Thursday, May 01, 2008

Its all in the family!

There is this old uncle of mine, lets call him John. Now John is among my favorite Uncles. Recently my mother revealed that years ago, Uncle John had taken a portion of her family property through doctored documents. He was exposed and the property returned back to my mother’s family many years ago. But all these years when we visited him and his family I never had an inkling of what had transpired between him and my mother’s family.

When my Dad came to know that my mother had told me this family secret he was annoyed. He felt that I would not respect this gentleman like I did before and he felt that "children" should be kept out of family politics. My mom, who usually backs down when it comes to my Dad’s policies like this, held her ground this time and argued that it was time that I knew the truth. She felt that I would still treat him the same as I was capable of independent judgment now!

I was shocked to hear about this facet of my Uncle! And unknowingly my mom opened a can of worms and soon a lot of family secrets came tumbling out of the closet of secrecy! My head started spinning as I heard the tales about people I love and their part in the small intrigues that most families harbor.

Though the family secrets shocked me, what really amazed me was the family’s attitude to erring members!! No matter how big or small the crime, it was forgotten after resolving it, with no trace of bitterness or revisits! I realized that no matter how horrendous the crime, a family member had to be forgiven and accepted back into the family fold. Of course one has to be cautious with the knowledge that one has about people in the family and their weaknesses, but one has to forgive too because there is no other way out here for errant members except complete ostracism from the family!

For the first time in my life I felt in awe of my extended family and their willingness to turn a kind eye to the mistakes of the weak among them and keep the family bond strong despite so many unsavory aspects amidst its members. What I took for granted i.e the extended family, was a result of a lot of hard work, a lot of giving and taking and forgiving! And I am glad that these people worked at it than taking the easy way out, i.e breaking off relations and depriving us i.e the youngest in the family the privilege of knowing and growing up amidst this huge sea of very nice but very human people.

I would like to believe that this revelation was my mom’s way of telling me that I am grown up now. However the look she gave me when I told her that I wanted to drive to Goa alone with a few friends, would have melted a bar of cast iron! *sigh*


Anonymous said...

Quite a thought-provoking post.
But there are people who take the familial ties for granted and continue to harass others for their ulterior motives.
Why do we feel obliged to forgive just because they are family?

g-man said...

hmmm...i guess every family has its own share of such situations. mine does too. frankly, i don't understand why some of these people aren't cut off. especially since i was present when one such incident happened.

mathew said...

similar instances in my family..In this case I began to notice how my uncles stood by one of their cousins inspite of doing a crime in the strictest senses..I am sure that it was only the relatives who stood by him inspite of very well knowing the ramifications of the crime, that prevented him from comitting suicide..I like my uncles for this..I can count on them to stand for me..

On the other side I have realised in the process that some relatives whom I consider as the most loving people do have shades of grey when it comes to inter family jealousy..profit motivated relationships..It makes me sad and something which i cant still comprehend!!

"However the look she gave me when I told her that I wanted to drive to Goa alone with a few friends, would have melted a bar of cast iron! *sigh*
" LOL!!;-D

Its May Day..which better day ,Do you want to gherao home for not giving the basic rights of a child.!!;-P

silverine said...

Anon: My bad! What I meant was people who make "a" mistake and not multiple mistakes or harass the family. Such people should be thrown out! :)

g-man: In my family only the repentant are forgiven. The rest can find their way out! But that rarely happens :)

mathew: The grey areas are the biggest irritants I agree! As long as it remains to cribs, it can be ignored. But if people take it to extreme measures then I guess one must cut off such people.

btw The Mafia in my house thinks that the gheraoing idea is very good! Right now I am trying Supreme Court! Lower court is strictly against such activities but has agreed to plead my case with the High Court! :p

Thomas said...

Hmm, there are disputes in my family too, but the good thing is that the Gen-next will be kept away from it, everything will be the same to them even after disputes. Most of 'em have your dad's way of thinking. And I like it that way. And regarding the Goa tour, maybe your mom has a problem with the destination seeing all those Scarlet-events on TV. Tell her you're going to Velankanni, might work!!

Neena Padayatty said...

"To err is human but to forgive is divine" one sentence oft and easily said than done.It takes supreme effort to smile sincerely at people who hurt u.Not everyone can do that even in family circles.I know a few with that genuine smile and hats off to all their kind!And to u...who could use the instance of a deprived chance to write on such a thought,ubiquitous but unsung.

Karthik said...

To err is human and to forgive is divine. But I guess to ask for forgiveness is also a great quality. Like you said people who repent their not-so-good deed can be forgiven

kochuthresiamma p .j said...

remember the story of the preodigal son?
the loyalty to the blood! not for nothing is it written that blood is thicker ---

Jiby said...

hmmm...tales of family intrigue...many times i set about to write on it...but my sister's fierce objection stopped me.

i have grown up seeing and hearing stories of the wranglings of the last 4 generations...infact i believe that was the reason my mom kept me from growing close to my extended family. her point was that the inheritance of wealth had ruined relationships and people's potential. to rub in her point she would tell me not to expect an ana-pai from her until she died and to work hard for my bread.

i still can't understand how people are willing to forget and forgive. like kochuthressiamma m'am said, i guess thats the reason they say blood is thicker than water. the stories are infact nice matter to write a novel on in fact ;).

silverine said...

Thomas: I guess, our Dad's way of thinking is right! And reg the Goa tour...I cannot lie to my mom...counter productive you know! When I get sunburn or bitten by an insect I need to call her and bawl! :p

Neena: Thank you!! :) That quote is so our case, most trespasses of family members have been small...and hence easy to forgive :)

Karthik: You are right!

Jiby: Like I told Neena, most trespasses of my family members have been small... so easy to forgive :)