Dr Atul Singh Rana

Recently I got my first provisional driving licence. I felt really good seeing the license and a nice form of official photo ID that I can put in my wallet.

UK provisional license photocard

My UK provisional license

When I posted this photo of my license on twitter and Facebook I got a confused question regarding my middle name Singh. The question was that since I’m not Sikh how can I have the middle name Singh? Singh is in fact a Hindu surname, middle name and title. Singh means lion. It has been used by the Hindu warrior and kings clan (which I’m a part of) for centuries. This Wikipedia entry on Singh actually explains it all pretty well.

Rana is a title that was given to Rajput kings in India. I would be a Rajput, which quite literally means the son of a king.

Tul is a verb in Hindi that means to compare or to measure. Atul means the opposite of that, i.e someone that cannot be compared, or measured and is therefore infinite. What can I say? My grandad certainly got that one right when he was naming me 🙂

So far this makes me the all infinite, incomparable, lion king and warrior. All good stuff and I should do my best to live up to this. However, these are names I got by birth.

That leads me to the Dr title in my surname, which is a title I earned. I studied for a Doctorate in Philosophy (PhD) in Tribology in Mechanical Engineering on the lubrication of seals in linear hydraulic actuators for use on aircrafts. And in 2005 the title of my name changed officially from Mr to Dr. Earning this title felt amazing at the time and it still does. I am proud of this title because of the work I did, the thesis I wrote and all the extra-curricular things I did in the process at University and I remember being given an award on stage towards the end of my studies.

So there you have it, that’s the meaning of my full name including title.

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