“Maintain your relation with your sister. If someone returns after 20 years, and wants to then rebuild that relation, he will find that people have moved on in life.” Roughly paraphrased from a discussion with my friend and chartered accountant Mr.Vijay Kumar before leaving for Canada in 2012-July. Vijay-ji is my friend and guide in many ways, he knows me more than anyone else in a way. He told me long ago- there are things you tell your CA, which even your family members will not know. Over the years and decades, I have found the truth in his assertion.
Applying his words in my context, I have maintained a –New Memories Project– with my sister and extended family in India. This is an area in which I am still growing, have many weaknesses, and limitations, but do an effort in that direction. Talking to my sister, following the life of her children, and also meeting-and sitting in the park with my father’s sister, helped me develop a perspective of the way life has shaped up.
B block-Palam Vihar-December 2016-Saraswati bua ji-my father’s sister. With her we talked about Shimla, Meerut, Kankarkhera, Delhi and many family journeys and associations. I met some of my mother’s friends, who used to sit with her, in the evenings in the park at B Block
PERSONAL MEMORIES REQUEST
Around the birthday of my sister, 10.2, I got a request to write about some personal memories related to my father-a Cardiac anesthetist. Sifting through the notes of yester years, I found a series of articles I had written for my sons, in which I had written about the different facets of life in the different decades of his life,from pre school-early school years in Shimla, high school-premedical and medical college studies in Delhi-Agra and the graduation from medical college-joining the Indian Army Medical corps and marriage, and going into specialization and superspecialization.
1970-Bhatt Family-with my sister
PERSONAL MEMORIES– In the blog- Their eyes were my eyes- (August 2015) I had gone through some aspects of generations, See link http://wp.me/piL5Q-T3 )
As my sister celebrated her own birthday, now seeing her own children go through the high school years, the mind’s eye goes back to the Delhi of 1980s when we were high school students. We shifted to Delhi from Pune, where we did our preliminary schooling-and were associated with schools organized by the Pune Diocese. The culture of Delhi, a much larger city than Pune was different, and being North Indians we had many direct links with our extended family here.
IDENTITY-FUN, FREEDOM, FINDING ONESELF.
In the blog-Journeys together(June 2016) http://wp.me/piL5Q-13t we examined some journeys in India, Egypt, Canada and the talks with my sons, using the occasion of the birthday of my father, reading some works of literature and trying to relate these to our contexts.
See blog – Walkers at Lullanagar (August 2008) to get an idea of the rich tapestry of life in Pune region, and the many things my father introduced and encourage me into.
PERSONAL MEMORIES-JOINT JOURNALS– In November 2016 went for some further walks with my nephew Mayank- http://wp.me/piL5Q-15F and brother-sister-stood at the Ashoka Pillar, where our parents had brought us when we were children.
In remembering the Banaras, Pune, Delhi years of my parents, and trying to see them in the framework of destinies, hearts, homes, histories and seeing how these relations developed the family, and continue to influence us to this day, I came to know a bit more about the word Legacy.
DHARI-DEVI TEMPLE REGION-SRINAGAR -GARHWAL
MY GRAND MOTHER- who passed away when my father was around four years old, had a brother- Mr Khanduri. I went on a pilgrimage to Dhari Devi temple-Srinagar Garhwal with Shri B B Joshi and Kiran Joshi-Kiran Joshi being the daughter of my father’s Uncle-Mamaji
Finding and nurturing these contacts with sisters-has added a richness to life.
Legacy is something handed down to you by a predecessor.
There are some civilizational and psychological constructs which are passed on by the life processes. Reflecting on the processes of family, career, relation of my parents in that phase of society, I think of the different resources which were available then and which are available now.
Character—who you are as a family, part of a group.
Relationships—who you know through your extended family and how that shapes you.
Knowledge—what you know about handling dynamics
Intuition—what you feel as conveyed by females and males.
Experience—where you’ve been in this journey of life with your partner.
Past success—what you’ve done with the educational, relational base you have built.
Ability—what you can do to develop a lasting platform, pass it on to next generation.
As I remember my parents I remember the many tangible-physical and also abstract-conceptual things which they passed on to me through their examples, experiences, energies. Thought about within the framework of family, I realize more than ever why family is supposed to be one of the most powerful words in the English language.
The writer John Maxwell talks about Thinking Places. In the past few months, I revisited some Thinking places-in Delhi and Mississauga regions to develop the new Memories project.