Years ago, Miss Vimala and Mister Manishankar had named me सुमित. It is a compound Hindi word. सु means good. मीत means a friend.
In English you would spell that as `Sumit`, with an i. But my parents made a mistake and spelled it `Sumeet`, with two e’s. Then Miss Sneha came along. She juggled my last name `Pareek`, the `Sumit` with an i, and crafted the anagram - `pure mistake`. She then used the version with two e’s and came up with `seek pure mate`. I remember how I felt when I found out about those anagrams.
Ah, Lady Language. Thy beautiful ways …
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No that was not a typo there. Hindi and Spanish have feminine associations with certain words. Sometimes I talk in a similar fashion about certain ideas.
Take my relationship with Lady Language and Lady Life for example. I wish to have a passionate and healthy affair with both of them. You might think of it as scandalous. But that would be taking personification too far. So please don’t.
In my younger young-days I used to think Lady Language has all the words, but she doesn’t give them to me, because she doesn’t like me. And I could see she didn’t stop there. She enjoyed it when I could not fully express myself. While she gave an abundance of her words to others. Making me feel what wrong had I done?!
She never understood how I felt.
The idea of words also always felt like a constraint to me. They expressed only a very very limited fraction of what I desired to express even when others thought I was being very articulate. Friends said I speak and write in unconventional ways but they get me. What they called unconventional ways was just a manifestation of my dislike for grammar. Grammar is to Language what Government is to Love, I often said. Still do. When others expressed in beautiful ways, emotions I that had already lived and experienced, it made me very happy. I just wished words came to me too, and feared they never would.
Don’t know how, or when, a shy thought visited my heart. Could it be that Lady Language loves everybody? Maybe she likes me as well. If I bring her my words, would she give me some of hers?
What if we are designed to liberate one another, not constrain.
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That was then. That’s the background of my relationship with Lady Language. Today, I am increasingly more comfortable with words both hers and mine. In my own weird way of course.
Talking of which -
I always obsessed over meaningfully wording my project titles, email subject lines or internet usernames. That aspect of me has carried over to this blog too I guess.
First, the anagram puremistake only became possible after Sneha corrected the mistake in my name’s spelling. I get excited about such recursion of sorts. The name also reminds me of the beauty of Lady Language and the joys of anagramming.
Then there is the symbolism of embracing mistakes and not being held back by them. The sound of puremistake inspires that ‘keep going’ spirit in me. And it has a naughty ring to it too, balancing too much seriousness with some silly.
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