All through my life I have grown up learning that they are not your cousins, but are like your own siblings. True to an extent, because I have grown up bonding extremely well with my cousins living in different cities. As I come from a defense background, we have been moving all around the country and would only visit our native, during vacations. But, thrust me that one month of holiday would allow us to just go crazy, let lose and enjoy to the fullest. Me, my brother and all our cousins would just wait for this month of the year and have a blast like there is no tomorrow. The whole gang would move like one unit and make memories that has stayed with me even after so many years. I still remember the secrets, the gossips and everything that we did together !!
Cut to today…. We all have moved on quite a lot in life, and now I am a mother of two beautiful kids. I am at the other end of the bank now and my kids are where I was 25 years back. But do they cherish their moments with cousins as much as I did during my childhood days? Today most couple stop at one and very few visit the two child territory. So, this calculation anytime reduces the number of cousins one would have. Well, that also brings to the biggest gossips they will miss out during their adulthood- “yaar kaise, kaise paida kiya itne bachche (hey how could they manage giving birth to so many kids)”…lol !!! In our days the number of cousins each family would have will be in double figures, because we would invariable have four masis, three mamas, four chahus and few more buas….right??? Now just count !!! Anyways, the point I was trying to make is, now seldom there is a gang because there is dearth of free time, and there is dearth of that initiative from most of the us as parents to make it happen. Because of our busy schedule, and other constrains, our visits to hometown have shorten. And the result….well obviously a generation that is probably missing out and is deprived of this beautiful relation called- COUSINS !!
Well, this brings to another important aspect related to cousins- cousins rivalry !! And, let me tell you cousin rivalry has nothing to do with the cousins and everything to do with the adults. When I was growing up, one of friends joined most of the extra curricular activities, which she was least interested in. One day when I asked, she replied with a rage, “ My mom wants me to do everything that my cousin Suma does. You know I hate her and all my cousins for that matter. They all make my life difficult.” I was not surprised to hear that from her, but her rage and anguish about such a beautiful relationship did make me uncomfortable. There is always an uncanny tendency in most parents to compare and gauge how we cousins are competing with each other. Well, I was and still a victim of such comparisons. The latest spin from my mom is, “ look at your kitchen it’s so untidy. Looks at your masi’s daughter, her kitchen is spic and span.” Ah ! here she goes…from studies, to dance, to marriage, to kids and now kitchen…next what- Bathroom ????
I feel having cousins is a blessing in itself. It is after all a relationship, so bound to have its own flips. But overall, I feel most of us have beautiful memories when it comes to cousins. Many of us may even now reach out to our cousins who are like our besties. But, I fear if this generation would be able to brag the same about their cousins. Talking about my own kids, I have my doubts. Even though I try to make it work, but there are several issues that act as an obstacle and cousins are resting as mere names and not bonds that they need to cherish about. Well, what can be done about it….I don’t know. But, this certainly goes without saying that let’s not deprive our kids from this beautiful relation and try our best to make it work for them as well. Agree ?
Well…that also makes me think, aren’t Facebook, Twitter and Whatsaap going to be really great options to stay connected ? It’s an age of social media after all. So, bring it on then…let them bond, just bond…even it’s in a new gen style…What’s say ?