My parents thought of Sundaram mama and mami as their anna and manni (older brother and sis-in-law). Sathya (my twin) and I considered S akka, their only daughter, as our elder sister. They were our neighbors in Bhelpur, Trichy. We have spent several nights gossiping in their house as a family, have gone to many movies together, and have coined insider jokes that only both our families understand.
Akka is one person who mails me every day. Yes. Every. Single. Day. If there are breaks or long silences, it’s because I have slacked. Some days, it’s a one-liner regarding day to day mundane stuff. On other occasions, we go through streaks of emails with profound conversations. She has kept me part of her everyday world and ditto with me.
Today, her daughter, who I think of as my niece visited us with her cousin. How nice it was bonding with these two smart and nice kids. This was my second time seeing P. The last time I saw her, she was wearing her mom’s oversized chappals as a toddler (about 18 years back!). Her stay was short but sweet. We had several little moments today – skyping with akka, having P talk with my parents and brother, goofing off at Harvard campus, and eating Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Of course, my most cherished little moment of all, Hari and Ram bonding with her and wishing that she had stayed longer. I thought it would be apt to share this drawing that P sketched for Hari 6 years back.
Today, I am thankful from the bottom of my heart for this relationship that has made an imprint in my life, withstood the test of time and distance, and has spanned across generations.