Ten Indian Relatives are Worth Ten Thousand.

“One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives.”
– Euripides

His insightful observation on relatives, one that he made 2500 years ago, tells us that in all these centuries, relatives haven’t evolved one bit.

Euripides, I read, was a writer of plays, mainly of tragedies. In my modern opinion, a man who boasted of an experience of comparing ten thousand relatives with one loyal friend, would automatically begin to specialize in tragedies. After all, his life would have been one big tragedy.

Twice every year a North-Indian man has to meet his relatives. Come hail or high water, he must brave the hail and swim the high-waters to meet his relatives on Diwali and Holi.  Following are the tasks that must be checked off on his to-do list, on each of these festivals.

  1. Buy a dozen boxes of sweets or dried fruits (almonds, pistachios, cashews etc.,)
  2. Refresh the list of the names of all his newborn relatives (If seven of your dad’s eleven siblings live in the same city as you do, this list grows at an alarming rate.)
  3. Draw up a mental roadmap connecting the dots that are his relatives’ houses. (The prioritization is often done on the basis of a relative’s seniority in the family. For instance, you must first visit the Taya Jis (Dad’s elder brothers) and then the Chacha Jis (Dad’s younger brothers).)
  4. He must visit each of their houses with his own little family in tow. (For the writer of this post, it’s two-third of his family, as canine-family-members aren’t welcome in his relatives’ houses.)

And yet, when we return, with barely enough energy to drag ourselves up the steps that lead to our main door, we are epitomes of such tragic expression that Euripides would have loved to cast us in one of his tragedies.

Why?
Snappy snapshots will help you see the picture.

At my Aunt’s:
“Beta (son), now it’s time to have kids.”
“Bua Ji, we will.”
“When beta? is there a problem? I know a Guru ji who can help. You can tell me, beta. You need not hide anything from your Aunt. I’ve seen you in diapers, beta.”

At my Uncle’s:
“Oye puttar, hun navi car le le.  (Son, you must now buy a new car.) You’ve been driving that bucket of bolts for what, some 8 years now!”
“Taya ji, I will – the budget is a little tight this year.”
“Oho, look at your cousin (he points to his son,) he is on his third car in just 5 years!”
Then his wife, my Tayi ji, pips in.
“And why isn’t your wife wearing jewelry, puttar? Naked wrists don’t look good.”

At my other Uncle’s:
“Are you still staying on rent? Buy a house now.”
Chacha Ji, I can’t right now, but yes it’s on the cards.”
Oho, look at Pinki (he points to his daughter,) her husband has bought an apartment in Gurgaon. It cost him 1.2 Crores ($200K)!
Then he lowers his voice and says, “You are earning well, aren’t you?”

  • Twice every year we go through the same harrowing experience, for no reason at all!
  • Twice every year we leave our houses filled with trepidation that we stifle with the hope that this year things would be different!
  • Twice every year we return from our journey, exhausted, tired, and drained!

2500 years ago Euripides too must have gone through a similar experience, or what would make him proclaim that
“One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives.”

Translations:

Bua Ji: Dad’s sister.
Taya Ji: Dad’s elder brother.
Tayi Ji: Dad’s elder brother’s wife.
Chacha Ji: Dad’s younger brother.
Guru Ji: A self-proclaimed godman.

 

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About Anand

Parodist, Humorist, Caricaturist, Nerd.
This entry was posted in humor, Parody, Satire and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

74 Responses to Ten Indian Relatives are Worth Ten Thousand.

  1. Vibrant says:

    LOL 😀


    “When beta? is there a problem? I know a Guru ji who can help. You can tell me, beta. You need not hide anything from your Aunt. I’ve seen you in diapers, beta.””

    Now she wants to see your baby in diapers, so eager LOL 😀

    Perfect article 🙂

    Love and light ❤

    Anand

    Like

  2. I feel your pain! (Alas, it made me smile, but I DID feel your pain!)
    You are a very talented humorist!
    My message to you and your wife: RESIST THE RELATIVES with all your might (bunch of meddlers)!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So funny. Great post!

    Like

  4. adriennea3 says:

    Wow..I have 10 sisters and brothers I’m trying to deal with..lol

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Uday says:

    This we-are-your-relatives-so-we-have-uncontrollable-urge-to-meddle attitude has to go man! I dunno if it’s good to have someone who has your back, but I guess too much is too much!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anand says:

      I assure you, my relative don’t have my back (sometimes I think they’d rather have the hide off my back.) But it feels good to know that you understand my misery.

      Like

  6. kokilagupta says:

    Well Anand , two of my younger siblings have just got married suddenly promoting me to the other side and believe me, I am waiting for this Deepawali like never before ! Ah ! Sweet vengeance 😀
    Jokes apart , its a serious issue which at times become too meddlesome and can be dealt with patience only. And being on both sides of the line believe me (again) , its lonely on the other side where there is no one to nose around ! Well written .

    Liked by 2 people

    • Anand says:

      Kokila, welcome here. You’ve got some great points there, especially the one about vengeance. The only problem is you can’t get back to those who get to you – they are your elders after all. The game of one-upmanship…it goes on and on…until the bucket of your patience develops a leak 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Archana Kapoor says:

    ROFL!!!!

    Like

  8. Ananya says:

    They never stop, do they?
    I get daily (okay, almost daily) calls from some aunt or other telling me that there’s this awesome guy and I should get married to him. For you, it’s having kids and stuff. After you have kids, they will go on about how dumb your kids are and how smart their grandkids are, and how yours are wasting their lives. The vicious cycle goes on and on and on…

    Like

  9. Arpita says:

    I have a big family too, but thank the Lord that no one is that loud, at least up front. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Amanda says:

    I’ve been laughing out loud at your posts! Have you read “White Teeth”? The family is Bangledeshi, but the vividness and humor about culture has some similarities.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anand says:

      Hi Amanda welcome to my topsy-turvy world. Before 1947, Bangladesh was India – so our cultures would be similar if not same. I’ll check out “white teeth”(Reminds me of wifey’s insistence on brushing my teeth in the nights too, despite my telling her the genetics of my teeth will prevent them from falling out until I turn 75!)

      Liked by 1 person

  11. rosemawrites says:

    Your wit and humor is contagious! I am from a big family, too and it’s really costly to be in a huge clan. 😀

    Like

  12. He he….have any of your relatives read this post?
    Btw did you bother to check the credentials of the Guru ji who can help ? 😀 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anand says:

      Somali, that’s the reason why my avatar doesn’t have my mugshot. If they ever get to me, I’ll deny that I am the one behind this malarkey. About Guruji, the lesser said the better.

      Like

  13. This is so rollicking good 🙂 Family is simply priceless.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hahaha. I loved this!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. honestme363 says:

    Always good for a laugh Anand! And once you have your first child, they will be pestering about producing siblings (personal experience). Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Jackie says:

    It reminds me of the first time my relatives and I clashed. I was in high school and we visited them. It was the late 1960s, early 1970s, and I was wearing jeans, a leotard, and a scarf belt. My dad’s sister said “you look like a hippie.” The other said ‘You’ll never get a husband that way,” My answer (fortunately or not) was “I’m not going to get married, I’m just going to live with somebody.” Last time they asked.

    Liked by 1 person

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