Kinship, one of the most basic building blocks of the human civilization, in my view is quite overrated.
Quite simplistically, if anyone were to be asked, who is the person closest to you,
the result set would vary from one of the parents to a sibling to a friend from college or work.
This is because there is an emotional connect between the two people in question and that is the reason of the fondness between you and him or her.
Genealogical relationships are cursory bonds that I think we pursue to show everyone around that we form a dynasty.
For example, a sibling to my father might be a person very close to him, but may not be so much to me.
This is reason enough for me not to be very aware of my father's siblings family's family.
But if I ever visit them, meeting everyone cordially and saying sugar coated "HIs" and "HELLOs" is an unwritten rule.
Here, in India, I have seen scores of people including some of my very own people carrying forward genealogical relations just because of the societal norms.
Neither of the 2 parties involved actually cares once they are out of your homes.
In my case, I live quite far away from the city where most of my relatives live.
So I go only once in a while and I only stay put with the ones I am comfortable with.
But still, the genealogical nature of the humans forces me to go visit just about everyone's home.
Father's sibling's daughter's husband's sister.
I can only go till level-2. I find people in level-2 itself very pesky.
Any further than that, I will prefer visiting a man-hole.
There are 2 kinds of relatives. 'Pesky' and 'friendly'. True to their names, the friendly ones are the ones who mind their own business and come to meet you because they actually want to meet you. Most have very few such relatives.
I say most because my analysis is only limited to the friends and people I interact with.
And none of my inner circle people have Karan Johar style family bonhomie.
'Pesky' relatives are the ones who show up once in a while but would be infinitely interested in your personal lives. They would have an opinion about everything including the colour of the tiles in your bathroom and the shape of your dust-bin's lid.
A lot of such masala is available on platter, free-of-cost in India round the clock.
A typical such case is any Indian festival.
Scores of people will descend on your house like thirsty birds on a lake in summer.
People who you hardly know or have heard of, come and hug you.. saying : "Oh my God..you have grown so big"
Yeah, right, if you never found the time to come see me in between, that is no reason for me to stop growing!
They wait around for an hour, ask you questions about your personal life and basically pry around everywhere you are uncomfortable.
But wait, I need to keep smiling!
I do, always!
Because I love the last tradition which is followed in India, more specifically in the North.
Any relative before leaving, however pesky, gives you some amount of cash if you are a little younger than them.
I consider this as entry fee to my house and gleefully accept it!
A nice 7 inch smile, satisfies their hunger to see my face and off they go seeing my vigorously waving hand and an equally vigorously grunting face!
Now, what I mean to say here is that, this is a typical case of putting up with a familial relationship even though you don't believe in it.
There are scores of such instances...
Unmarried girls would relate with this instance I am about to give..
Any gathering, any function, if your daughter is hovering in the 25-30 age limit.. the nosy aunties get hysterical.
There is an unmistakable feeling of one-upmanship in the neighbourhood aunties as to who gets your daughter married off first.
Each one will have their own way of saying it :
There are some direct ones "Your daughter is getting to the age.. what are your thoughts on her marriage?"
Some not so direct but will approach the girl directly : "Beta, what are you doing these days?"
Girl : Smiling.. "Job, aunty"
Pest : Disguising the taunt and the curiousity to poke in everyone's life .. "So beta.. what have you thought about your marriage?? Do you like someone...? " and then a devilish... HA HA HA HA HA echoes and the uncles join in the comedy circus.
More follows :
Pest : HA HA HA HA HA .. "If you say.. shall I get you a good boy??"
Some more HA HA HA HA HA
Poor girl.. she just has to put up with this shit because of this so called kinship.
She would be close to just 4-5 people in her life.
They would never do this "HA HA HA HA HA" thing with her... "Shall we get you a good boy... HA HA HA HA HA"
Once these pests are out.. everyone whips them black and blue!
I too am a part of this circus.. but I just wonder.. how artificial everything around the civilization is and how artificial this has made each one of us.
If anyone reading this, hasn't experienced such a thing even once in his/her life, then he either is Karan Johar or aspires to be Karan Johar.
Initially I thought, there was something wrong with me because I was pretty negative about letting people in my personal space.
I am atrociously reserved and very guarded and protective about anyone close to me.
But when I saw many of my friends in similar situations, I knew it wasn't me, it was the reality of life.
All of us are artificial and we love being it. Either by choice or by force.
The reality is not Karan Johar, the reality is Ram Gopal Verma.
(a little out of context maybe. Sorry, the people not familiar with them would be cursing me).
Not very long back, I met a motor mouth, who was probably level-15 or 20 in the relationship circle with me, I touched the feet of his mom while she was leaving and she gave me 1000 Indian rupees(it's an Indian tradition to touch feet of elders).
The motor-mouth shot off "See, you gave him money and he touched your feet".. all this with the oh-so-typical "HA HA HA HA HA".
People think they can be smart and pass off any taunt with a "HA HA HA HA HA".
I was so bloody pissed off because I didn't even know who he was...I hadn't seen this guy ever in my life... i had even forgotten his name.
If he was someone at the street, I would have pulled out each single hair from his moustache with a plier.
But then, sense prevailed.. and I thought.. what the hell.. I don't even know him.. it's not bad for 1000 bucks.
So... "HA HA HA HA HA" from me too.
He felt a little embarrassed at my "HA HA HA HA HA" and beat a hasty retreat.
Kinship, like English is a very funny thing!