Family Reunion

For the past week, Macho Girl’s been in the village, ditching her city-girl image and hanging out with her family. Well, instead of sitting around waiting for her to return so I’d have someone to gupshup with again, I decided to take a mini-vacation myself. So, last week, I headed off to an uncle and aunt’s place in Mumbai city and joined 9 other cousins for a week of catching up, hanging out and chilling. Yep, you heard right. Ten cousins (9 girls and one poor little boy), aged 6 to 24, all under one roof for one whole week. My, what a ruckus!

So, for a very pleasant (and eventful) week, the 10 of us got up as late as we wanted in the mornings, got treated to scrumptious breakfasts, battled with each other for bathroom space, ran around the house getting ready, constantly bumping into one another (when there are 11 other people in the house, you can run, but you most definitely cannot hide!), went shopping to various crowded places, helped each other pick out shoes and outfits, bargained with the shop-keepers, squeezed into one table so we could all have lunch together, played mix-n-match with ice-cream flavors, went bowling and cheered each other on, comforted each other when the littlest one of us all kicked our butts at the game, ate popcorn together in the movie theatre, discovered how wonderful the paneer wraps are at McDonalds, helped each other win games of Rollercoaster Tycoon, exchanged e-mail ids, shared music CDs, argued about Blue’s nationality, laughed as we watched ‘Home Alone’ on the home theatre system for the billionth time, went on rollercoasters with each other at Essel World, enjoyed home-made chaat, listened to and made fun of Himesh Reshammaiya, imitated his nasal voice, panicked every time ‘Jhalak Dikhlaja’ was played on the radio, groaned together as we got bumped around in the back seat of the huge Maruti van, cleaned up together after dinner, and sat up into the night with Aunty and Uncle, reminiscing, talking about old times, sharing family stories and experiencing similar feelings of nostalgia. Phew, we did quite a lot, didn’t we?

In families as big as mine, it’s easy to lose touch with relatives. Priorities shift, work and immediate family take precedence, stupid geography works its evil plots, and slowly but surely, you lose contact with people you once hung out with on a weekly basis. Favorite cousins become people you meet once in a few years, and you find yourself asking your mother who exactly it was who called the other day, saying she was your second cousin. Family history charts go flying out of the window, you no longer know who’s married and who’s not, your nephew meets you after a few years and doesn’t recognize you, even though you played with him everyday when he was younger, and before you know it, you get disconnected from the rest of your family.

It took one week with 9 other cousins to make me realize how much the world has changed. It took several narrations by my parents and elders, of their lives together, of their huge joint families, and of several cousins living under one roof, to make me understand how far apart we’ve grown in the space of a few generations. It has taken me long enough to realize that quality time with the family is precious, and that every once in a while, family takes precedence over friends. That it is time we all tried to take some time off our busy, uninteresting schedules to spend a few precious days with our families, near and distant. Because, ultimately, it matters. Because, in whatever way you think of it, your family is the reason you exist. Because, in the end, your family is your life.

10 cousins, separated by two continents, four countries, five cities and 10 different lives got the rare chance to spend quality time with each other and enjoy each other’s company for a week. I don’t know when I’ll meet these people again, but I know I’ll carry fond memories of the time we spent together. Memories that will last for years. And sometimes, these memories are all that are needed to make you realize that really, nothing beats family.

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9 thoughts on “Family Reunion

  1. Clueless June 19, 2006 / 2:02 pm

    #Pri,Just realized that I didn’t answer your question! They were all cousins from my dad’s side. I’ll be meeting some from my mom’s side on my next holiday a week or so from now. :)#Deepu,I did! It was an awesome week – couldn’t have asked for more. :)#Sayesha,Aww, maybe you can all make plans to meet up somewhere. Thay way, everybody gets a holiday! :PAnd will have loads of fun on your behalf, don’t worry! 😀

  2. Sayesha June 19, 2006 / 11:25 am

    Gosh, sounds like you had a fab time… I’m so jealous! My hols are over, and I did not even get to meet my cousins this year! :(Okay okay, have fun meri taraf se bhi ok?? 🙂

  3. deepu June 17, 2006 / 2:58 pm

    wow.. a nice blog anusha.. I know its really difficuly to keep in touch with each and every family member especially when its a big family..hope atleat now u wud remember all of them :).. Anyway i think u had an awesome time with them.

  4. Clueless June 16, 2006 / 1:51 am

    #Pri,Heeeeey! Long time no see! :DGot all philosophical, huh? What to do, yaar…gotta make the readers realize that I’m not always all about the laughs! ;)#Viv,Aw, I’d have LOVED for you to be there too. You could’ve given the sole boy some much needed company. 😉 And I don’t have any photos because I’m sorely lacking a digi-cam, but others took pictures, and hopefully they’ll upload it on some common site so I can view them. Will send them to you if I come across them. :)#Soleil,So true, so true. And yours is a pretty big family, so I guess you understood exactly what I was talking about! :P#Confused soul,Haha, I don’t mind a good old ‘Aaaaaaahsum!’, but I get what you mean! 😛 #Macho,I’m sorely disappointed, my child. Very, very disappointed. *shakes head sadly*I loooove teasing you. 😀 Kidding aside, glad you had a nice time with your family too. We’re on the same wavelength here – we even go on family outings at the same time! How cool are we?! 😀

  5. Macho Girl June 16, 2006 / 1:30 am

    I just came back from a mini family reunion myself. and it was amazing! I agree about how we tend to lose touch with family members… the last time I talked to the people i met in my village was about 2 yrs back. And there was a time when we used to keep in touch more often. I guess our world is just becoming more complicated and we just never find the time. These moments are rare and we just gotta enjoy them while they are there and cling on to the memories :)And i am 5th to comment?????????????? NNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHH!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRGH!!! (ooops! am i over recting? :”>)

  6. Confused Soul June 15, 2006 / 11:03 pm

    Amazing.. just too good.. would have loved to use the word awesome here, but don’t u think after going to NUS(and thanks to Ganesh!:P) we’re using that word all too frequently and it seems to have lost its real meaning and value..Anywayz,seems like u had a rolicking time..!! Such opportunities come very rarely..and I’m glad you got one! And about family.. blood is always thicker than water…no matter what… 🙂

  7. soleil June 15, 2006 / 5:33 pm

    You really did do a lot of stuff with a lot of people! Glad you had a wonderful time 🙂 you said it dudette, family is the reason we exist. They’re the ones who will stick by you no matter what life throws at you so its only right that you spend some time with them as often as you can. Its not easy, (trust me, I know) but we have to try.

  8. viv June 15, 2006 / 9:34 am

    I missed it man! 😦 I would have loved to be there. It’s so true… nothing beats family! Sure, you like some more, you like some less… but there is something nice about relatives.In today’s world, ten cousins getting together very rarely happens… hope you took some photos for me to see how they’ve all grown up 🙂

  9. Pri June 15, 2006 / 2:01 am

    wow!!!awesome post!!! u got it goin gal…from when did ya get so good at bloggin? hey nice to know u had so much fun…so ur cuisins from dad s side or mum s side?/*It has taken me long enough to realize that quality time with the family is precious, and that every once in a while, family takes precedence over friends. That it is time we all tried to take some time off our busy, uninteresting schedules to spend a few precious days with our families, near and distant. Because, ultimately, it matters. Because, in whatever way you think of it, your family is the reason you exist. Because, in the end, your family is your life…/*hmmm…great thoughts…the way u put it set me thinkin…kinda philosophical too but what the heck?we do like to get intense once in a while…great post once again…keep it up!

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