Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Story of My Name



I wrote many names; many different names, when I was a kid and a student. It was a plaything.
I wrote in my notebooks, on my geometry boxes, on my beds, everywhere. I wrote the name of the kings and imagined those as my names.

I added ‘Drukpa’ to my name. I added ‘K’, ‘F,’ ‘D,’ to my name. I played. But one name remained in the school, Shacha. And these names too change the sound permanently. It became ‘Saa’. We had a very phony head master in Tsebar Primary school in the 1990s. He was a southern Bhutanese. And you know, they have some difficulty in pronouncing some words like ‘tsa,’ ‘cha.’ They don’t have this sound. Even English people cannot pronounce these.

This phony headmaster was very particular to me. I was pulled by ears in front of the assembly and asked me to be a house captain for a year. I did that, and he liked it, I guess.
He was fortunately or unfortunately our class teacher of class VI. Class VI had a common exam in Bhutan during that time, and the result came from the board. It was a huge for us. And it meant a lot. We had to burn the midnight oil. I nearly got burned by papers.

So, this is how my name got; changed from Sha…to Saa. He not only gave my southern sounding name, but also gave my DOB, that would remain throughout my life. School was a birth place. Our mothers were school at those times. Like me, many got DOB and names. Ngydrup became Nidup, Gyalpo became Gepo, Chedrup become Chedup, Drolo became Dolo. He changed it all and the school changed it all. We had no voice. School was our DOB, father, mother and everything. Such was the power of the teachers.

For me, I didn’t tell about my different sounding name to my parent; if not my parent would think that I have an Indian sounding name or typical. I didn’t bother much. Name or not. It does not reflect who I am. The outer physical, the outer wealth, etc doesn’t determine me. The real I is inside. The self-worth type!