There are many things that define us - our religion, our state, our language, our nationality. We are many things to many people defined by relationships. We are identified by our passport number across nations, our account number across financial organisations , our id by our employer and so on.
I was thinking of my identity. What identifies me? I am a woman but I am not very feminine. I don't like the typical girlie activities. I openly admit some blatant qualifications that men have that makes them better the first one being thier admission that they can't multi task. ( It has been scientifically proven that human brain can not multi task. It can only move from one job to another) I am no feminist for women are not better than men. Are apples better than oranges ?
I have my language. I have never felt like a person from my state. I was brought up in a 'border' town which made me way more fluent in Hindi which is not my mother tongue. The cosmopolitan nature of the city gave me the opportunity to mingle with people from all states which affected my outlook. Our home was also not very traditional which made it easier for us to assimilate all the different cultures. Since I stayed with people from different parts of India while working, my cooking got attuned to it. Nothing I cook can claim to be Odia cuisine though if may have inspirations from it. That is why it was very easy to imbibe the Tamil way of living after marriage. I do like speaking in my mother tongue but it was never a consideration that I would not be speaking it for a good part of my life after marriage. Neither was the food a big challenge. I love my rajma chawal as much as dahi vada or pakhala. I developed the same love for idli, dosa or kootu.( The only difficulty has been rasam :( )
The melting pot upbringing in our early years brought the spirit of amalgamation in my religious views. Since our family was very open;to the extent of dad finding any ritual boring :D , festive days were an occasion to dress and eat. Mom did inculcate a fear of God and value of prayer , but I would be equally comfortable singing Gan Ganapataye Namah or saying Our Father in Heaven. I remember for a very long time having a Christmas tree in our house every year. Convent education made us conversant in many aspects of Catholicism. I had a Muslim friend who used to break her Ramzan fasts with me and my sister. (Boy her mom could cook!) In our city, I feel the vibes of a the omnipotent power in a Sikh Gurudwara than at the local Hindu temple. K and I visit the Gurudwara much more than the Hindu Mandir. If religion is that unimportant caste creed does not even figure in my list.
I am an Indian and love being so. We have registered Chiyaa as an Indian citizen though that was not necessary. But in the western world, I see the lines being blurred between people of the Indian subcontinent . I understand there is a lot of difference between an Indian, a Pakistani, a Bangladeshi or a Sinhalese . But if I am misidentified as another race, it does not anger me. I just politely correct and move on. Three years ago I might have said 'how dare he/she think me to be such and such!??? ' I am definitely more mellow in my outlook.
My relationships are pivotal . I am K's missus on many occasions, I am mummy at Chiyaa's nursery, I am my mil's only daughter in law, my mom 's funny elder daughter;) but I don't feel any difference in essaying any role. I just am me all over the place. At home , at work , at BBSR , at Chennai. It's just quintessential me. So then what identifies me? What is the one thing I am still passionate about ? What is the one quality that I guard with zeal?
It's my name. Yep. That's it. It's the most dear thing to me. I am quite staunch about sticking to it post marriage. If it was good enough for 25 years, it will do just fine for the rest of my days. I have been called Amritha, Amrutha, Amudha, Amirtha, Amita, Omrita, Anita and what not! I have seen more variations in my name than I could imagine was possible . I should have gotten used to it? I should be taking it in jest by now? No. Every single time I see my name butchered, I fly into a rage. I imagine killing the name-murderer in a thousand ways. They commit an unforgivable crime in my world. So take note it's Alpha, Mark, Roger, India , Tango, Alpha. Doobara mat pooch na .