As I was aimlessly scrolling through my Facebook feed today, I came across an image that asked,

“Who are you? Answer without: Name, Job, Things you did, Friends.” 

And that got me thinking if we were to introduce ourselves without the name, our job and what we do, how would we come across to others? All introductions need a name, a job and things we do, is it not?  If not, how would it be possible for us to judge the other?

Tell the name and we can find out the place you are from and we start forming stereotypical impressions in our mind. Tell what you do for a living and there starts the second round of stereotyping. I believe it happens to all of us. The ones who say they do not judge anyone by name or looks, just learn to look past it the very next second. Do a name and occupation truly put forth who you really are?

I watched a Hindi movie recently, Tamasha, that touches this point in a way. The lead characters meet as strangers at a holiday destination and decide not to tell their original name or reveal anything about them. They just be themselves without any shackles of stereotypes attached and spend a week together, deciding never to meet again. And come to think of it, it would not be possible for them to meet again since they know nothing about each other. But, fate has something else in store for them since the lady stumbles upon a book that the man was reading and happens to have the stamp of the bookstore from where it was bought.

They part ways and even after 4 years, the lady can’t shake him off her mind. By chance, she comes across the same bookstore, which is located in a different city and starts frequenting it, in hopes that she run into him one day. And, she does. They start dating but she realises that the man she met that day is not the same man. This man was a slave to the norm, far from the carefree adventurer that she knew.  What she decides to do next and whether he remains the slave to the norm forms the rest of the story.

The point here is, she wouldn’t have known the real him if they had introduced themselves the usual way. He would have obviously put up the face that the society has given him and all would have been lost. She would have definitely formed a stereotype of him if he had introduced himself that way. Maybe she would have accepted that she was wrong later, but it would have been done.

When I came across that image on Facebook, I wondered, would people really be ready to answer it, revealing who they are for real, without any fear? Are you ready to answer who you really are? Beyond your name, friends, occupation?

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