oday’s generation grows up with an unspoken craving; longing for a big fat family. Most of us are born and brought up in a nuclear family. We lead in such a micro atmosphere that even a sibling becomes luxury. Generally, it is always parents and the child. The single child is born alone and continues to live as a loner.
On the other hand, most of our parents have siblings and are in constant contact with cousins. We have several aunts and uncles. Also, many-many cousins and extended families. While we remain closer to the aunts and uncles, it is a rarity to be closer with cousins. The vacuum of not having a sibling and the inability to build relationship with extended family is the biggest turmoil of today’s generation.
Being an ardent observer myself, I have noted that blood relationships are magical. They bind people with an invisible chord and keep them hooked forever. They have childhood stories to share and never feel embarrass in each other’s presence. They might not meet often or talk often. But, the way they think remain the same. They might be physically separated and geographically scattered, but they will be connected at heart.
My father and his sister are miles away, meets and talks occasionally. But, they react and respond in the same way. A friend and his brother who have lived separately since childhood because the older one was away for studies, talks in the same tone. Same is the case with another friend and his sister. They like the same songs and respond in the same way although they have not been together for a long time.
When I see my parents or friends who have siblings, I feel very jealous. Those are the times when the reality hits me – I am alone! I feel sad that I have no one and there will be no one for my children. Unless I try to build some relationship with my cousins, there will be no extended family for my children and no one to share fun stories with in my old-age!
A couple of years ago, a family get together was planned. A cousin was returning from the USA after a good five years. In the interim, he missed several family weddings and functions. We also equally missed him in those occasions. So, everyone was excited about this rare occasion.
But, I was skeptical. I was worried. I have always met them on family functions and it had been easy to kill time – watching the rituals and participating in it. But, such a get together sounded strange. I wondered what I would. I was scared that I would be left alone and would be bored. I didn’t know what to talk and with whom.
However, when I met them all, I felt like we have been together forever. We talked as if there has been no gap. I knew that I was thinking rubbish and worrying unnecessarily. I have a big family too, I realized. I understood that they will stick with me in my thick and thin and I felt less lonely thereafter!