Her dad and mom are my cousins.. Her mother is my uncle’s daughter (mom’s brother’s daughter) and her father is my mother’s sister’s son. So the right relationship for her and I is niece and aunt 🙂 It’s a little confusing.. But what’s clear and not confusing at all is the fact that the little muppet that Ranga and I called “Laddu” is old enough to be married off. Infact Radha looked like a doll when she was little and her mother looked like a slightly larger doll. People would tease Ranga saying, he married a child and how could a child have a child.
We drove down on Friday from Bengaluru for the wedding… There are so many special memories attached to Ranga, Padma and many other cousins that I met during the wedding. Ranga and Koka were sitting outside the clinic the day I was born and they were in their twenties … I realised the age difference between Ranga and I in 2008, after dad passed away and we had to open a new bank account in mom’s name. Till then he was just Ranga and I treated him like he was my buddy. Well he was and is my buddy, and a special memory that he shared during the wedding was – he was part of the troupe that would accompany my mom to school, because she wouldn’t go alone !! Ranga was part of my childhood, he would take dad’s scooter and dad would be worried because he would drive so fast, he bought me my rabbit costume for my kindergarten play and then he became a part of my college days. The endless trips to the canteen to buy me “Maggi” and Marie biscuits. The next special memory is when he came home and stayed with us in Chennai getting his back fixed. Ranga has a special way of kneading the dough for “rotis” and a penchant for my mom’s tea. He and Koka met Krishnan before our wedding and ofcourse attended our wedding.
Padma, her sisters and brother were the only cousins that we visited everytime during school vacations. Special memory of watching “Pokkiri Raja” in Madurai and eating rocket dosa and trying out cookies made in a pressure cooker.. The days of playing cricket near Gun Rock enclave with Rajan, dad and other friends, then his wedding where a friend of his specially wanted to know my contact details, the fights on who had more flowers in her hair between Kokila and I – seems like yesterday and today, Padma’s daughter is getting married, Kokila’s daughter is already married and Rajan’s son is working. And yes, it’s more than eight years since Alamelu died and Koka remarried. Time does fly.
Meeting Chellamma and Chakku was special too – Ranga’s sisters and my cousins. Chellamma, married our best looking uncle 🙂 and is not just a cool gynaecologist but also is super creative. She can crochet, stitch her own clothes, embroider, drive her scooter and in general prove the fact that a woman is multidimensional. Remembering the spicy food at her Jamnagar house and it’s in her house our grandmother told me to become a teacher and not suffer like Chellamma by becoming a doc :):):). Again, it was yesterday that Koka slept in queue to get Geetu, Chellamma’s daughter, admission to school and today Geetu is married and about to become a doc, the PhD route. Her elder sister Suba is already married and has children of her own.
Chakku has had her share of pain.. Losing her husband at a young age and bringing up her two children. She has done that well and her daughter is married off and son is an aspiring musician. She looks as gorgeous as ever and she is amongst the top 5 best cooks I have ever known.
Met many other cousins and the wedding was fun – my mother forgetting many people and then remembering when told their name 🙂 Radha looked resplendent is her red wedding lehenga and Ranga looked younger in his wedding suit. If my mother’s side of the family had all assembled, we would have crossed the 100 mark easily, but I doubt if that would ever happen – eleven brothers and sisters, and their many children and grandchildren. It’s sad that I don’t know many of my nieces and nephews and their children and haven’t met some of my cousins in 30 years. Well, such is modern life I guess… You hang onto special memories with the extended family, but only a few of them meet regularly. Our children may not recognize each other if they pass by each other on a street – maybe I should build a photo registry of both sides of Krishnan and my family. Hmmm interesting project.