13th October 2014, when Hudhud cyclone struck the boundaries of some states of India, she (my daughter) came to my life, after enduring the unbearable pain. After one week, the process in our family started, for giving her a name so that her birth certificate could be prepared. Finally, the name was decided to be ‘KASHAF’, with her father’s name as her surname. Everyone agreed and they were very happy, and that’s when I asked a question, “Why only father’s name as the surname? Why not mother’s name too? Or why not a MotherFather name (MoFa) as her surname?” My husband smiled and replied, “It cannot be. A child always gets his/her father’s name as the surname”. I asked again, “Why?” He again smiled and said, “We live in Indian society. We are not celebrities. We are not some offbeat people, who can change these rules whenever we wish to.” Then I responded with some irony in my voice, “Then why do you always say that you don’t care about the society, and all you care about is your family?” He again smiled, but this time, he didn’t have an answer.
I told him that I had carried the baby for nine months in my womb and that I had born all the difficulties for nine months and kept the baby healthy, and then endured the unbearable pain during delivery. Then, the baby came into this world. I said,”Now you care about the society? I didn’t even care for my life!”
Now this time, my husband stared at me with a thoughtful expression on his face; and didn’t give any reply, for two days. Even I didn’t ask him anything. I was enraged.
After the 2nd day of the discussion, on the third day at about 3 pm in evening, he entered the room with a piece of paper in his hand. He gave it to me. I grabbed the paper with rage on my face and just started reading that paper.
What was written there, made me awe-struck. It read:
Name: KASHAF ISLAM NIZAMI
KASHAF: My daughter’s name
ISLAM: From SHAZIYA ISLAM (me)
NIZAMI: From NADIM NIZAMI (my husband’s name)
And it’s the MoFa -name!
The moment I read that name, I still can’t describe that scene in words. I was happy, with tears rolling down my eyes. I was unable to understand what I was feeling at that particular time. It was a mixture of emotions that gushed inside of me.
Then my husband said, “You were right! We have to change ourselves first, for changing society’s vision and the scenario around us”.
From that reply, I learned a very important lesson of life. We need to speak, for whatever we think should be changed. We can’t change anything, just by keeping things within us. We have to speak for anything and everything, however insignificant a change we assume it to bring!
Assistant Professor, Rungta College (R1) Bhilai Raipur