It’s SO BIG will I be able to carry it ? That was in Class ninth exactly when I asked this question to me . The family is so big with so many great personalities and will I be anything in this vast legacy ? I started writing with this thought! Slowly I realized I need to carve out my own niche and forget what the surname has to offer. Will the ancestors speak to me from crematorium; will I be able to unfold stories never written?? And the story begun ..
In class tenth computer changed my name to Tara Chettur Menon earlier it was C. Tara but computer was not accepting that name so my tenth CBSE board exam really gave me my name what I carry now !
At the age of 20 I got chance ( by chance ) for an internship along with studies I was thrilled there I was grilled for this surname for which I had no knowledge . Further the Chettur tag also meant that I am not be considered for paid internship it was non government organizations and could afford to pay only to the needy candidates
I completed my studies and got into a profession which hardly anyone entered at that time atleast in my circle.
Then again Chettur Bug popped up when I decided to marry a person of not my caste ! For my bridal make up my booking was done in one of the best parlour in city , It was my reception day and I was nervous just like any other newlywed bride .
My marriage was conferred locally at my home town with all south Indian rituals and I was really looking forward for a reception ( north Indian)to enjoy and fun . My booking was under the name “ tara tomar” I said its tara chettur , someone whispered you are married now so booking is under the name Tara Tomar, I repeated and insisted to change it . But then I was told to not to be adamant on the subject so silly tow which I agreed .
While beautician was doing make up putting blue lens ( first time I wore coloured lens to give different look) my mind was wandering on the “surname’ and was thinking whether I will change after marriage . Though my husband family is much broad minded and wearing ghoonghat and or pair chuna ( touching feet of all the elders )was never a necessity imposed on me I always fear to get a tag to be ‘opinioned ‘.The surname was too much one can afford .
When I admitted my kid in school automatically my name was changed( without being asked) and till date it is changed .But only difference is now I don’t fight or insists like I did with beautician when I was newlywed .Way back in my home town being spoon-fed by my mummy I always looked upon family name ‘chettur’ was very high and prestigious . When I started working it was all raw my surname backfired like many never pronounced it clearly calling chatter, chetiyar, chatur , chee toor , chaturi etc and till date the issues continues .Now when my Kid asks mummy what is this name why I need to carry ? I have no answer expect to give her freedom to chose whatever she wants she can identify with when she becomes adult .
‘chettur’ is not just name its identity with which I started to write with which people started to identify me with which I’m what Im.As I grow mature ( Hope I will ) the feeling in me to ‘let go’ is growing and if we really want to contribute even a little to what our ancestors done we need to really start at ground zero .. it’s not about being flamboyant that counts it’s about genuineness to work for social change # A personal tribute on Chettur legacy on birth anniversary of Sir Chettur Sankaran Nair who was the President of the Indian National Congress in 1897 held at Amravati. Until present he is the only Keralite to hold the post. He became a member of the Viceroys council in 1915 with the charge of the Education portfolio. As member, he wrote in 1919 two famous Minutes of Dissent in the Despatches on Indian Constitutional Reforms, pointing out the various defects of British rule in India and suggesting reforms. For an Indian to offer such criticism and make such demands was incredible in those days. The British government accepted most of his recommendations.