Going back in time

Going back in time

Going back in time

This photograph was taken in 1995 at my ancestral home in Rajajinagar. This was at my paternal  grandfather's place and all of us cousins always used to get together there,  especially when there would be a 'puja' or some auspicious event happening.

The photograph was shot during the summer holidays and  was taken when the elders of the family were busy with the proceedings of the day. My family used to live at the ancestral house and my cousins used to visit often. My brother Ashwin and I used to enjoy the company of Savita, Karthik, Sangeetha, Kavitha and Guruprasad.  I have a lot of cousins from my father's side but these are a couple of them. I was the youngest of the lot then and would always land in trouble.  

Each of my cousins are different from each other. Savita was one of the quietest of the lot and she never got into any trouble. I cannot recollect her doing anything wrong ever. Karthik  was extremely naughty and would always be reprimanded. It would be an odd occasion when he was let go and wasn't caught for some prank or the other. Sangeetha was extremely bossy and quite a bully then.  Ashwin was one of those quiet ones who would study really well. He would be up to  his own pranks too but would do it very quietly.  Kavitha was an older cousin and she was good at  sports.  Savita, Guruprasad and Kavitha are  siblings and  Guruprasad used to play chess really well.      

For me a 'puja' then and now means striking a friendship with the cook. I would happily get 'Vada' and 'Rave Unde' sneaked out from the 'puja' even before it was over. I would even get special 'vada' made for me. Such days obviously marked a lot of fun time with cousins too.  We used to play interesting games like 'Ali Guli Mane' and 'Chowka bhara'. We also played catch but I would get bored and always wonder why I needed to look for the others in the first place.  

If it was my turn to look for my cousins, I would happily go back to my room and wait until they all came out by themselves and would then catch them. The best part about those days was that there was no cable TV and we did not  have any video games. We were are our entertainment and we were pretty good at that too.  

Despite all our little cute squabbles, the heartwarming thing was that my brother and cousins were very protective about me.    

All of them are at different walks of life now. Savita and Sangeetha are homemakers now, Karthik works with the top management with an MNC,  Ashwin is an engineer- turned-artist,  Kavitha works as a teacher and I am an engineer-turned-actor now. All of us are in Bengaluru itself. Guruprasad is an engineer in the US.  

It's rare, even at  weddings now, that we all get together.  But thanks to WhatsApp's family and cousin groups, we keep pulling each other's legs and reminding each other about the little villains we were.