as gender issues are hotting up, a relook

Idyll Dreams of an Idle Fellow

In the days before gender identity became infra dig and when fond parents gave toy cars and guns to little boys and dolls and ribbons to little girls without being politically incorrect. I was burdened with a unisex name- Kajal- phoentically spelt ‘Kajol’ of Bollywood fame. This led to merciless ribbing by peers and taught me a great deal about unarmed combat. Being a skinny kid, I often paid in blood for the honour of my young manhood, tears being strictly “no-no” for the boys. I heartily hated my grandma for this indignity and tried to keep my dark secret from strangers, always emphasising my official tag of ‘Soumya’- in Bengali, an unambiguous male nomenclature. This saw me through till college.

In the predominantly North Indian ambience of our campus in the Capital, ‘Soumya’ did not pose any problems. In any case, a series of appellation like ‘Somu’. ‘Bong’…

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