What's in a name you may ask? To me it really is nothing. But then when other's determine your identity via this the true nature of the game begins. Like all romantic fluff heads, I changed my name with great flourish when I married at the age of eighteen in 1977. When I divorced in 1983 I retained my married surname ( I rather like the role of the double R!) and thought nothing more about this issue. However I forgot that the dear passport office in Ahmadabad had put my husbands name down as being my middle name.
For years the great tamasha has continued to get the name "Apichai" taken off as my middle name. The other hurdle has been to remove my ex-husbands name off my passport from the space designated as "spouse". Easy do you think???!!!! Well let me quietly enlighten you that this couldn't be further than the truth.
Because my father forgot to do the procedures for a special marriage act, my parents brainwave to get me married in a church so that all the "planning" did not go up a spout from the boo-boo management fiasco, has been the stumbling block on this tale of absurdity. The subsequent annulment which is the legal document for terminating a legal catholic marriage is a document poo-pooed at by the passport authorities. Well the fact that the catholic marriage papers were OK to get my married name endorsed falls on deaf ears and pan chewing babu's, so there ends any logic that may otherwise have solved this 27 year old saga.
This year in February Surendran and I celebrated our twenty-fifth year of togetherness by signing the special marriage act. However on my passport I have another "man" as my "husband"!!!! If this isn't first class double life racy masala stuff for good old pulp fiction, what else is yaar?!!!!
My lawyer is my great Linus blanket of comfort these days. Every time I begin to look like I am going to erupt, he sends me calming sms messages that leave me to splutter and simmer down. Do I care about a name? Not really. But what I do care about is that I cannot claim the associations of belonging and the identity that defines who I am. Free India, please allow me to be free too!