Thursday, April 03, 2008

The sorrow of not being unique

I had to let one day pass before I posted this; for I did not want the haunted day to play foul against the authenticity (and of course, the agony, as you'll see) of this article.

There are multiple sorrows in this material world. Those, if I may be allowed to, can be categorized into the sorrows of nation, the sorrows of race, the sorrows of kingdom, etc. etc. and last but not the least, sorrows of the individual. I dare say that the sorrows of the individual are as bad as they come; for all other kinds can be converted to the latter!

It really hurts to know that your name (which is your identity) is not unique. There is someone else (or in case of a John Smith or a Sachin Kulkarni, there may be hundreds) who prints his name just the same as you do. And that, my word, starts an interesting dual. This person follows you (and you, in turn are following him!) everywhere you go. To the bank, to the office, (and why not!) to the library too.

When I joined my organization, which at that time used to pay more than a hundred thousand people, I never thought that there will be another person with my name here, and that too the same (characteristic) spelling, the 'Oke'! I was proven wrong the very first morning, as I realized a colleague of mine had mistakenly sent an e-mail to my namesake. And of course, it was not long before I received an e-mail for my counterpart! And so it began.

When I came to the US, I got a chance to meet this gentleman in person, and it was some experience! He was talking to a colleague of his, when I passed by, proudly showing my badge. This fellow was taken for a ride (earlier that morning, I got a telephone call for the other 'Ajit'). It was interesting to know that I studied in the same college that he did: about eighteen years later, history was to be repeated!

And then, when I went to the public library to get my card, the lady at the desk must have thought that I was out of my mind.
"Sir, but you already have an account!"

"I do?"

"Yes sir, you do!"

"Oh it must be the other I"


"The other Ajit Oke?"

"How do you know?"

"He goes to work to the same place I do"



"Well. What do you I do now?"


"Do you have a middle name?"

"Thanks to my father, I have!"

"Well, let me use that in your a/c name then. You don't mind, right?"

"Please go ahead!"

What's in name, Shakespeare said a long time ago. Well, he could afford to, because at that time, he may well have been the one and only William Shakespeare. I am sure he would not say that had his name been William Jones!

Heck- it's not easy to be unique in this world. And that's the sorrow of this individual.


Anand Sarolkar said...

Have you read/seen Namesake? The protagonist in that book/movie is not happy with his name...and guess what? ...He think's it's too unique :)

Anonymous said...

WHOLLLA ... Same name and studied in the same institutioon as yours around eighteen years back.. Great. This is a experience mate. Don't make him as your role model, try to be your ownself guiding to destination ... :)

Milind said...

"Heck- it's not easy to be unique in this world."
-There are some things/combination of things in your life that make us unique :)