It was all in the nose .In fact, we all proudly say it’s quite a regal Roman one and that’s our distinctive stamp. At a family get together, all of us, the next generation of cousins who were all-young once but are in the new 40’s. As always, the conversation started with Modi, and the mounting tensions on the border and the ever-favorite Trump antics and the latest episode with the French first lady. And, then it meandered to what ailed us. I think at this point of our lives, we all have so many problems, just those kind which we used to hear from our parents and our grand parents and we used to shrug them off saying oh my god! This is all you talk about.
In fact, now it’s like a throw back to what all we have.
One thing we all concurred was that it all came from our grandparents! I think I have the strongest nose, the knobby knees, and we all have the same feet, with one of the finger taking a turn and acting independent of the rest! It just will not behave and fit in properly in our shoes!
We all have the same reaction to stress, the countless runs (pun intended) to the bathroom and the weak stomach and then the love for masala chai that we decided was the answer to everything.
It’s the answer to heart breaks, to exam tension, to getting a job, to not getting a job, for digestion or just sitting at home and gossiping and then when things got serious, for our rishtas! My cousins and I secretly finance Chai and coffee sold in this country, I think all of us collectively drink like a fish in water. Growing up, my grandmother told me that drinking too much coffee would make me wheatish in color, that was a myth, nothing happened, I however think it bleached the color of my hair though!
It is the most stubborn of all and color or mehendi just doesn’t stay! So all we have our wisdom highlights, platinum streaks and a receding hairline that thank god spared the girls but the men bear the brunt of it! One set wears turbans, so they escape it but one set is just plain ol’ bald. These all-little attributes we give to our grandparents.
We all have the same knee problems, but we have a doctor in our midst that saves us all the time. I think jointly we bombard him with the maximum whatsapp traffic asking advice from the simple, mundane, and silly to the most serious of problems! His patience is what is not in all of us. We are one of the most hot tempered, semi- impatient, always in a hurry with a slight OCD problem, creative, junk eating /craving, globe trotting with a bit of wanderlust in all of us! It’s like life is a full circle, we were all talking about the benefits of isabgol,lassi and how one needed to cut down on the masala to have a calmer stomach.
And, the bane of all of us was that we just love food, thanks to the chatpaatta gene in us, and then the mittha we craved. None of us took any spirits, the strongest we took was coffee, thus I think the sugar converted into alcohol and gave us a high!
The most distinctive trait was the eyebrows, definite and always one of them up in a question. You know the secret is that I would not trade any little quirk, characteristic we have. I confess, we all are blind too, and a cousin and I constantly keep on making plans that our combined number is so that we could qualify for a special discount (the fictitious ghostly third person). It is still being debated upon and by the time we decide we would be ready for glaucoma corrections. Call it the family gene that is tamped in us with the love for jeans , white shirts and the color blue , we all have the same set of problems .
In the end, the circle is always small, friends and family are that count and make a life rich. And, walking down the memory lane remembering the simple pleasures and them is what makes us complete and connect . In this hullabaloo of life , doing a lazy lunch with no deadlines, no rushes , no appointments one connects in the real meaning even if its discussing good old bowel movements. I guess that’s what it boils down to !