Living in a hostel for the first time and sharing a room with another person has given me new names and roles. I am a ‘roommate’ now. For the first time when she addressed me like that to her friend over the phone, I was flabbergasted. Was she referring to me? I did not intend to eavesdrop but I just wanted to know whether it was me. And indeed, it was me!
I have always loved to refer people by their names and not their roles. So when I was reduced to a mere ‘roommate,’ I must admit that I was a bit unsettled. That’s when I started rationalizing this feature of roles connected to people. It is quite natural to communicate using roles and it is just mind-boggling to know that Susan is not Susan alone but a roommate, teacher, daughter, student and so on. I cannot but think that I am many and still I am me. The whole idea seems so fascinating.
After that long thought on roles and names, I finally came to the conclusion that it is not always possible to refer to people by their names. For example, I cannot talk about my mother by referring to her by her name. I have to tell the receiver that I am talking to my mother and not …. Well, so many thoughts on roles and names.
Now, all said and done, I am your blogger-friend and not Susan. Well, I might be ‘blogger-friend, Susan’ but still . . .
So, what are you? And how do you perceive roles-names and what do you prefer to be known as? I think I can imagine your answers but I will let you speak . . .