Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Daisies will be daisies.

“What’s in a name?” You say.

“Everything.”

Have you ever felt a pang of annoyance when someone misspells your name? What about when someone you thought you made an impression on forgets it? Would it really matter if the love of your life calls you by someone else’s name right after he kisses you?

Imagine holding out your hand to perfect strangers and introducing yourself as someone else.

“Eyesha Iftekhar; and you are?”

“Razia Bokhari.”

“Cynthia Carmichael”

“Zain J.”

I practiced it out aloud and though I couldn’t say exactly what was wrong, it just didn’t feel quite right. These names were alien. They are for other people. So my question is this:

Is your name just like a habit? Does it need getting used to? If you were called ‘Victoria’ for the next twenty years, would you become a ‘Victoria’ or would you still be you? Would your life have been the same if you had a different name? Would you have been the same person?

I don’t think so.

As I stubbornly defend the right to pronounce my name in a certain way, I sardonically claim all rights to it. How many ‘i’s and ‘e’s I put in is a part of me. The order of ‘a’s and ‘e’s is purely mine. My name defines me. It’s the person who thinks my thoughts and writes my words and dreams my dreams. All these things come with this name, this identity. It is one of the things that make me who and what I am.

We live in a certain way because of the values imbibed at a young age or a rebellion against those values. Certain issues are important to us because of the interplay of forces we’ve seen in the immediate world around us. All our feelings and thoughts are a response to the experiences we’ve had. None of it is in isolation of the millions of variables of our everyday lives. So is there really such a thing as an individualistic individual? Or are we just products of circumstance?

2 comments:

  1. A distinct name and a face with "human" as the denominator -- all the same, all the more different. Whatever we choose. :)

    But I get what you mean. Names matter a lot, they define us and shape us for the individuals that we are.

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