Inspired to Inspiring

Back in college I used to learn dance at SDIPA. Infact one of my all time personal highs in life was that I was auditioned by ‘THE’ shaimak davar during the peak of his popularity in the mid-2000s and got in 🙂 Fate also gave me the chance to be part of the troupe that went to Melbourne to perform for the closing ceremony for the CWG 2006.

The YAY moment!

                  The YAY moment!

anyway i digress…

During the 2 month long rehearsals, i interacted with a girl (ok lady!) who at that time was married and 32 yrs old. At a time when the average age of the dancers was 20, i was extremely surprised (ok shocked!) that here was a woman who was in her 30s and married and had a regular job and attended the grueling dance routines. We rarely saw her husband or saw her talk to her husband over the phone; to be honest many a times i wondered whether she was in a happy marriage. But she was sorted, calm, composed and wise and we got along very well. Somewhere inside i wished that one day i want to be her. In fact whenever we introduced ourselves to a new set of dancers, I would say ‘she is AP, she is married and 32’ and leave the new dancer spellbound 😀

Now 2 CWGs down and nearly a decade later, my dancing is restricted to the bathroom or when drunk. I needed some entertainment in life and i enrolled myself in a language class. The average age of the students is 20. On my first day, the teacher asked why I wanted to learn the language and i said my husband speaks a foreign language and i want to speak one too. The class was shocked on knowing that I am in my 30s, married and have a regular job. A few classes later a student introduced me to another student saying ‘she is AMJ, she is married and 32’ , leaving the new student spellbound 😀

Trichur Days

Its going to be a year since Bangalore Days was released, but I guess everyone still fondly remembers the characters created by Anjali Menon and beautifully executed by the actors.  What makes the movie closer to me is that I have set of cousins just as crazy as them- we are 11, 9 girls and 2 boys. Each one of us as different as chalk and cheese but something ties us together; for many years we have wondered what it is, may be our grandparents, may be our aunt, may be our parents- the reason is still ambiguous.

Story started in 1979 when my sister was born and the list continued till early 2000. The age difference between the eldest and the youngest is 22 years- my sister says T could very well have been her daughter 😀 Every summer we landed at the grand velliveedu to celebrate Appachan’s birthday and what followed was 4 more weeks of laughing, playing, roaming around the town, along with lots of fighting and crying.

The strongest memory we all have is ‘pangu- vettal’- cold war, while nations did it the UN and WTO level, we did the same within the confines of velliveedu. A few of them ganging together and giving the cold shoulder to another one, sometimes even camps were formed. What followed a pangu-vettal was lots of sulking at the dining following which grandparents or parents indulged in some dispute redressal mechanism- a promise to be taken out on an icecream treat!

While our parents had their ego tussles and issues with each other, we were thankfully kept away from the politics. Simple pleasures like going to the annual fair- trichur pooram, trip to the zoo, sip-ups, talking a walk with Appachan watching him eat medicinal leaves directly off the trees, peeche dam, night stays at each uncle’s house was enough to keep us entertained; we even invented games when we were bored of playing with doctor/kitchen/doll sets. As I look back, there is a lot that my association with cousins taught me- we learnt to like people despite their differences, we learnt our manners from each other, we learnt to be tolerant – we will go lengths to get things done for each other 🙂

Now nearly half of the cousins are married and thankfully all our spouses support this bond and have joined this gang, especially our only sister-in-law who has taken to this group like a fish to water 😀 We are in various parts of the world and at each Christmas and Easter we reminiscence about the time we spend together. But Whatsapp, Skype, Viber still keeps us together- even our 80+ plus Ammachi is active on these forums. I am truly blessed to have these cousins and Ammachi and Aunty R who provides us with a home to come whenever we need space for some fun or just some mental peace!

As one of cousins rightfully stated- cousins are your friends not by choice, but still friends for a lifetime.

■ (a kaala teeka to avoid evil eye on us :P)