Posts Tagged ‘Uncle’

52 weeks of Gratitude .. Week 3 is here and the topic is Family

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I have a big family, hence i have a lot of people to be thankful to. While I was growing up I have always been taught the values of Family, now grown up I have my own lessons learnt. To me family is most important, when everyone leaves you , when no one has time for you it is family who stands by you always, As they say Blood is thicker than water always.

Yes we have our ups and downs, some nasty experiences with some members of the family have also taught a handy lesson especially when things like property-money come into the picture, but still I do feel that Family is and should mean the most always.

As I have mentioned in a few articles since 17th Dec to 13th jan things have been going very bad and it is usually during the bad times that one tends to realise who is how close to you or who genuinely thinks about you and feels about you, I have been lucky that the phone or the emails or the whatsapp messages have not stopped at all, It never felt that i was alone here in uk or that almost all of the family is back home in India.

I have wished many a times that family was nearby so I could at least sit and Cry my heart out, I have also thought that maybe I need to stop everything i am doing and just go back each time there has always been someone on the other side of the phone ready to listen to me, yes I have friends here but it’s not enough, people have their own agenda here , will give you an example my supposedly BEST FRIENDS in uk came once to see me on the 3rd january and one of them had exactly 6 minutes to spare for me. YET we are the closest or so I thought all these years. Have-not had a Single phone call not that any of that would have helped , All that had to be done had to be done and I did do it all But not having enough family here in UK hurt a lot.

One of the disadvantages of living so far away from family :(.

I mentioned above that I have a big family but sadly now the number is dwindling , many of the older generation have passed away, that’s how life works I guess. I will need to go to India very soon for a few days to fulfil a religious duty and I have promised myself that I am going to Meet EACH AND EVERY member of my family where-ever they are in the country. I am going to forget for the time being the bad blood we have had or spilt especially after my dad passed away, and Just go meet them all and HUG them, Don’t know when the next time will be.

I must say that I am thankful to everyone as each and every member of the family has been so good to me, I am one of the lucky ones who has got Love from everyone, Since I was the first male child in the family I have been spoilt rotten .

My grandfather (both of them)

My Nani spoils me still , I talk to her on phone sometimes she is hard of hearing so can’t understand what I am saying, but she is sweet to say I should shut-up and listen to what she is saying, and she will listen to my replies when I come to see her in India.

My Maasi’s are lovely and my youngest Maasi is so adorable , I made her cry so many times as there is not much of a age difference between us, whenever I went to the village for summer vacation she made sure that i got Hot food, would put an extra dollop of Butter in my food compared to my sister’s or my cousins. The day she got married I remember going up-to her husband and threatening him to make sure he takes care of her or else :0..

All my cousins they are all such lovely human beings, being the eldest had an advantage, in Punjab we have this tradition calling veerji to elder brother, I miss that here in uk not many call me Veerji here. I have bullied my cousins at times, even shouted at them or maybe even slapped but never ever have they retaliated back even now I can vouch they have all grown up to be fine young men and women yet they just listen to my rants when I go on a tangent sometimes.. (Yeah I have my moments too )

I would not have liked to talk about my Chacha(Father’s brother) or Bhua’s (father’s sisters) but that would make me a hypocrite after what i have just written above, They are family too , whatever they have done for obvious reasons after my dad passed away is probably their thoughts, I can’t change that maybe they need the money property etc more than us, so its fine. I still want to say thanks to them because Chachu use to be a good man, he taught me how to ride a scooter and drive a jeep in my early days , he also taught me how to fire a rifle. Bhua’s got married and went to USA, but whenever they came to visit us , they brought a lot of goodies for me jackets,toys, sweets etc. etc. Dont know what has happened to all that love they use to have , maybe something wrong with me , maybe I did something wrong.

My Grandma (Dadi) – I had never ever felt she was my step Grandma, when I was growing up, so much love she had showered upon me, when I was in hostel She would come almost every other weekend to meet me , pampered me , during festivals give me so much money – gifts. My mom was only 16-17 when she had me so its my Grandma who practically raised me as a child, My bhua still complains of the fact that Once me and her daughter were playing in the garden – a snake was seen and my grand ma PICKED me up , running to safety leaving my cousin behind. But again sadly since my grand-pa and my father passed things have changed dramatically, I am no more even welcome to the main house we had when everyone live together.

But still this time when I go , I will make sure I go and take her blessings, even if the other side of the family have threatened to harm me. That doesn’t bother me because my parents my mother and father have always taught me to respect the elders no matter who they are , and the BEST thing they taught me was that no matter what fights the Grown ups had I should always respect them as I did before the fights.

My parents well all i can say is I am thankful they are my parents , WHATEVER,WHOEVER I am is because of them, Whatever I have learned – Earned – Got is all because of all the hard work they both have put in raising me. My parents have both worked very very hard especially since the day they were asked to leave the family house to start in a new house from scratch about a year after my Chacha got married. We started from a humble beginning One room house , as my father did not want to take anything from his father. I have seen some poor times but slowly through hard work my parents raised us. I can proudly say that I have studied in the One of the TOP 5 schools of India in those days.

I am so very thankful to them both, I hope I can live up to their expectations. I pray to god to never let me do anything that would hurt them, and hope sometimes that I have been a good boy in the family and have not hurt anyone deliberately.

I am thankful to god for making sure that I was born in such a beautiful family.

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So towards Mount Abu or Udaipur did not matter to me. But seeing the glee on my cousin’s face, we decided we will go that way. Let him also go to his school and boast how he went to Mount Abu on a bike, impress some girls.

So we left. I think the stone mountains and all that I mentioned earlier in the story, it was here early morning. We meandered our way through the VAST emptiness. IT was EMPTY. Believe me when I say it. Nothing was visible just vegetation, rocks, huge hills and once in a while a truck would come by. Later we were told that place was notorious for Dakus (bandits). 🙂 No idea if it was true or not. It did not matter to us because we were the kings of the Road, zooming our way.

We had stopped worrying about the bike too. It had made it till here and we were confident it will do another 700 or 800 kms more.  Ah we SO we thought. It was only later we got to know it was not THAT far.

Around 11 or 12 noon, we saw a depleted Dhaba on the road side, and nothing for miles and miles. There was an old truck parked outside it. We were hungry so we stopped. We asked the guy what was on offer. Channa masala with Jawaar Roti ( I am sorry I don’t know the English equivalent to Jawaar, Chick peas curry).

The guy had smiled when we ordered the Channa masala. I came to know why when I took the first bite. IT WAS ONLY RED CHILLIES! OH MY GOD!! I was on fire! 

How were the others eating it?

We had tears in our eyes. My cousin gulped the one Glass of water we had.  By the time the next one came I had used the choicest Punjabi slangs. My god! No wonder the guy was smiling, he knew it all and to top it all I remember him being KIND to me and asking if I would like to have a couple of Green chilies with the salad. To which I had said YES. I bet he was rolling in laughter when he heard that. We could not finish the curry so we got some egg bhurji made WITHOUT CHILLIES to finish our lunch.

Came out of the dhabha and my cousin remarked “Hava Khat haigi pichle tyre ch (it seems there is less air in the rear tyre).” As if we could see and make out. It was desert and the tyre was a little inside the sand. Anyhow, we both agreed we have less AIR so at first available place we will get it filled.

Started with our ride and a few kms later we reached a village, where we found a guy repairing bicycles. Miraculously he had one of those mechanical air-pressure things, with which you fill air in tyres. You know what I mean. But he had no meter to read how much it’s filled. It was blind leading the blind, trying to squeeze the tyre with our hands to see if it’s enough.

Ah well, at some stage we found that the tyre was full. Till now my cousin had been driving, so we exchanged and for some reason we put the haversack on the petrol tank. Oh I remember now… We had it strapped by the side but we did not notice that the rear tyre had been scrubbing against it so the straps had torn off. I remember it was about 3-4 in evening and we were heading towards a town called PALI.

As it had been throughout the scenery, the drive was awesome. There was hardly any traffic. I have recently visited Australia and I can tell you, and those who read this can quote me on this, some of the views were as breath-taking as I saw in OZ; it was amazing, for miles nothing, far away a Green Tree, some huts and animals grazing. It was beautiful. While we were admiring all this…

BOOOMMMMMMMMMMMM

Next second I was on the road, sliding down, the haversack and me going on top of each other a couple of times. I could feel some pain in my shoulder. The bike had slid to the other side of the road. My turban had flown away. My shoe was not on my foot and It felt HOT. I got up checked myself: NOTHING HAD BROKEN although had lost pieces of my jeans at places along with the skin on my leg. There was blood on my eyebrow.  I had lost one arm to my shirt.. along with lot of skin.. but it did not seem bad ..

Then PANIC set in… Where is my cousin? I saw him lying motionless middle of the road.

GODS WERE INDEED LOOKING DOWN ON US. There was no traffic, else anything could have driven over him.

I went up to him and shook him. Nothing. MORE PANIC… He is dead. Shook him again, he opened his eyes. I thanked god that he was alive. He too had some parts of his jeans missing, blood on his legs and a big gash on his arm. His turban was mysteriously intact though… I pulled him off the road. There were small mound of rubble so lay him there.

Then went on to check on the bike and Oh My God! The poor bike had taken the brunt.

1. The petrol tank had squeezed.

2. The Rear tyre RIM was not round anymore.

3. The rear type had burst.

4. Some sort of OIL was leaking.

All in all, I felt pretty sure that the ROAD TRIP had finished there. The poor bike had, had it. Now, the sun was coming down, we had no idea where we were or what to do. A couple of trucks had passed, no one stopped. My cousin lay on the rubble as if he was dead and asking for WATER. I guess the drivers probably thought he was dead hence no one stopped.

It was getting dark when finally a small truck stopped. The driver got down. I asked for water and he gave me a bottle of water. He went to check on my cousin. By this time I had made my cousin get up and SIT so at least he did not appear to be dead to motorists. He asked the same question, “Where to?” I explained to him how we had started from Chandigarh. He shook his head.

I had to tell him where Chandigarh was. He had never heard of the place before. He told me that he could take me and my cousin to the next town Pali where we could do something about the bruises etc we had got.

So we sat in the truck.. had gone a few metres when we realised the BIKE was still back there so we had to request the driver , to get the bike too, the poor guy had to reverse the truck.. the bike was BAD.. got a rope tied it and pulled it up, sort of hanging on the back.. by now the bruises had started to hurt , you know when the blood has clotted .. its swollen a bit OUCH…

Reached PALI..  we were dropped by a Dhaba again.. and introduced to Two sikh gentleman, shabbily dressed they were DRIVERS of a truck bearing Haryana Number :).. were going to Mumbai with a load.

They too had a nice little joke at our expense , but then the Punjabi Hospitality took over..

The guys Oh god bless them..

The bigger sardar of the two.. gave the other one 30 rupees to take me and my cousin to the local dispensary, for bandages… Who would do that today ?  He took us to the dispensary where we got tetanus shots.. bruises had the iodine put on , That yucky dirty yellow thing , yuck… cuts cleaned and bandaged….

Back to the Dhaba.. it was nearly night-time .. We were offered Dinner.. All paid for I still remember it was one plate of Chicken tandoori, the black Daaal, with salad consisting of onions,Tomatoes,Raddish and Rotis

WOWOW we ate like Pigs.. and to top it all the Dudh Patti (milk tea) wowo… this was not all , the Two guys had put our bike on top of the truck cabin… If you see a Truck where the drivers sit there is some space above the roof.. its like an Open Trunk.. the Bike was put up there, safely tied …

Now this was a nice new truck.. there was a drivers seat.. a Passenger seat behind them were Two small Sleepers.. probably for the guys to sleep or rest while one drives. We were treated so nicely that we were given both the berths to sleep. what else would one want .. Bruises taken care of, Well Fed .. Place to sleep WOW almost a hotel accommodation…

We set off towards Ahmedabad.. the younger Guy was driving first , after some time the two of them Took out a Quarter Each .. of Home made whiskey or something .. put it in the steel glass and gulp gulp they did in one sip…Bloody hell I thought WE made it on the bike but tonight if we hit we are gone case.. God surly wont keep us the second time …. I guess I dozed off after some time…

Waking up in the morning we had reached the outskirts , we found a STD booth from where we called up my uncle telling him what had happened .. there was the customary.. “YOU reach home .. will talk then“..

 ooops bloody hell we had had it.. (and my cousins dad he is 6ft and BIG really BIG bloke ,Well built ,  I thought he was going to beat the SH___ out of us.)

Around midday we reached Ahmedabad.. my uncle was standing at one of the CHOWKS.. the truck stopped we got down and guess what .. Uncle Ji came and HUGGED US BOTH… before the YOU IDIOTS .. WHY would you do this started…….. The bike was left at a mechanic..

All in all it was an EXCELLENT TRIP… I would do it anytime again