Be­com­ing the ‘older’ gen­er­a­tion

Gulf News - - OPINON -

he last sur­viv­ing mem­ber of our Fa­ther’s large fam­ily passed away re­cently. Sud­denly, that gen­er­a­tion — our pa­ter­nal un­cles and aunts and their part­ners — are gone. There’s no one whom we need to visit when we go to this place or that, no one to send a card or a let­ter to be­cause they are not on email for them­selves, no one to strug­gle to talk to over the phone be­cause their hear­ing is fail­ing and we need to re­peat every ques­tion and every an­swer be­fore the mes­sage is un­der­stood. For them, What­sApp and SMS and other things that could make con­ver­sa­tion eas­ier were im­pos­si­ble to fathom, so we did not sug­gest re­sort­ing to those “con­ve­niences”. We had barely be­come com­fort­able with them our­selves!

Now, there’s also no one who re­calls some mi­nor mis­de­meanour from our dis­tant past and can talk about it good-hu­mouredly, with­out mak­ing judge­ments, teas­ing us and sup­port­ing us in one breath as only some­one who cares deeply for us can. And there’s no one who can tell us what ac­tu­ally hap­pened all those decades ago when our fa­ther was young and mis­chievous and for­ever an­noy­ing his sib­lings, whether by de­sign or by rea­son of his ex­is­tence.

Many sto­ries had come to us over the years, but we sus­pected that what we were told was a highly sani­tised ver­sion since it was nar­rated by Fa­ther him­self, and nat­u­rally, he had painted him­self into the pic­ture as the good guy, the obe­di­ent fol­lower of parental rules. We knew from the imp­ish glint in his eye that he was any­thing but what he pro­claimed him­self to be ... but ex­actly how naughty was he? How many pranks had he played that were worse than ours? And there­fore how much lee­way did that give us with our own mis­chief?

Favourite peo­ple

It was only from our aunts and un­cles that we could get the true ver­sion, or at least a more be­liev­able ver­sion — so they were ob­vi­ously high on our list of favourite peo­ple.

Now there’s no­body with the “inside” sto­ries and there’s no­body who will ask lov­ingly and to­tally with­out pref­er­ence or bias af­ter us, our sib­lings, our cousins and all our fam­i­lies

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.