After 30 years of being called Rekha Raghunathan, I am now Rekha Sathyanarayanan. Why? Because I wanted a passport for my daughter, that's why. The Indian legal system is such that it cannot issue a passport to an infant whose mother's last name is her fathers and not her husbands. I find it comical because the system is so flawed in almost every other aspect starting from application form to address verification. Showing a marriage certificate to prove that the child is indeed legal is unacceptable. The name has to match.
Reasons? Tradition, culture, its the "done and accepted" Indian thing...? Really, does a last name mean that much? My maiden name means a lot to me because I've had it all my life. That's me! I'm not saying that I don't like my husbands name but is it a part of our marriage vows or cermony to say "I take" rather than "I do"? Maybe it should be. All for a passport, that too!