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Miscellaneous

why it’s all in a name

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BY KAURRWAKI KOTECHA

Kaurrwaki- a name, that as a whole, has a meaning unknown to everyone I have ever known, including me. This gives me the liberty, to find my own meaning. Kaur- meaning princess and waki – meaning real or true, which literally makes it, a true princess. My father took my name from a woman, which no one must have even thought of taking. History remembers her as a wife to the first emperor who managed to bind India as one- AĊĦoka. But there was more, a lot more to her.

Kaurwaki or Karuvaki, the daughter of Kalinga, a kingdom that refused to bow down to the most powerful king of the Mauryan Era. Some suggest, that she was the princess of the state, a state that had no king. Others, that the daughter of Kalinga was born to a fisherman and had grown to manage to lead the kingdom to prosperity. Either way, by birth or not, she was who she was defined by name- a true princess.

In addition to practically managing an entire kingdom, she had waged a war. A war, against a man everyone feared standing up to, specifically, in ancient India that had built up in an immense patriarchal mindset. As mentioned in Ashokan edicts, it is no secret that the Kalinga war was the turning point of his life. However, out of the five wives of the king, he mentioned only one in his edicts, a woman he described as an equal to him.

The Queen Edict records her religious and charitable donations, known to be hers by her own wishes. This gives an image of her being a self-possessed and strong-willed consort, who wanted an act of philanthropy recorded as specifically hers.

Adding meaning to my name, this is how I describe it. In spite of the odds, Kaurrwaki is a woman who has the courage to fight them. Someone who is capable, resolute, astute, observant, strong but also compassionate, confident, affectionate and empathetic. She is EMPOWERED and I want to be. I am her, Kaurrwaki.

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