My name is Govind Rao. It was given to me by my grandmother. I had no say in the matter. I wasn’t asked.
My school was picked out by my parents and they decided when I was ready for it. Society determined the subjects I would study; and their relative importance in my life. Maths, I was told, was very important; followed by English. Drawing and Sports were certainly not. The opinion on social studies was divided. My teachers decided what rules I would follow. My class-mates decided which ones I should break.
My college was chosen by my father, who in turn was coached by his colleagues, a distant uncle, our friendly neighbour and the postman. It may be called a ‘collective effort’. Almost everyone gave in their two cents. Everyone except me, that is.
I still don’t know how I came to be in this profession. Perhaps it was the advice of a friend. Or was it a professor? Maybe it was my parents, again. Nevertheless, I suppose it doesn’t matter now, anyway.
I would like to say that I chose the person I wanted to marry and share my life with. And I did, perfunctorily at least. I was asked if I liked her, and I did nod. Does that count? Well, at least I was asked. But I wish I hadn’t lied. The one time I had any say, I lied. But then again, what was the truth? I guess I couldn’t help it. I didn’t really know how to answer that question. It was the first time someone had asked me.
So now, ‘I’m settled’; or so I have been told. I have a job, a house and a wife. This qualifies as being settled in life. I can now live my life, they tell me. My life. MY life. Those words have an odd ring to them. There’s something not quite right about them. But no one’s telling me what. Strange. Let me try it again: MY LIFE. MY. LIFE. Hmmmmm….
Perhaps I should start over.
My name is Govind Rao, and I….. I… I?