Over the years, I have introduced myself to a number of people; uncles, aunties, coworkers, friends, acquaintances. This is the first thing you do, when you meet someone; introduce yourself.
But what I find hilarious about introducing myself to all these varieties of people is that they “all” end up asking the same question, differently phrased of course but same in essence.
This is how it goes:
Me:” Namaste Aunty!”
Aunty: “Namaste Beta”
Friend: “Mummy, this is Namrata”
After the polite courtesy of asking me snacks and water, she leaves us alone for some time and then upon return it starts.
Aunty: “Where do you stay?”
I explain the location. She nods.
Aunty: “What are you doing these days?”
Again, I explain my study and work life. All is good till..
Aunty:” Hey, have dhoklas, I got them especially for you.”
Of course. In my mind I roll my eyes but refrain myself from a facial reaction.
Me:” Thank you Aunty. That is very nice of you but I really don’t like it.” (It’s not that I don’t like it, I just can’t have them because of my coconut allergies)
Aunty: “Are! Being a Gujrati, you don’t like dhoklas! How come?”
There the big question. And now comes the explanation that has become undoubtedly a part of my identity.
Me:” I am not Gujrati Aunty. I am ParAkh and not ParEkh. They are Gujratis not us. I am Jain”
I say this politely as I have before, 10000 times and more. *Sigh*
In other situations, it is a direct question, others are more inquisitive ones. But all are the same.
Sometime when I have a conversation, long enough with someone, without them asking “the question” and just as I think to myself that I like them, it pops, just like the joker out of the box.
I have a good laugh afterwards when I rethink about the day.
Back when I was new to introducing myself, I used to say my full name. Now-a-days, I just say my first name, just to avoid all that.
Also when I was in school, they used to call my name out loud wrong all the time and misspell my title. It was maddening to rush to get it corrected every time I got a certificate. As I have grown, it has reduced and also I have learnt to ignore it, when it does not legally or commercially matters.
Now it’s more of a game that I play with the other person, without their knowledge, of course😉 Will they, won’t they?
My Full name is Namrata Parakh(in case you have not guessed).
Dhoklas are an an Indian Gujrati delicacy. Very Good, try it:)