When one talks using “us” and “they” , a person has already made half of the argument, already formed an opinion, already cleared the “side” s/he is on. Its not hard knowing a person and then forming an opinion. Its easiest to form an opinion by judging on the basis of the name of a person. Sadly, what happens is the latter.
I remember once going to an acquaintance’s place. Before being offered a seat, was asked after the polite namaste, “beta aap kya ho”
A lot of answers ran through my mind at that very moment.. Like human? Girl? Indian? And then irritated by the time i took to understand the question, was asked “what’s your surname?” I replied Das Dhankar .. This somehow made the things confusing and I could feel the piercing eyes on me looking frantically for some detail so that I could be quickly put in a “box”. Finally catching Das in the name, came a question.. “Machhi khate ho?” Confused, I replied i cook but i don’t prefer fish. This almost angered at least one uncle present there to d limit where he asked me “meat machhi khate ho na?” At this point, the poor me decided to remain mum not pointing out the difference between meat and machchi .. Then Dhankar came into focus.. “Ye kya?” He asked . I replied somewhat irritated, “my father is a jaat”. Then came the million dollar bomb.. “Father is jaat so u r jaat! Why did you say you are a Bengali?” Now the point was, I never said that!! I always say I am half Bengali and half Jaat!
By now I wanted to disappear or simply be allowed to scream at the top of my voice..
Not a pleasant experience but then my name often stirs some reactions, some questions (like why I use both my parent’s surnames) or why i don’t use the surname of the man I am married to.
Often, by the time people move past my name, they have already judged me, formed, an opinion about me and put me in either “likeable” or “too much trouble cant like” category.. Its amusing and it’s somewhat annoying but most importantly, its often a barrier in the communication that I could have made with a lot people.
#myexperiences #society #humans #theitchtojudge