[The Rasmus feat. Anette Olzon – October & April]
Yeah it’s not a new song, but I still love it. This song says a lot about me and my relationship, if you know what I mean. Plus, this song was performed by The Rasmus (of “In the Shadows” fame) and Anette Olzon, the Nightwish vocalist who replaced Tarja. Perfect match for each other, if I may say so.
Now coming to this post, I invited my “little” niece over to my place for the weekend. She’s my cousin’s daughter, and she had just joined an MA course here in Mumbai two months ago. The last time I saw her was a few years ago at a family dinner at my place in Mizoram when I graduated from Engineering college. Dad invited our entire relatives for a grand feast because he was proud as hell to have a B.E. son.
This was her then, that night when we celebrated my B.E. graduation at my house. The one on the extreme right, sitting and smiling shyly.
I picked her up from Bandra last Friday. I was still expecting her to be the small bespectacled pony-tailed little girl, but wonders of wonders, NOOOO. I guess she underwent some strange mysterious paranormal phenomenon called “growing up” because this is her now:
And from the previous other pic above, the other two girls in the pic are nieces of mine too, the daughters of another cousin. You see the one in the middle? You see the innocence in her eyes? Well, apparently this is what she is today:
The third niece in the pic had also transformed into this now:
Holy mother of *beep*, how (and why) do they grow up so fast??? They just make me feel like I am stuck in some limbo while everything and everybody else is moving swiftly past me. Swish swish swish…
Well, I know from my dad’s side, a lot of my cousins are way older than me. Another niece of mine (daughter of yet another cousin) even married one of my closest friends, who I have treated like a brother since primary school days…
…and they already have two freaking kids.
These are just a few of my nieces I’m mentioning here. There are even many other nieces who are older than me! Comon, nieces! Stop it. Give your uncles a chance to grow up at their own slow and desired pace, ok? We’re in no rush, so why should you be?
Anyway, my niece Eunice (which rhymes, capisce?) and I had a great time bonding over family and stuff, and it was something I haven’t done in a really long time. For people like me who had stayed outside Mizoram since third standard, it’s not that easy staying connected with all my cousins and their children (and I come from a really huge family from both my mom and dad’s side).
We spent Saturday watching movies in the morning and Barclays Premier League matches in the evening. She’s a Manure fan (oh the horror!!!) and we watched her team barely win against a struggling out-of-form Everton side.
After that we watched my team AR53NAL play against CH3L5EA. And we all know the result of that match. That, my friend, is the true Arsenal team.
After watching Arsenal hump Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, my niece bowed her head in shame, and quietly uttered, “You know what, uncle? After watching your team and my team play tonight, I have now come to realize that when we beat your team 8-2 at Old Trafford, you guys had around NINE main players absent due to suspension, injury and transfer. Most of your players then were from the reserve team and it was not such a great glory after all to win by that much. In fact when we lost 6-1 to City at our OWN home, with a full strength squad, that was the ultimate disgrace and shame for us. At least when you guys lost 8-2, it was not a home match for you guys. But for us, it was indeed a home match, and we all know the vast difference when it comes to pressure while playing home and away matches. So any football fan will know how much more shameful 6-1 is than that 8-2. As of now, I am going to burn all my Manure posters and I am going to start supporting Arsenal. Will you guys accept me as a Gunner fan? Please, uncle, pretty please? If not for me, then at least for my great grandfather (and your grandfather), the late Pu Zabanga’s sake?”
That’s what she told me that night…
Actually I think she said something like, “What shall we have for dinner?” but that’s what I heard coming out of her mouth.
Anyhoo, I finally dropped her at the station on Sunday evening as she had to get back to her hostel. Strangely, as I watched her go, there I was, standing like a proud uncle.
After she disappeared into the sea of commuters, I went to Santa Cruz to meet my old school mate and really close friend Hminga, who had come down to Mumbai with his dad (Pu Rinsanga, IAS rtd) and dad-in-law (Pu Liansanga, Engg-in-Chief rtd). They were on a vacation.
They wanted to try seafood, so I took them to the best seafood joint I know – Soul Fry @ Bandra. From Bombil cutlet to Surmai fry to Pomfret masala to Crab & Prawn main courses, we tried them all, occasionally flushed down with a pitcher of Tuborg draft beer. And they absolutely loved it.
Both the dads knew my parents so well that it was just like sitting with my own family members. They told me stories about my mom’s school days, my dad’s bachelor days, how they met each other, when they got married etc etc. I really had a great time sitting with the two wonderful dads and listening to them talk. What was even more fascinating was that they both knew my girlfriend’s parents extremely well too, and they started telling me stories about them also, while teasing me now and then.
I still can’t stop marveling at how so many of our previous generation knew almost everybody, whereas when it comes to our generation, we hardly know each other.
We soon parted ways, and with that ended my awesome family bonding weekend. This was definitely one of those weekends worth cherishing for a long long time.