Twenty two years after being brought to this earth by a stork, I realized, that my name “Aritra“, is not as Universal as I thought. I justify my misconception with the fact, that in my class I had two Aritra‘s and in my school, about fifteen. You stand in Gariahat more, on a Friday evening, and call out Aritra. No less than 27 people will respond. And curse you.
This ground breaking realization occurred after joining the ‘SCMHRD converts’ group for , well .. SCMHRD converts, and I found random girls (current batchmates) enquiring about the clothes to be worn on campus, in the academic block and in the hostels. I will not hesitate to mention that I always had first hand knowledge about women’s uniform (thanks to my one day stint in the Girls group) , which, of course, did not help matters.
Yes. Most of them thought Aritra was a girl. A Roshogolla eating, bhalo bashi-ing, sweet Bengali girl.
The next couple of months went by trying to rectify people. Pointing out that Aritra is a guy’s name. But, I don’t blame my batchmates for the gender confusion. SCMHRD is a place which has a male Bhavya and a male Gauri. Hence this ambiguity is forgivable.
A word sounds weird when you say it enough times (try it!).
Now my name sounds weird when I say it. Aww-Ri-tro Aww-Ri-tro.
A guy’s name. A man’s name!
Then I got to this college. And my predicaments worsened.
SCMHRD is a melting point of cultures. From the Northern-most mountains of Kashmir, and from the Southern-most tips and ranging from the Eastern Sister states to the Western ghats, comes bright young students from different backgrounds and a myriad of traditions. And with them comes a different, and skewed pronunciation of my name.
The attendance has thus become the most dreaded part of my life, where anything from Aa-ritraa to Aa-ritro to O-ritro to my personal favourite, Amrita (how did that happen?) is called out. And I’m sitting there wondering if that was my name.
Imagine sitting in an auditorium full of 250 students eagerly waiting to be placed at the best corporations and the Placecom member calls out your name as Aritree. Not once, not twice, but five times. “Aritree Maity line up for the GD.” “Do I carry my CV?” ” Yes, Aritree.”
I wouldn’t lie, that did ease me up a bit.
A man’s name is his identity. Yeah right! I have 7 identities. I’m like Jason Bourne.