1: Did you ever felt the weight of your own name?
2: Were you aware that your name was ridiculed or heard people say it’s inappropriate for your gender?
3: Is your caste a burden or a comforter?
4: Were you ever too conscious to act in line with the name and the fame of your family?
|Tallest: Chewang. Taller: Tenzin Thekpa. Tall enough: me ( we proudly called ourselves as TEAM MAVERICK)|
These questions didn’t hammer me till my high school days. Those days were too lively to answer such serious questions. But like the reality TV show ‘The moment of truth’ I was bombarded with such questions when I was in my college.
‘What’s there in name?’ or Naam may kia raakha hai? This quick fix motivational line is of no use for me when my own name is in question. My name shoulders me great responsibilities. It’s too heavy for me. Why? Allow me to elaborate it. But, before answering the first and the second questions I would like to answer the third question first.
Is your caste a burden or a comforter? For me it has turn out to be more of a burden than a comforter. Owing to the fact that if you belong to a Brahmin family you need to comply with more of Must not do list than with Do list. Although, people in general won’t agree with the preceding sentence but there are good number of men like me out there who holds the same sentiment. We are basically fed with so much of negative re- enforcement like; you must not eat meat, must not drink and must not marry someone who is not Brahmin. However, I don’t strictly follow the former two clauses but has been still hopefully waiting for someone who is equal to my caste with whom I can settle down someday. The underlined phrase above is the first of three causes of my burden. And in answering the third question I have also answered the last and the final question; Were you ever too conscious to act in line with the name and the fame of your family? Yes I was and I do.i will marry a Brahmin girl.
The second cause is bit theoretical. But it does consume my energy thinking about the possibilities of it being a truth.
I had a friend called Tenzin Thekpa Bhutia in my college days who was bothered by my poor academic performance more than my parents. He was of the opinion that SHARMAS or the Brahmins are and should be intelligent. They are destined to be doctors and engineers. If not, work somewhere else where intelligence and brain is more used or at least score higher marks academically. And here I was doing a simple BA degree course and I was not able to score more marks than him. And so, I wasn’t up to his mark and to his theory.
The third cause is purely conditional, so to speak. This is also a creative and well thought out advice, gift you name it from another close and college friend Chewang Tobgay. He shared with me while we were walking down the Labong road in Darjeeling. Wonders will never cease if you happen to be with your close friends.
He was literally advising me to have a high profile social and professional status in order to meet my marriage requirement. Why? Because he had another thought provoking but heart breaking statistics that show most Brahmin girls graduate engineering and M.B.B.S courses. He warned me that these girls will have high expectations. There I was, perplexed and burdened.
Ok, before you get bored with this article and I shrink due to over dose of the burdens, let’s go back to the first and the second questions respectively; Did you ever felt the weight of your own name? The answer is simple and a straight YES! Because the name I got is due to my caste. So the burdens make the weight. It’s that simple.
Were you aware that your name was ridiculed or heard people say it’s inappropriate for your gender? My name is not at all funny but it provides me with entertainment free of cost. How? When strangers call or meet me first time, I get to see their SURPRISE faces because they invariably think of me as a female due to my name.
Foot note: i am grateful to Chewang and Thekpa.. God Bless Them.