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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My name is my joy - HT inner voice

WHEN ADDRESSED BY NAME, IT GIVES A FEELING OF AFFECTION AND WARMTH. A NAME IS CO-TERMINUS WITH ONE'S EXISTENCE

One's name is an integral and inextricable part of one's being. It is a person's most prized personal possession which gives him an identity. A child starts responding to his name even before he understands anything. A name is co-terminus with one's existence.

When addressed by name, it gives a feeling of affection and warmth -- though there are situations or relationships where addressing by name may not be proper, or may be so perceived. Until a few years ago -- things have changed now though -- it was considered to be improper, if not a sin, for a wife to address her husband by his name. Once when I asked my maid about her husband's name, she replied, "who jo roz subah aasmaan mein ugta hai" (one who rises in the sky every morning). Yes, his name was "Suraj" , but she dared not utter the word.

I wish to share an incident which moved me. There is a teenaged boy who comes to collect garbage every morning. He has been doing so for years and I have often heard people addressing him, "oye ladke" or "oye chhotu".

The other day I asked the garbage collecting boy his name. He paused in disbelief at this query. "Madamji, hum to apna hi naam bhool jate hein -- koi hamein hamare naam se nahin pukaarta" (we forget even our own names as no one addresses us by our name).

I was touched. And when I called him by his name, there was a gleam in his eyes, a smile on his face; a feeling of elation as if he was saying to himself, " yes, I too have a name, an entity. What if I don't have enough food or clothes? What if I don't have enough food to eat?" Think, how many of us call such boys and girls by their names? Why do we deprive them of a feeling of being a human being just like ourselves? Think.

Kusum

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