Saturday, January 17, 2009

what the future brings ...

I went to a birthday party today - a friend of my son's whose family has lived in this state for a couple of generations. The party rang with the childrens' laughter at the antics of their cousins, squeals of delight at seeing a favorite aunt, exclamations of "Look how much he has grown in just a week!" and it all left me aching with want. To have the kind of family and roots in the place I live in. To see my children visit with their aunts and uncles every other week, to go to a "thottil" of my cousin's daughter or an "upanayanam" of my nephew. On the heels of those pangs settled in the realization that that was a lifestyle for the previous generation in India, atleast in my family. All the get-togethers and dos that were celebrated for anniversaries and birthdays, births celebrated by visiting each other - all of these were for that generation, that priviledged one with many siblings, all of them that worked and lived in the same city. For us, we have the better education, the supposedly better life, but one sibling or none. We are the ones that have moved away, away to a land, scattered around the world, where we make do with friends in place of family. We meet our parents once a year or once in two years, birthday parties are no longer small family gatherings, but big to dos in some party place, the children know their aunts and uncles from pictures and phone calls and video cameras. I have this - the memories of those gatherings, grew up rooted in that system with the aunts and the uncles and the grand parents and great uncles and the great aunts. Will my children miss these when they are adults or will the adage "they cannot miss what they did not know" apply to them?

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