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A New Rishta

In a few days, my cousin would get married. I am obviously upset about missing her wedding but there is something else that saddens me more even though the occasion is joyous. Me and my cousins, we are a very close knit group… age differences and physical distances have never really mattered to us. Spread around the world, we all still manage to stay in touch and on those rare occasions when all of us do manage to land at one place… we make sure that period of time is etched forever in our hearts and minds. The frequency of us meeting reduces a bit when new rishteyare formed… though, marriage and families of their own and even kids of their own have not dampened the thirst for fun and adventure in both my paternal & maternal cousins.

We could easily fill a full-size bus with just our generation (maybe the next could be included). With a combined (maternal + paternal) list of 5 uncles & 4 aunts… and with 2 kids for each of them… that’s a truck load of cousins indeed.

Vacation trips to Kerala are always buzzing with excitement. Everybody tries to fly down around the same time. And that means the neighborhood where we are all put up has to arm themselves with ear-plugs and sleeping pills and the like. The giggles and laughter and the games and the winding gossip sessions go on late in to the night. Card games and board games are carried all the way in to hospital rooms when one of us falls sick… and they stop only when the hospital staff kick us out.

Trips & picnics are planned… then discussed at length and then re-discussed in to the wee hours of the night. Then one fine day an impromptu destination is picked and a super enjoyable trip just happens… no planning would make it as enjoyable as the impulsiveness of it.

With all this happening among us… it becomes inevitable that when a rishta for one of us comes in… one of the major checkpoints is the compatibility of the would-be groom or bride with the rest of us. How well would they fit in to our world? Luckily, it has never happened that a new addition to the family has ever felt out of place with or overwhelmed by the bunch of us.

When my older cousin sis was about to get married, I was a li’l worried. I was very close to her and the idea of her marrying away did not really go well with me. Being in Bombay I did not get a chance to meet jiju before the wedding… and all assurances from my other cousins and relatives did not really make it better for me. But, after the wedding it was quite obvious that jiju could start the ball rolling in every adventure we plan and what better… he would be the kingpin of all our adventures (and misadventures). Yes, the same jiju whose estates we raided.

As I wish my little sis a happy married life, I hope that with this marriage we get to add one more fun loving character to our ever expanding troupe.

© Surya Murali

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