Tuesday, March 24, 2009

safety net.

families are strange....mine is particularly so...
as most of my friends know by now i have an unusually large family which until a few years ago was a joint one. now we have scattered all over the place, but still the joint family mentality sticks somehow. my house (as i have heard, since i have not had the courage to walk past it in the last six months) has been turned into a field. still all my uncles refer to it as "baari", at any given point of time during the course of a normal day you will find one or more of my family members sitting on a bench in what used to be 9 nombor.
my uncle who has shifted to tollygunge temporarily comes to deshopriyo park every evening for his walk. apparently he is unable to walk anywhere else.
they still indulge in regular drinking sessions, the venue of which has shifted to mej-jethu's place, the menu however remains the same. whiskey and mutton. everytime. my 68 year old mej-jethu drinks five large pegs of whiskey in 90 minutes flat. my 69 year old borojethu manages to finish off 2 large beers quicker than any of my friends.
whenever we go to a wedding we go together, in a large convoy of cars, even though we don't live together anymore.
queerest thing is its not one of those sickly sweet families you see in soap operas. we don't really like each other much. i used to think it was force of habit.
now i know better. its blood. i know its a cheesy thing to say. but its true. i know that whatever happens, however much we dislike each other, we have to stand by each other in times of trouble.
its an obligatory thing you know. so the best part is, we don't have to bother to be nice to each other, or even keep in touch on a regular basis, but when we are in the deepest shit ever, we can fall back on each other...
and deep down i know i will always make allowances for their idiosyncrasies and their individual pet peeves, because really, all said and done, i am too much like them.
though i really love my friends but its not the same way with friends, because friendship is a matter of choice, of mutual like and respect. which can increase with time, which can also sort of burn out, you know? and once its gone the bond is broken...
families...well you are just saddled with them and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it.
i'm not sure that's always a bad thing.