Friday, November 6, 2009
This is an old photograph that I retrieved from my Dad’s belongings. He had been holding on dearly to it together with a few more since I was a kid. The people in the picture must be all old by now and the older ones may have probably passed away. I have no idea who they are except that they are all my paternal relatives from India whom I have never met before but who I hope to meet up soon when I visit Kerala.
All these years, I knew that I had paternal relatives in India since Dad originated from there. There is not a soul in Malaysia (other than from my Mum’s side). My sisters had been in touch with them and had even visited them a couple of times but not me. I knew all along that they were there but somehow I didn’t follow up on the lead. My Dad was eldest in a family of 5 consisting of 3 sisters and a youngest brother. They have all passed away now though. And I do know now that I have a host of uncles, aunties, cousins, nephews and nieces there. I am not too sure of their feelings towards me but I am basically all excited and looking forward to the day when I get to meet them in person. I cannot understand why this eagerness was not in me while Dad was alive. I suppose everything was taken for granted then and you tend not to give much thought to those you have not met. But it’s different now that Dad is no more. You want his memories to remain and what better way to relive those moments than being with his own people.
I cannot quite describe the feeling that I felt when I made that call to India 2 days back……to my cousin in Mumbai. First his son Rajan answered (my nephew). Then I got to speak to Mr. Raman, my paternal cousin brother. I didn’t know where to start or what to ask so I just spoke generally for a while and hung up, after getting his son’s email address so that I can communicate more often. But after I hung up, a lot of thoughts raced through my mind…….for one, I felt disturbed that I had neglected them for so long and failed to establish any meaningful relationship. I felt closeness in the connection…. something that I had not felt before……and a lot of guilt too….!
But why…? I don’t have the answers to the question. I suppose it’s the need to trigger back Dad’s memories and allow it to linger on……!
Posted by aravind at 2:38 AM