This pin initially made me chortle. But I don’t believe it’s true for me at least.

There are a lot of times when being caught in the web of extended family can be trying. For example, I mentioned to someone whose wife went back to India to give birth that I was happy to give birth in Hong Kong and escape the brouhaha of extended family.

But Christmas and Easter (though I have let go of Easter now) are when I miss being around the big fat Indian family. I’ve realised that there’s certain phase, adolescence, when family gatherings are seen as a chore and an embarrassment that one seeks to avoid, and generally by one’s late 20s, one begins to cherish these events, even the conversation with aunts who talk to you like you’re still five. Hell, I crave those conversations these days, and if my aunties and uncles would slip me and envelope with money in it, I would die of happiness.

Moreover, there is the food. Women – because it was rarely the men, though in my husband’s family his dad does deign to cook a couple of signature dishes – in that generation put out a spread that people in ours my immediate circle of friends don’t seem capable of doing at one go. I have a feeling that by my generation sorpatel is going to go extinct because while my older cousin’s wives  (who are not Goan) have mastered the art (I think, hope), no one in the agegroup of my sister and below seem to be keen on learning how to chop liver, pork fat and concoct the heady and spicy mix that is sorpatel. Sannas of course would be ordered from this one lady only because no one else’s would do (fortunately she has passed on the secret to her daughter-in-law who was willing to learn).

Now compare that to how I will actually spend Christmas. If we can drum up the energy, we will go to church. I guess our helpers will guilt trip us into it. We have decided to let them both have the day off to celebrate with friends, which means it’s just the four of us. I tentatively raised the idea of going to brunch with V but he vetoed it on the grounds that with a 1:1 adult-child ratio there is no point as will have to speed-eat to keep up with the kids. Might as well stay at home. Which is not as depressing as it sounds because we do have fun just us and the husband will probably cook something delicious.

A friend just called as she’s at the loose end, and I told her as much. My message was – if you really can’t find other plans, then we’ll exercise ourselves to do something with you in the day, if not, let’s just meet in the evening. It doesn’t help that Christmas is mid-week and so Christmas Eve is effectively ruined because who wants to rush anywhere after work.

Okay, this post was supposed to be about family, but Christmas is family and on this one day, I miss them, warts and all.

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