‘What did I ever do that you found such a weird name to give me?’ I remember asking my Mom every single day when I was a kid. Yes, I was the girl who was always asked ‘Why do you have a guy’s name?’
Then I became the girl who was called ‘shakti kapoor’ ‘shakti man’ and what not! The worst day of my school life was my 11th birthday. The school would put up your name on the notice board with flowers to wish you a happy birthday and I was pretty kicked about it. So imagine my horror when they wrote my name as Mast. Shakti Salgaokar on the blackboard! As I stood there in front of the highly decorated notice board, watching my dream wilt through the haze of my tears, every single person passing pointed to me and laughed, ‘They thought you were a guy!’
I went on to be a tomboy who took great pleasure in thrashing ‘stupid’ boys. Of course, terrorizing the ‘stupid’ boys helped. The jokes on my name obviously stopped, but somewhere, the guys all forgot I was a girl.
Of course, through college I continued to be a tomboy and only discovered the joy of being ‘girl’ like recently. That’s a different story (you can read it here). I love my name, it’s different and I have found peace with being myself!
So why am I writing this? Because something happened and I am revisiting my childhood traumas. You all know how super thrilled I am about twitter (In case, you don’t, here’s a post about it). My twitter updates have been regular and random. And I’ve even made a few friends on twitter! So anyway, I suddenly changed my twitter avatar to a nice picture of myself. And immediately, I was flooded with @ replies asking me if that was indeed me. And two tweeple actually were surprised I was a woman!
Of course, I don’t know if they were disappointed I was a woman, but I was in a bit of a shock. Did these tweeple not a get sense of my gender from my tweets? Or am I still that tomboy I used to be? I am a bit baffled. Anyway, is this a side effect of the cyberworld? You can’t see the person you’re interacting with, all you have is the assumption you’ve made about them!
PS: Check out twitter if you haven’t already done so!