Thursday, May 30, 2019

Stories from Sirohi- What's in a Name.


"What's your full name?" asked many people. Another place, another situation, the same question. 

We visited a community hall to have our lunch.  Like every village, this village has its own customs and traditions.

A person who's local to the village introduced to the community hall people as his men. 

The first day, we were asked our names while handing out the tokens. 'Maybe they're trying to know us.' I assumed. It was more like an enquiry rather than an icebreaker.  I couldn't understand why we were asked only names before handing out the tokens. We told our names and joined for the food. 

Two days passed, we went to have our lunch. This time, he asked, "what's your caste?"

Just another question? 

It sounded more than just an inquiry, just a question. A judgment and discriminational inquiry! Startled by such open discriminatory looks, I mumbled out my caste. My friend also answered and claimed ourselves as vegetarians. 

The mere question of our name and caste was so surprising, that they were trying to find out what's our identity.

We didn't want to visit the place again. 

We felt judged. 

One simple question that took me upon a reflection of identities. How do these villagers identify each other? 

Progress in the regressive thinking.

The village does not have any hotels. There's no one who could host us lunch. We visited the community hall again for the food. This time, we were asked the name and also our caste.  We have been judged again!!  We were okay to be judged rather than starve in that village without food and water in a hot summer.  I don't get what it is to identify one by caste.

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