Why MayaKirana?

Through this blog of mine (which I started back when blogging wasn’t even cool or understood), I’ve made plenty of good friends. I leave my blog URL in a few places but somehow, people find their way here and end up being my good buddies.

When they email me and I reply, they are inevitably surprised. The first thing many e-buddies ask is this, “Why did you choose Maya Kirana as a name for yourself and your blog?”

Not many people know this little history of mine. I will let all of you in on this little secret of Maya’s.

When I started writing seriously for online publications, I was still receiving a paycheck. It meant there were issues I could write about and many more which I could not. I was then also an editor of a woman’s portal and I could not, absolutely could not just blurt out what I felt. I was certain it was totally unbecoming of me if I did what I wanted to do, disregarding my employer’s expectations of me (you see, I am a conscientious employee).

I first wrote a piece on how I felt about children. I remembered the title was something I lifted off Kahlil Gibran – how children do not come to you, but come through you. It resonated with what I felt about marriage and children. Perhaps I thought too much. I still think a lot about issues which many find a fact of life. Anyhow, this online publication (now defunct) published it but I had to choose a pseudonym. And fast.

So I used MayaKirana. It gave me a freedom to express what I couldn’t, under my own name.

But why this exotic name for this not-so-exotic Malaysian woman? (Then I was just in my mid-20s. Still idealistic though.Still hoping. Never want to lose my curiosity.)

Maya means many things to me. The word is soft and gentle but multifaceted in its truth. Through my Buddhist roots, I’d like to think it reflects on Queen Maha Maya. In Sanskrit, Maya also means ‘illusion’. Once a upon a time in one of the saddest episodes of my life, I believed life to be an illusion. What sort of illusion, you may ask?

That’s why Kirana comes in. Kirana is how I spell Qirana, an Arabic word meaning ‘light’ or ‘nur’. Combined as a word, MayaKirana is about the illusion of light. What I see and touch in this world are but illusions of light. That’s why I see you. That’s why things are what they are and then cease to be. It was explained perfectly through the movie, The Matrix, where I finally understood with clarity what I was trying to see all along. (By the way, The Matrix is based on Buddhist doctrines but I am not a theologian – I do not explain concepts as well so do take a look at this piece to find out more about the themes in this movie.)But then again, many people now know who the person behind MayaKirana is. It is no longer a mask but an alter ego everyone acknowledges. Rather a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde conundrum!

Whatever it is, I love the mystery that MayaKirana affords me. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how MayaKirana came to be.

18 thoughts on “Why MayaKirana?

  1. …the mystery has finally revealed itself!! I’ve always wondered and been meaning to ask. Thanks for not making me ask!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Thanks for lifting the shroud of secrecy and curiosity for buddies like us about the name MayaKirana. Enlightened as we maybe now on this awesome personality called MayaKirana whom have put in much thought (theology or religion wise) in a pseudonym.

  3. Very enlightening. Quite a philosophical gal, aren’t you. Toying with the idea of using a pseudonym to blog, then I can rant and rave more. Not at the moment though. Will make do with my personal journal, not available online, hehe.

  4. as one of your earlier e-buddies who have asked this question before, I have to file a complaint. I DID ask you the same question and all you said was something like….it’s good for future clothing line. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Ooohhhh…now you tell me there’s more to it lah! Fine.

    Ok ok…eh, you sound a little bit like my husband who can go on and on and on about these stuff, man. Everything flies past me especially he likes to tell me philosophical stuff (basically a lot on Buddhism as well) when he’s tipsy and I am sleepy.

    ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Hi Kate: There’s nothing so secretive about it. It’s just that when I started to blog, I wanted it to be secret…haha, now it is no longer one.

    Dear Lydia: Look at me. I thought I was safe behind MayaKirana. Apparently, things happen ๐Ÿ˜‰ but I guess I can still rave and rant.

    Dear Marsha: Well, yes, that was part of it anyway. This is the reason behind it anyway. Future clothing line – yes if only I could get my designs out! Buddhism when tipsy. Strangely inviting!

  6. I haven’t got any ideas about the meaning of my name! Beautiful name, MayaKirana, it sounds like a feminine car that has womanly features or an ice-cream that transport you to the heart of Brazil.. something like that lar… or a very expensive type of tomato.

  7. Dear Maya Karin, I’m your biggest fan…. ops, wrong Maya… again, Maya Kirana, hmm… Ki-ra-na-mu, aku teruja… Karna apa sih? I’d love to be mysterious, but hmm, I can’t recall anything of me to be labeled as a “mystery”. Tragedies, now, that’s a lot. Tragic me…

  8. hi maya, great blog you have here… i found mayakirana when i did online searching for income tax filing :p nice name and most importantly hold wonderful meanings ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks for the sharings… i wish to visit penang someday ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Hi yan: Thank you for your inspiring and supportive words. It means a lot to me that strangers have read my blog and become my friends. When you do visit, let me know! I will be happy to introduce this little Pearl of the Orient to you.

  10. hye! im always wondering about this name,, to tell u im always be meaning to name my first future girl as Maya Kirana.. for quite sometime. when im googling this name, im quite surprise someone already has dis name!
    1st thought this is ur real name. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Farihan – thanks! I like the name too. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I might name my future daughter Maya Kirana….. just like you. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  11. Hi Maya, i accidentally came across your blog when i wanted to find some stories about dumplings for my blog. Your blog on what you see about life – truly amazing^^ thanx for your sharing! I’ll be reading more. Besides, i can improve my english through reading your blog, you are really good! All the best on your journey of life!

    • Hi Sakai Girl,
      Thanks! Hey you are from Sarawak, like my husband. Are you an ex-USM student? You seem very familiar with this Sg Dua area as well as the Bayan Baru areas. Congrats too on your upcoming wedding! Did you read the posts I did on Sarawak and Kuching? Let me know if I am spot-on or not with my observations!

  12. Hi Maya,
    Just got to know you got aother Malaynized name. I was shocked. I thought you have converted to “you know what….”.
    Nowdays it is quite common. You meet a long lost friend and suddenly he or she tells you that they have already changed their names to “you know what”.
    What a relief after knowing “the truth”. Not to say that I am against “you know what”.
    There are certain people and couples that I always bump into (not only at heritage related function) and you and Nic are one of them. I supposed that is what CHinese call “yuan fen”. Ask Nic to teach you how to pronouce it.
    Does Nic have another name also?

    • Hi Fidel – What a surprise to see you at my blog! Nah, I’m not ‘you know what’ – I love pork way too much! Nowadays people do make the connection between my real name and my blog name. That’s funny because I initially wanted to be incognito….using a name like Maya makes me mysterious and unknown. Oh, I love heritage stuff. That’s why Nic is in PHT remember? I’m going to blog about your PAPA programme – these days got to allocate time for everything, business, friends, blogging, etc. Nic is always Nic. By the way, what did you google to find my blog? Ah, I know about ‘yuan fen’ and I was just telling Nic that day that your whole family is so cool – everyone’s so supportive of each other!

  13. Hi Maya – Well, I kind of know you as Krista…Maya raise a lot of my curiosity back then when we work together in e-Heart. I’ve always wanted to ask you but my work always gets in the way.
    I was supposed to do my usual stuff once I’m on my PC…preparing lectures and reading journals and research papers but today I told myself, why not take a break and go surfing. Somehow I ended up here and it was good. It brings back memories of my schooling days where I wrote short stories for my school magazine under the pseudonym JaneOwen (I don’t know why…the name just pop up). No one knew who the actual writer was. But the secrecy was very exciting esp when my schoolmates were talking about it, trying to figure out who was JaneOwen. This excitement motivated me to write for 3 years before it ended when I left for Nursing in S’pore. Until today, I’ve not told anyone about it. Those time, I didn’t have the luxury of the PC. Pen and papers…these were my only treasures back then, even up to today. Anyway, I did mentioned to my husband that one day I’d like to write ” A Nurse’s Story”- which is my autobiography as I retire from nursing….maybe I can use Jane Owen as the lead…..

  14. I know I did ask you and you told me ‘why, Maya Kirana’ – still I want to read your explanation here. Ha!Ha! It is as you said it. Hmm… somehow I see my idea of ‘Mayakirana’ in your home – a little mystery, a prevalence of peace… rhythm…. harmony…. coming home…..

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