A Name Game My Kid Played With Me

It made me reflect on my changing relationship with my country of birth

Nitin Dangwal
Human Parts
Published in
4 min readNov 16, 2023

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On a Sunday morning couple of weeks ago when I was still in bed my toddler who is extravagantly chatty in the morning asked me to tell the names of my co-workers. I began reciting names in the order they came in my head. Ashley, Brian, Sam, Emily, Jason, Todd, Patrick. After giving off this list, I closed my eyes, hoping he would run off to his room, and I catch a bit more sleep.

But like with everything else, he wasn’t satisfied with anything he got easily.

“More,” he demanded.

I scratched my head, summoning more names. Lisa, Martha, Steve, Jake, Brian, Emily.

“You already said Brian and Emily,” he said, catching my attempt to be sneaky.

“I’m sorry, baby,” I said, feeling a tad embarrassed.

I continued. Danny, Henry, Sharon. I stopped, not remembering any more names.

“Papa more!” He implored.

I raised myself on the pillow looking at the ceiling. It was getting harder now. “Ahh,” I said, remembering Martha’s friends in the finance department. “George, Wendy, Fae,” I splurted quickly, and then seeing the eager eyes of my toddler, added, “Scroorge, Howard, Dorian.”

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Nitin Dangwal
Human Parts

Writing stories, poems and a little bit of everything about life