Name of the Game
“It may be that we are puppets-puppets controlled by the strings of society. But at least we are puppets with perception, with awareness. And perhaps our awareness is the first step to our liberation.”
What's in a name... how we address other people? As a convention in our language, we have several prefixes that we use for speaking to our kins, friends and acquaintances. It is even considered as being indiscipline or rude if we don't know how to use proper names. But is it necessary that we use eche and eyamba or ene and kaka for everyone that we meet in our life?
It is a kind of standard procedure to make our system of exchanging ideas more significant. We could have call our parents by their names, while animals don't know their sibling's names. It's a privilege that we have, as a thinking animal, [a] to differentiate between those who saw the sun and the moon first, like we have ema, epa, eche/eyamba ; [b] to revere the people who have excelled in their stations of life, like we have oja kondoom or doctor manihar babu.
Social mores dictate us to submit ourselves to the flow. You are insane if you don't ride with the tide. It is more apparent in a liberal conservative environment like ours. Unfortunately names, respect and discipline have lost their essence in our directionless evolution. Do you think students who ransack their schools/colleges have any discipline? Where is the question of reverence for teachers in the present-day situation? The kids don't even have time to meet their masters because schools are closed for social contract.
On the other hand, you cannot simply ignore what your leikai and samaj think about you and how you carry yourself in front of others. If you are a drug addict, your family would mind what others are saying about you and them before they consult a therapist for you. Let all of them stand in a queue and I'd kick their asses one by one.
Often it is even unthinkable to kick butts for we have to use polite names first, or we are just another hopeless chap who is fit to be thrashed shamelessly – no matter how much you loathe the lores and traditions. Yet in a positive tone, using the prefixes help us connect with other people. It shows the respect that we nurture for our folks. There is no issue at all.
It is also a sort of habit how we use these prefixes. We have friends, who are four-five years senior to us and we call them by their first name, while others who might be older to us in terms of months and we use che or da or tamo for them. Ultimately, it's our respect, love and care that matter most in a relationship – with your family or your leikai.
So a name means so much when even 'contemptuous ogling' could create a commotion. Of course, I'm talking here about our Manipuri society. Certainly there is so much than what meets the eye in a name. What's in a name... A rose by another name would have smelled the same but there is perhaps a lost of scent when we are communicating with other folks.
|All the graphics are from CoolPix|