I couldn't help fuming at my name while filling in the information bubbles on my PSAT answer sheet. Kingshuk Dasadhikari. That's nineteen letters. The bubbles took forever, and I was the last examinee to put his pencil down. Later, I asked my parents why they hadn't kept everything simple with a nice, short name. They frowned, and told me to think myself lucky; that there were longer names in the world, and I was free to change mine whenever I wanted. Weary of the snappy response, I hastily moved the conversation to other topics
The subject resurfaced a few days later, when, out of simple curiosity, I looked up my name. "Kingshuk," I read, "Bengali for the Butea monosperma flower, commonly known as the flame of the forest in English." 'Flame of the forest' certainly had a nice ring to it, and I instantly warmed to my name. The source went on to describe how the red blossoms had mourned the fatal Indian defeat at the Battle of Plassey, weeping their fiery petals across the battlefield. I was touched to learn that a large part of my identity had been derived from my country's darkest hour, and silently thanked my parents for choosing "Kingshuk", all grievances against long names forgotten.
I've come to understand other reasons why my name's
don't use contraction here so important to me. Others rely on it to call me and talk to me. I use it to introduce myself, sign my approval, and label my work as mine. It heralds me into essays and speeches, and serves as my eternal companion. It's stood by my side as I learned to walk, talk, read, write, tie knots, and ride bikes.not sure if this is parallel structure
Indeed, after seventeen years of shared experiences, I can't see myself as anyone other than Kingshuk. Heading into my undergraduate years, I'm emboldened by the fact that my name will follow me all the way and see me through greater intellectual and personal exploration.