Saturday, July 3, 2010
a case of curious identities
One would think, the purpose of a photo identity card is to establish the identity of a person. But the meaning of the identity card obviously got lost in translation with the government of our great nation. I say this because when my mom got her voters card (in Andhra pradesh) she went down to the registration office because she thought she got another woman’s voter’s card. My mom’s name is Magi Justine, but the card read – “mega jestis”. (I know it seems like a super hero’s secret identity!) She might as well have worn a cape and jumped off a building yelling “mega jestis to the rescue” than argue with the registration office clerk, that the card got her name wrong. Their big argument was “the picture is yours so it’s okay”. But the photo was a masterpiece of it’s own right; painters can get a person’s likeliness wrong, but for a photographer to get it wrong I mean what are the chances of that? The photo looks like a mug shot of a dead body that just washed up on a beach. And my mom’s husbands name (my dad) was printed as jestis M S. it’s funny because my dad’s name is Justine M J, at least that’s what my mom wrote on the application. I still am in amazement on how a person can confuse J with S. (written in capital letters)
But that was nothing compared to the utter speechlessness our family was in when my dad got his voter’s card. The name read -jeswin . Em . Je .(“seriously, People can get initials wrong” might be your question. The answer is a big YES!) But the best part was spelling mistake (highest form of an understatement calling it a spelling mistake) on the wife’s name (first of all there was no wife’s name only father/mother/husband’s name so I pity all the married guys who got a voter’s card back then) my mom’s name appeared as –“jan Em. Vi.” But an optimist would have said “look on the bright side at least his photo look a little bit like him” but im not so sure! So thus the “non”identity card was to be tolerated and thus for a few months in Andhra my parents were jeswin Em Je and jan Em Vi, thanks to the election commission of India of course.