"There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature."
Jane Austen

Monday, October 31, 2011

This picture shows Sharodiya and Rishika. Sharodiya is Khukupisi's daughter. I used to cling to Khukupisi whenever we used to meet. Since my toddler days, Khukupisi has been my absolute favorite who fed me, put me to sleep, did my hair, dressed me up and told me stories. I had the privilege of being her shadow during her wedding when I spent three fun-filled days at Tala BaRi. I was there with her every moment, trying to help and assist in every way I could. I particularly remember waiting for her outside the common toilet with her clothes, so that she does not lose precious time. I have last seen Sharodiya in January 2006 when she attended my brother's wedding with her parents. She studies in my school South Point in Class IV. It was very nice meeting and speaking to her. She appeared to be a very obedient, well-behaved and sweet child who won my heart instantly. 
This kid is my youngest brother (cousin) present in this world! He is 11 months old and lives in UK. His name is Rishav aka KuTus. He is Khokon's son. Khokon has been my childhood playmate and teenage friend. According to the family tree, Khokon is my uncle (my dad's uncle's son) and is younger to me by 6 months. Academically, he was brilliant and was junior to me by an year. When he did excellently well in his Class X board exams from his comparatively unknown Bengali-medium school, he got the opportunity to do his Plus 2 from the well-known institution named South Point High School where me and my brother had studied since our infancy. Presently, Khokon is located in UK and has two kids, the elder one being 3 yrs old. I met Khokon on October 26, 2011 at Tala BaRi on the occasion of Kali Puja, after what seemed ages. We could not exactly remember our previous meeting and vaguely guessed that it might have had taken place 9 years back in 2002 on the occasion of Sharodiya's (Khokon's elder sister Khuku's daughter's) "annoprashon". It was difficult to believe! But, it was true! People who used to meet at least once every year since birth were meeting after almost a decade. I had not attended Khokon's wedding which took place in Kolkata itself. So, according to the world, it is I who should be blamed. But, I cannot blame myself, as only I know the reasons why I avoided gatherings taking place in that very conservative joint family. 
Meeting Khokon's wife Rupa, who appeared to be a very warm and cheerful person, for the first time, felt great! She came forward herself and introduced herself to me which I particularly liked. Khokon was unable to believe that I was meeting his spouse for the first time! Their elder child Rishika (a daughter) appeared unfriendly (unlike both her parents). But, Rishav was an absolute joy. He refused to take his eyes off me.. it seemed he knew me since ages!! The best moment was when we blushed and almost covered his face as I kissed him on his right cheek. I am still unable to believe that even after reaching my 34th year, I have a brother who is merely 11 months old! Such are the  strange joys of a huge family!!

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