Between sips of her evening tea, Sunita Didi, a part of the core field staff of our organization, launched into one of her characteristic monologues..
“Let me tell you the story of a girl who forgot her name.”
“How can anyone forget their name?”
“I heard this when I was a kid so I can’t tell how true it is. But there was this girl who got married when she was really young. When she went to her new home, she became someone’s wife, someone’s daughter-in-law and so on. After a few years, someone asked her her name but she just couldn’t place it. No one had addressed her by her name so she simply forgot. So she went back to her mother’s house to find out. Then just as she reached, someone called out- look, look! Charulata is here. That’s when she got to know that her name is Charulata.”
“Are you sure? This seems a little exaggerated.”
“Maybe. But I know a family here that addresses their daughter-in-law by the term ‘bouni’ because she is short. Everyone in the family. I’ve never heard anyone say her name. So who knows..”
Note: Conversation during a volunteering stint with Pan Himalayan Grassroots Development Foundation, Ranikhet District, Uttarakhand