Life is one long trip, offering us plenty of reasons to celebrate something or the other. In a family as large as the one my mother comes from (11 siblings, would’ve been 13, had the other two survived!), there’s always reason to be beatific. I have cousins, aunts & uncles like everyone else, except that there are many I have yet to meet or even discover. From the little glimpses I had of my grandfather as a child, I can only infer that his children probably stood as symbols of either his virility or his economic well-being. I can’t imagine raising a family of 11 kids in this day and age.
A few years ago my parents achieved a milestone. 50 years of togetherness. At the time, I was wondering what would make for a perfect gift, what would they really cherish? Rummaging through my collection of old vintage photographs and other memorabilia, I decided to share my point of view of growing up with them, in a video. I have two older sisters living in other cities with their own collection of family photographs which I decided to use. I asked them to snail mail me stuff from their collections. Since these were images from the 1950’s onwards, they were mostly analog! So the first thing I did was line up all the stuff chronologically, to have them digitized. Between my husband and me we captured some sound bytes (on an almost defunct camcorder) of friends and family who would not be able to attend the party. Finally, with the help of a student who agreed to help edit the story for some pocket-money, and my children who agreed to lend their voices to introduce their grandparents. We put together this little 8 minute video, overnight. My younger daughter was 10 and she was sleepy and nervous reading about her maternal great grandpa, she swallowed a few words reading the passage. We had a flight to catch the next evening so it was a very sleepless 24 hrs before we reached New Delhi for the celebration!
This impression very briefly explains what it was like growing up with them. 50 years is long time to condense coherently but I tried. My folks are simple, honest to goodness kind of people. Their real achievement lies in their human values and an unmatched zest for life. It’s here on wp, because I want as many people to know of them. They deserve a spot of popularity in a world beyond family. Thank you for your visit and I hope you enjoyed watching this even if the culture is at odds with your own 🙂