Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born.

-Dale Turner-

Tuesday 20 April 2010

The knowledge of the gods

"Tell me Ammama, why were you named Fragrance?" I ask. We are discussing stars and names, and I am curious because others born under her star are named with letters G and H.

She reluctantly spells: "My father hoped I would die young, and named me after his sister who died within a month." Looking at my face, she quickly rises in defence: "he was heartbroken. I, after all, killed my mother at birth."

"Names have a strange influence of their own," she says and leaves the rest unspoken - that her grandmother raised her for many years, that her father snatched her away from her loving care for the sake of his pride, that he paid her scant attention, that he got her married to a drunkard - that the name strangles her every now and then, and that she has had to fight it all her life.

Names are a burden, I know it too well. There are expectations and dreams that I have longed to shrug away.

And then there is my aunt, robbed of her destiny, when named to match her brother. But, true to her given name, she handles every crisis that life throws her way with Grace.

Lil' one, what do I wish for you... a name that sits as light as butterfly kisses, or one that will shape your years. Neither may work, but this I hope does. A wish that everytime you hear it, it be spoken only with love.

2 comments:

Anvita Lakhera said...

Very well written :)

Anthropologists believe naming is one of the main ways in which order is imposed on perception.

However, as Bob Dylan said,"You're born, you know, the wrong names, wrong parents. I mean, that happens. You call yourself what you want to call yourself. This is the land of the free."

You can only get a name from your ancestors, your deeds, your virtues will determine your honour (or so we hope :))

bythewindowsill said...

whoa! so true... definitely it orders perception. I just realised that. thanks! :-)

love the dylan quote. In renewed vigour, let me work on my virtues.
thanks anvita, for the thoughts.
:-) :-) :-)

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