka Beta is real, has great emotions to it, apt for me, the name now describes me in the best possible way. But later on, I felt that I could reform it as it doesn't sound cool.
By late evening I reached Bangalore and that day I was staying with my dear friend Rishabh Jhol.
I told him about this storm of thoughts in my mind and then also shared the name I settled with for myself "Aakash Ranison" [Aakash Rani Ka Beta].
and without any second thought, he loved it.
Back in 2015 I legally changed my name on all the papers including my Voter Card, Driving License, Aadhar Card and everywhere.
*What a coincident while writing this story 9th May 2018,
I am travelling in a ChairCar Train 22626 from Bangalore to Chennai.*
Images via Aakash Ranison Facebook