‘Achan’, originally the first name of my great-grandfather, then given to my grandfather as his last name in 1929, was an attempt at creating something more than just a life on a farm in Guyana. After my great-grandfather had a failed attempt at coming to America, he decided that at least one of his children had to be successful at creating a better life. The one sibling that did this, out of seven, was my grandfather, Rajaram Achan. He not only brought his children to America, but he opened multiple doors for them and their future children.
Although his journey was cut short three years after coming to America in 1984, his children continued his legacy, and now their children, including me, are furthering the continuation of this legacy. The ‘Achan’ name can be associated with many things, but most importantly, a success story. One failed attempt, and a second timely attempt, is part of the reason for why all of my family and I are here today. It’s remarkable and mind-blowing to me, knowing that if I meet another person with the last name ‘Achan’, they’re somehow related to me. One slight change of a name created a long lasting impression, while also marking the successes of my great-grandfather and my grandfather alike.
I am proud to bear the ‘Achan’ name and my grandfathers story will always be a part of who I am.