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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Census RIMPOCHHE

Rimpochhe literally means a precious one and by and large, stands for a highly learned spiritual leader. 
Being Bhutanese, we have a system that we queue to get a name for our new born child from any rimpochhes.  
And nothing is much different for me too. My parents have exposed me to numerous rimpochhes for the same. Of many names from various divine crews, my parents opted for Damchoe Wangdue.
The name has taken its footstep right from census to school admission cards and from school identity to recognition trademark in the village.
In 1997, I did my Primary School Common Examination (PSCE). I graduated with the same name and joined Nangkor Higher Secondary School under Pema Gatshel district.
Four years later, before I appeared for Bhutan Certificate of Secondary Education (BCSE), we were asked to feed our teachers with correct census name and a Xerox copy of Citizenship Identity Card.
I went home on leave. And to my surprise, I saw my name change in structure and sound. It gave a plain and uncomfortable pronounce. From Damchoe Wangdue, it has taken a form to form Dumcho Wangdi.
Burnt with flames of anger and discontentment, I yelled to my poor and illiterate parents being responsible for the change. They knew nothing of it as I interrogated. For as much as I disliked, they found tasteless in hearing that name.
My parents told me about the recent census carried out in our village. A man, who was dressed with almost twenty centimetre lagay but with bare skills of writing human names has helped the Royal government reap the recent census status from our village.
My father, who can light up the page with plain dzongkha writings and scripts, shared me how that ‘census man’ wrote my name in dzongkha: from Damchoe Wangdue to Bumchung Wangdi.
As I returned to the school, I withstood the fatigue in furnishing the details of correct census name to my class teacher. Many friends of mine mocked and few echoed for a week. Thanks to that Census Rimpochhe, who coined a new name from the existing one.
The evolutionary steps for my Name
I remember the Romeo in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet say,
What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
Names have no life and breathe. It is colourless and odourless. There is neither strength nor weaknesses in it. It doesn’t differentiate a rich from poor, the best from the worst and big from small.
BUT, as our ears are used to hearing one tone, sudden twist gives a totally alien note that makes us lose our interest in telling public. It makes us feel that the dye of our name is faded casually to make it an object of travesty.
Now, each time my name is called anywhere; I can feel the prick of those ridiculing eyes. Every paper when demands my name, I can imagine how ghostly painful it is to think of that Census Rimpochhe’s carelessness.
And the WORST of all, every time I fill up any official document from different agencies, I have to patiently wait, seek permission, and calmly spell my name as D….U…M..C…H…O. and not Damchoe, as many often takes for granted.  
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"Remember your name. Do not lose hope ---what you seek will be found"-Neil Gaiman
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4 comments:

  1. As quoted and stated above in your post as below...

    "What's in a name? That which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet".
    "Names have no life and breathe. It is colourless and odourless. There is neither strength nor weaknesses in it. It doesn’t differentiate a rich from poor, the best from the worst and big from small"

    There is no need of feeling bad or low with your name.It sounds far better than many others. At-least, your father had not run short of names which otherwise would have called you as Koongku, Balung, Reki, Zangku etc.,
    Anyway nice post, keep on.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Rinchen,
    I feel immense gratitude to Mr.Census Rimpochhe now. Every where, any time when somebody calls my name, it attracts surprising human looks.
    Huh..I become the centre of attraction then.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you Mr. Choki for reading my post. Your words which I am not eligible though, is highly appreciated and ecouraging.

    ReplyDelete

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