Cousins and then some more

Posted May 12th, 2003 by Deepa and filed in Personal
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Apparently there is a Mallu “tough question” joke that goes something like
Question: Name a place that has no Malayalees at all
Answer: Heaven!!!
Change that to a place that has no cousins and you will find me nodding my assent fervently.

I have several cousins in US. One in almost every state….Add to the fact that most of them keep changing their residence make it seem like I have in EVERY state. When I was planning to do my MS I tried hard to get into a University that had no cousin around a 200 mile radius. For that I was ready to brave even the arctic climes of Minnesota. However destiny willed it otherwise and I found myself at University of Virginia with my first cousin (father’s sisters daughter) in Herndon,Va. A few visits to her place unearthed some more distant cousins and relatives all in the neighboring vicinity.

To get away from invitations to visit her place and meet relatives on the few rare weekends that I used to get off , I started making trips to far and away states. But of course I could not avoid meeting my relatives there as well…my companions on these trips were willy nilly dragged by me to meet these cousins of mine. To be fair I must confess, there were several advantages as well….it saves putting up at hotels, gives you more options at home-cooked food, and at time I can even wrangle a free sight seeing trip from some of them ;-) !.

Don’t get me wrong, I like most of my cousins …and at times even enjoy spending time with them. But one of the advantages of coming to US in my mind was something, which I nebulously called “freedom” and the prospect of cousins who periodically checked up on my “well being” was not I had bargained for. If you think, “well can’t you avoid them??”, then I can only say that you probably don’t have as many cousins as you do. For despite the seven seas that separate us , my strings are firmly in the hands of my mother who insists that I observe all the “civilities” that I should lest the parents of these cousins (who themselves are in another continent) feel hurt!!

Now I have moved to Philadelphia, which very very surprisingly does not have any of my cousins. But alas my “freedom” lasted for just 5 months when yet another cousin of mine, landed up here with poora khandaan( wife, parents and six month daughter).

But i wonder why…..somehow I am really looking forward to going to their place after work today!!

DISCLAIMER: all my cousins reading this….I am just kidding…Of-course you know that ;-) !!

Books

A woman’s life by Guy de Maupasant : Some books are easy to read and a woman’s life is just that. It is the story of frustration and the sad life of a Norman woman set in19 century. The book has no sudden twists or extra characters added to the plot but still the slow exploration of the main protagonist’s feelings holds your attention.
What Looks Like Crazy (on an ordinary day) : Whenever I go to Barnes and Nobles, I browse almost all the aisles till the unfortunate person who has accompanied me realizes that the only way to get me out of the store is to drag me. Most of the times, my wallet cannot afford the long list of books I intend to buy and its rare that I pick up books at random especially at full price. However I gave in to an impulse and picked up What Looks Like Crazy (on an ordinary day) by Pearl Cleage just because the blurb seemed interesting and I liked the colorful cover!!
Was a good decision. A story about a HIV infected hairdresser coming back to her hometown might sound maudlin and sentimental but the book was full of humor and optimism. Read it if you can lay your hands on it.

Movies

Mr and Mrs Iyer : The movie definitely has its moments. Konkana Sensharma’s potrayal of a Tam Brahm is pretty authentic.
Identity : Half “Ten Little Niggers” and half “Sybil”. Disappointing
Bandini : Nutan is my all time favourite actress. Her potrayal of Bandini is restrained yet the simmering emotions beneath the calm facade is almost palpable. And as a bonus Dharmendra who looks simply wow!!

Websites

Check out this photo-blog for some amazing pictures especially some great ones of Philly. Now you know I live in a great city!!
Some more pictures, this time its my favourite city ,Bombay.
Urdu poetry anybody?? , some mazakiya shayri maybe? Enjoy!!!

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