Friday, June 24, 2005

A family post: Gen Next

Watching TV these days plunges me into seemingly bottomless pits of depression. And the worst part is I am talking not of the soaps in Sun or Raj but of ESPN. Yeah, you heard me right and I am referring specifically to the Spelling Bees competition that recently concluded in the US. While it is one thing that I do not like the fact that such events have now become mass
carnivals televised live to global audiences which means kids go through so much of tension and anxiety but on the other hand, it amazes me that the kids of 'this generation' seem to be soooooo bloody smart. To be perfectly honest, this year's competition was really tough considering I knew only 30% of all the words that were mentioned leave alone their spellings...and yeah, though I am a former SB champ (cudn't resist gloating on the SOLE highpoint of my childhood exploits) I have to stand up and doff my hat to Anurag Kashyap and co:....

Enough of rambling...what all this meant was that I was forced to sit back and think about our own family and the kiddies in it - the cousins (I have way too many in all directions but the ones I am closest to belong to my maternal grandma's side and they are the ones in question here) who belonged to the same generation as I did.....don't you dare smirk..and then I realised it wasn't fair on them since I am actually stuck between two generations - as old as my mom's youngest cousin and waaaaaay older than the latest arrival in our family - but allowing for such cheap pleasures, I've gotta admit that we've all turned out really well and I can't but help admiring all of us, including the best of the lot which is ME :-)

Now where do I start ? Okie, closest home is Chennai so I'll start with my second cousins, The sisters Rajagopal...or thats how I love calling them...The elder one, Lavanya, who I think is now in her final (Third??) yr of engineering comes across to me as someone who is extremely strong-willed and I am sure she will soon fly down to do her MS in the US and god only knows the peaks she is then gonna scale. The younger one, Sowmya, has just finished her std: 12 and is all set to join the Engineering brigade. In a lot of ways she is similar to her elder sis in that she is also unassuming yet warm but she is also dissimilar since she is more introverted and arguably the quietest of the entire lot. The best thing about The Sisters Rajagopal is that together they are the best singing pair in the entire family. Having been trained in Carnatic Music for almost 5-6 years now, the two are soon to be spoken of in the same breath as the Soolamangalam or Bombay sisters. My only grouse against them is that they are too much into classical and spiritual stuff and I really wish they would use their super talents to perform the odd cinematic number, like say Vaseegara, to please stupid cousins like me ;-)

Next are the other second cousins, the Sethuraman sisters but somehow calling them that way does not sound right...Sorry Chithappa :-) The elder one, Vardhini, now studying at ICFAI Hyderabad, is the most adorable sister one can ever have. Shy to the point of being reclusive, it takes her a month to think of a reply to my "Thanks for the raakhi. What do you want as a
gift ?" with a "Anything anna". However it would be stupid to mistake her gentle ways and make false assumptions because she is again a very resolute character with a mind of her own, one that knows what it wants and will work towards attaining them without being distracted. Janani, her younger sis now done with her Std 10, seems an out and out amma-gondu and is definitely more outgoing than her sis or atleast its the case with me. Janani is the only cousin I've seen grow up dramatically from a real baby to a cute teenager. It surely did not help that their family stayed in Calcutta and the only time I saw them was for 2 hours in a Railways station everytime they left after their annual vacations to the South but then to emphasise how much I adore these two, if there is one kid I want my own girl to turn out like, then it has to be Janani :-) Together Vardhini and Janani are probably the only people who make me feel miserable that I do not have siblings but then this feeling lasts just two weeks around Raksha Bandhan time so I guess I must confess that I am grateful for being the only child who gets to eat all the 'pandigai palagaram' made at home...well, make that 'almost' all the food...

A little farther up in the eastern part of India at a godforsaken place called Haldia are my two first cousins, Abhishek and Nandini. Abhishek, now in his Std 4, owes me one for giving him his identity - I decided on his name. That apart, there isn't anything that comes remotely close to connecting us. He is turning out to be everything I wished I had been but never was - left handed (hehe..I know I am crazy), very intelligent even at this age but more of the smart than the academic types (and that means second rank..will someone pls tell todays kids its ok to be second), awesome with computers - and hopefully will not get stereotyped into the engineer / doctor route and will become someone BIG in his chosen field. I won't waste more words on my ammanji since all that is reserved for his sister Nandini, all of 18 months who is, without any doubt, my princess. I have seen a lot of kids in these 27 years but none that can holler as much as her....and none that looked cuter when they holler...So cute that I am so tempted to kidnap her and bring her to Bangalore except that everyone in my family knows exactly where to look in case she ever went missing :-( Did i forget to mention that she can play golf ? Yeah !!!

Miles apart in a suburb in London stays my other second cousin Thejes. At the ripe old age of 8, Thejes is an avid F1-fan, supports India in every cricket match against Pakistan, is the resident Derek O' Brien of the family and if other people are to be believed, is the cousin who comes closest to who I was when I was young (read: chamathu, well behaved, academically inclined though with terrible eating habits). As if all that wasn't enough, he is also into Classical music and I just hope he becomes an Unnikrishnan and not a Balamurali Krishna...These days there is more dabbu in cinema than kutcheris...which brings us to the conclusion of my family's Gen Next...wait...how could I forget 2 month old Shreyas...Its still early days but if he has inherited the right combination from the gene pool, then we have yet another perfectly raised, super bright kid who will become a national rankholder in the near future...Baaah...Aren't we all scuh boring, stereotyped Tam Brahms ? I really wish one of my cousins would do something different - marry an Armenian or become a pop star or something whacky like it...

*sigh*

2 comments:

Sud said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
L&M said...

Rofl Sud......but i think you are in some trouble........the volcano is going to erupt :)