What’s there in a name? Well, there should be a difference: What’s there in a last name?
We see last name as a category which a person belongs to. And the two most common categories can be religion and caste.
‘The name is Bond. James Bond’. Even James specified it to petrify the villains,
which sounds really good as a dialogue, but as a mindset, it needs to be changed. Really.
Rahul noticed Rhea that she had forgotten her file on the desk. He was next in the queue. After waiting for a while, it was his turn, finally. But he saw her leaving the bank. He ran after her and handed her the file.
Rhea got terrified and felt relief at the same time. She wanted to thank him.
She asked, ‘What’s your name?’
Rahul is waiting for another question; ‘Rahul..?’
She did not ask any further question. Rahul could not hold his curiosity and said, ‘Rahul Kumar.’
She nodded and said, ‘Thank you Rahul.’
That man had helped Rhea and it meant a lot to her, not his last name.
During a conversation, being asked for your last name or you, asking someone else’s is a common scenario. It is a mindset. Let’s accept the fact. But there is also the fact that this mindset needs to be changed if we really need progress. We call our self progressive. Sounds good, doesn’t it? But what do we do at the most basic level?
Let’s stop questioning the government for various reasons, at least for some time. When you meet a stranger, and decide whether he is worth talking to or not, based on his religion or cast. Have you tried to figure out what good things he has done or what intentions is he living with? How much positive is he or how is he trying to make things work for everyone around him? Talking about the Unsung Hero (again, sounds good!), why do we care what cast he belongs to? We celebrate him for his work, a noble deed. Has he thought of his religion before doing something better than you? Has he thought of the cast he has inherited willingly or unwillingly before helping someone? No. Then why do we care about his last name?
I am proud of my last name. Because I am gifted with that. This is one of the most valuable things I have inherited before any materialistic wealth. It has my ancestors’ names attached with it. And will always live with that. I may be known as one of the Mehtas whose grandfather was the finest teacher and a generous human being who had lived his life with discipline and ethics. I may be known as one of the Mehtas whose father is the role model of many of his students. I feel privileged. I am blessed. But at the end of the day, the intentions I am living with would matter.
I respect my last name, but I should work for making them respect me for my intentions and the human being I am.
When you made your first friend as a kid, did the surname matter? When you got your first job, did you consider the last name of the boss who had hired you? When someone helped you getting up again when you fell down on the road, did you really ask for his last name? When you see a child crying and find no one around him, would you go and ask for his last name first before helping him and looking around for his parents?
Hoping for a ‘NO’ in all the answers!
Let’s put classism aside. Let’s think progressive and go beyond common and proper nouns!
Intention and humanity matter after all.