Family matters .. Yes it does!


Amongst all that God has given me in life, I have always felt that my wonderful family is the highest blessing. Growing up with a bandwagon of uncles, aunts, cousins and grandparents is an experience unparalleled to anything else and has gone a long way in shaping all of us young people in the family into wholesome individuals.

Almost all of us are settled in Chennai now but about 15 years back, each of my dad’s brothers were settled in different places. But still, it was always made sure that we kids spent our summer holidays together and the entire family would get together for Diwali at my eldest uncle’s place every year. Seventeen people tucked away in one house. Kids bursting crackers, mothers busy in the kitchen (shooing away some naughty ones as they tried to whisk away some eats), people all over the house – the scene would be noisy and chaotic. But what fun it was!!

Years later now, even with all of us busy pursuing our chosen professions, nothing has changed. The bond that we cousins share with each other, the interest each uncle and aunt takes in every one of our lives, the way we all get together to perform important events in the family, the yearly trips we take to pay our respects to the family deity – all this gives a feeling of such warmth and happiness and weaves a web of togetherness and security around each one of us. The wonderful people who have come in by marriage are no exceptions. They have blended so well, extended the family circle and proved to strengthen the bonds even further.

Today if each one of us are emotionally well balanced individuals who have made it to reasonable positions and situations in life, it is primarily because of this strong foundation that being a united family has built. It has taught us so much. Sharing, adjusting with each other, giving in for the sake of another person, genuinely feeling for each other’s successes and setbacks, being there to support each other during difficult times, respecting elders .. I could go on ..

Now, aren't these qualities essential for any human being to be able to live peacefully in society? How a child turns out to be is hugely dependent on the parents who bring up the child and the environment that the child grows up in. A happy and secure environment filled with warm relationships that involve sharing and coexisting will give the world a wholesome individual who can face the challenges that it inevitably poses and come out successful. As a corollary, a child brought up in a lonely environment where relatives are seen as unwanted disturbances and cousins, uncles and aunts are considered as separate entities who have to be competed with in terms of wealth, positions held etc would in all probability end up a being a self centered person with no space for anyone else in life.

But sadly, many people today have become too busy and self engrossed to pay attention to relatives or to take efforts to get together. We may be in touch with everyone through phone calls and social networking sites. But nothing in the world can compensate spending time together. The bonds formed via the internet are only virtual and as rightly put by dictionary definition, they only ‘appear’ real.
And to top it all, the media is acting irresponsible too. I was aghast seeing a commercial recently where an old man comes as a guest to a house and the mother immediately frowns with disapproval at the unexpected ‘disturbance’. The child catches the hint and the ad goes on to show how the child ‘intelligently’ drives out the ‘unwanted guest’(as the ad quotes).
What has the world come to? And where are we heading? At this rate, the world would be filled with selfish individuals who cannot even tolerate one another, leave alone contributing to each other’s life. Is that what we really want?

You can be a nuclear family, no harm. But take the effort to live as a whole with your extended family. Celebrate festivals together, perform family events like marriages, housewarming, thread ceremony together. Do not say you don’t have the time to attend a family function. You should be there in the forefront ensuring that it happens well. The joy that comes out of this would be worth all that you gave up to be a part of it. Being a united family would ensure each one of us turn out to be complete human beings and also bring up children fit to live in society. It would in fact, ensure we groom a healthy and wholesome future generation itself. 

Comments

  1. I enjoyed reading this :) :) I have been living away from home for more than 5 years now and it has always been a nuclear family but I remember meeting all my cousins during festivals like Diwali, Holi - I think all that is very important as it helps you learn a lot of things without even realizing it! No matter how busy I am, I make it a point to ensure that I am present for all family functions :) :) Of course, owing to the fact that we all live in different cities, that becomes difficult but the emotional ties - as long as they are strong, life is good :)

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    1. Hey Divya!
      You are right - as long as the bonds are strong, life will be good.
      Giving those emotional ties a chance to form and nurturing them at the initial stages is very important ..
      Glad you enjoyed the post :) Welcome to this space!!

      Delete
  2. Enjoyed reading about your family, Aarthy!
    We also have a large extended family but unfortunately I've seen a lot of unnecessary bickering and back-biting during family get-togethers and functions. It has left a distaste in my mouth. My cousins are mostly abroad and we rarely meet. Just the occasional FB updates or a rare email. And none of us go the extra mile to be in touch. We connect when we meet, but then disconnect until the next meeting takes place. Weird, yes :-)

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    1. You have a point Uma ..It does leave a bad taste in the mouth when you see such inconsistencies ..
      But am reminded of one adage that my mom always says ..Since you know tamizh - 'kutram paarkin sutram illai'
      Its a thirukural and like all of others is so true ..
      Of course this is possible only when the good side of people in question outdoes the little bit of negative ..
      It all depends quite a bit on the people around us and situations ..
      Thanks for the comment :)

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  3. Wonderful post Aarthy... The need of the hour I guess. Only this week my daughter was complaining to me of the lack of cousins. My kids rather unfortunately happen to be the only kids in the first circle of the family. 2nd circle of families, mostly disconnected, lives miles apart. It was sad to see my dau lament the lack of cousins - when she has heard her friends talk of them and the fun they have !! But this prompted me to tell her.. everyone has a lack of something or the other !! Some lack a bro or a sis !! Some even lack siblings or even parents !! We decided to spend sometime at orphanages each month and on occasions... May be you'll find cousin-like relationships there !! :)

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    1. True Srividhya .. We should all count our blessings ..
      Taking them to orphanages .. Wonderful thought .. That way you'd be doing your bit for society and inculcating a sense of love for all humans in your kids too .. Way to go!!
      Thanks for the comment :)

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  4. Wonderful Aarthy. I am in cent percent agreement with your inked thoughts. It triggered enough flashbacks of my childhood days. Like you mentioned about getting together at the home of eldest Uncle, all of us used to get together at Thatha Paati's home in Swamimalai. All we cousins used to roam the fields, bath in the water tanks or take a dip in Cauvery. Wow!!!! But there is also another side to the whole family get together story which Uma has already mentioned in her comments. But isn't that the point of growing up. Bickerings and shouting matches do happen but then people compromise, come around and carry on as if nothing happened and it is these lessons that are as important to the growing kids then just the fun part.

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    1. Hi Sriram!!
      You are right in saying that these lessons are as important as the fun part ..
      It teaches you to live life and brings about a certain maturity in your thinking, speech and actions.
      Thanks for the comment and welcome here :)

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  5. WOW! wonderful writing.. Trust me I am having mixed feelings now. It was always having 50:50 experiences in my life of what Uma and Sriram said. Definitely missed some of my cousins today as I look back. But, as Aarthy says, long way to go. I am now trying to ensure, my son does not miss the little bonds in his life and wont get a chance to regret when he looks back.

    Appreciate you writing Aarthy. Keep going.. !!!

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    1. Hi Madhavi!
      Whats life without a bit of sugar, spice and everything nice :)
      Even if its fun and bonding amidst a little bit of tussle and turmoil, it is still worth it. You are right in ensuring it for your son.

      Thank you so much for your appreciation :)
      And welcome to this space!!

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  6. Your writing is so good .proud of you aarthy .
    shyamala

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    1. Glad I have managed to make you proud :)

      Delete

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