Buddha had no problem with your name. It was the way rulers invoked it that told him something was off.
HAVE BEEN THINKING OF YOU. I see your name on buses, store fronts, and doorways. I hear your name on the streets, in the villages, girls and boys say your name. I have seen your name a million times. I have heard your name a million times. Your name is the only one that knows me. I am on a bus now. We are going from Dobhi to Domuhan, in Bihar. I am sitting next to a blind man who is staring at my fingers. I am sitting next to a boy with a rucksack looking out the window. Trees, fields, cars, trucks, crops that almost came this year. We are on the road that Buddha walked. It was just dirt then. I wonder if the scene has changed much. There were probably fewer poor people then. Since maybe this was before money? But people were still killed and tortured for coins or a day in the sun. The truth is that I am writing you between the walls of two different worlds. They are about to smash together. I saw a woman today who was slashed on the arm by an angry husband. I saw children working their makeshift wells for drinking water, and water for the fields. One said this is why we can't go to school, if we don't do this, what will we drink, how will the crops grow? Time is a fix. What do you do with it? Equality takes time. Shady governments take time. I have met little girls with your name. I have heard fathers invoke you. I have seen your name give hope to people in despair. Buddha had no problem with your name. It was the way rulers invoked it that told him something was off. I see death here. Brothers and sisters can't spell their name. Some of them say yours. But today I met a brother today whose wife had your name. He is a journalist. He writes on hunger deaths. He is a good man. I am not kidding when I say he is a brother. He is a man who knows how to laugh as if life wasn't a joke. He is 28 years old and five months ago the gas tank exploded on his wife's face when she was cooking. She died. He writes. He keeps on. We got on like old friends. I didn't tell him I had a wife back home who shares his wife's name. I gave him my day's work, my questions, my respect. I fell in love with this man’s heart when he said your name and spoke of what a good woman his wife was. I saw you, entered another world. It is hard to explain.