Pravartika Wankhede

India

16-a lot on my mind

Message to Readers

I put too much thought into it, hoping it turned out good. *crosses fingers and shrieks
Like it if you do like it. And comment so (constructive criticism APPRECIATED) that I may improve. Every like, y'all know, is a medal to a writer and every comment gold.
1 LOVE <3
call me whatchu want to.

What's Not In Your Name

July 5, 2020

PROMPT: Dust Jacket

18
I was named Chiu,
on the day I was born- by my father.
He named me after the sparrows. And when the in our urban flat, (bought the year I was born) they would nest on my bathroom window’s sill, every spring till the rains came, he would sing an old, whimsical rhyme, and I would roll over in laughter.
 Chiu tai, Chiu tai, 
Daar ughad.
Dana kha, paani pi ani bhoooooooorrrr udoon za.


​Chiu O! Chiu!
Open this door!
Peck the grain, quench your thirst and flllllllyyyyyy away.
 
I was named Asmii,
When I turned two and started elementary school.
And I had to remember, that I was two names and two people. Only at home and among people who shared my blood, could I be a little sparrow. Irony: Asmii means ‘I am’ in Sanskrit. Two years old, in a stiffly starched school uniform, runny nose and quiet eyes, I couldn’t know who I was. My parents told me, 
Everyone has a good name,
Everyone has a pet name,
Chiu-our sparrow- you’ll forever be,
Even when you fllllllllyyyyyyyy away.

 
I was named Pravartika,
When I started preparatory school, and my parents decided that my good name wasn’t good enough. First, they gave me the burden of identity, then the burden of greatness.
They called me ‘the one who will change the world’.
In 2008, The Eyak language becomes extinct as its last native speaker dies, a tornado breaks out across the Southern United States leaving at least 58 dead,  Kosovo declares independence from Serbia. Fidel Castro retires as the President of Cuba, Bhutan officially becomes a democracy, Iron Man is released, terrorist outfit Lashkar carries out four days of coordinated bombing and shooting attacks across Mumbai, killing 164 people and  Barack Obama is elected the 44th President of the States. And at five years old, and four feet tall, I am three people, called three names. (One good, another not good enough? and another not good at all?)

And my friends call me P, P.W. and my best friend starts calling me Roza, meaning my dear in some Nordic language. I go on to adopt pseudonyms and nom de plumes, playing with my several names...Asmy or P.W. Hede in articles in magazines....my cousins back home teasing me ChiuDAAAAAAA ChiuDAaAaAaA....teachers calling out my name in the roll call, stumbling over syllables....and in this whirlpool of confusion, I realize: I haven't deserved any of my names. After all, I am not forever-my-parents'-sparrow, I am not Asmii-if I were I'd at least know who I am- I haven't changed the world, and am beginning to grasp that it is futile trying to change the world and-I am not Pravartika.

So when: a new teacher asks me genially, "What is your name, my child?"....relatives I met seconds ago, in their drooling oo's and ee's question, "Tuza naav kai ahe? What do I call you?"....a schoolmate I crash into in the library, curiously pulling their glasses up, "Whatcha name?"....names juggle and I breathe and Einstein laughs in my head, "It's all relative."....I reply- "Pravartika. Chiu. Asmii. Call me what you want to." 
The rhyme mentioned above is in Marathi and is ancient. *laughs
tai means an elder sister, used as a token of respect

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  • July 5, 2020 - 1:34am (Now Viewing)

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19 Comments
  • Anlee

    ooo i like it <3


    4 months ago
  • pineapples

    Replying: Thanks so much for that comment :)
    you're right, transphobia within the queer community sucks so much and takes away from our overall unity. blegh, you're right.


    4 months ago
  • outoftheblue

    Replying: niceone
    but like how


    4 months ago
  • outoftheblue

    YOU DID IT YOU DYED IT IS DONE


    4 months ago
  • outoftheblue

    Ahahahhagdksjauqyehejskssdhdhsiajshsh your pfp!!!!!!!!!!!


    4 months ago
  • spurtsofdarkness

    replying: :)


    4 months ago
  • spurtsofdarkness

    replying: nothing wrong in following, but i just don't wanna reveal my identity


    4 months ago
  • spurtsofdarkness

    replying: yup i'm on ig, but i don't follow you, so.


    4 months ago
  • spurtsofdarkness

    replying: also, a link would be nice xD


    4 months ago
  • spurtsofdarkness

    replying: of course, of course :)


    4 months ago
  • inanutshell

    replying: your comment made me laugh so badly - never even thought of that lmao. that's something i'd 100% pay to see


    5 months ago
  • Doodleninja

    I love all the nuances you tied into your name. This was a pleasure to read:

    replying: thanks for the feedback! Do you mean that I should be more subtle in revealing that I'm talking about my "original characters"? Cause I was afraid no one would know what I was talking about XD, so if I can take that line out for that reason, that would be nice to know :)


    5 months ago
  • elliem

    This piece was so breathtaking. I’ve said this before, but your writing style is really pretty. I especially like this line:

    “ Irony: Asmii means ‘I am’ in Sanskrit. Two years old, in a stiffly starched school uniform, runny nose and quiet eyes, I couldn’t know who I was.”

    This piece is raw, emotional, and detailed. Your words and style really bring this piece out in a beautiful way. <3


    5 months ago
  • elliem

    Reply: if you have the website prose, my username is the same. Your comment was so sweet! Put a smile on my face. :) Have a nice day!


    5 months ago
  • inanutshell

    i second what outoftheblue said - this is so insightful, and honest.


    5 months ago
  • Mishthi Sharma

    I loved it!!!! pulled me in with the very first line.


    5 months ago
  • outoftheblue

    Agsjdkhshsh this is incredibly insightful Prav (oOh am I the only qUiRky gal who calls you that?) And good names oddly remind me of bengalis? irdk why. Asmi is so cute. Imagining foetus you as that currently.


    5 months ago
  • Sol noctis

    This was lovely..... I mean it was something unique.... And you presented that unique thought, wonderfully... Great piece..


    5 months ago
  • Samina

    this is amazing! btw one more name PWT(you named yourself right)...XD


    5 months ago