Today I met this nice and cute lady in her ripe years who told me an amazing story. I had to share it here on my blog. She told me not to write, I promised I won’t quote the real names. But this is an amazing story!
Few days back I had met this Tamil couple, who happens to be my relative. Since they live in Geneva , I am meeting them for the first time in my life and we gelled so well. One day over some Chinese lunch in a star hotel in Kolkata, the man, (lets call him Athim here as Athimber stands for brother-in-law in Tamil, though I call him by his name as he prefers that :)), told me that his mother cooks very well and his parents are Bengali. Well, I couldn’t really understand why was he saying that. How can he be a Tamil guy while his parents are Bengali? Well, my curiosity remained unanswered as everyone was talking about food and food alone and me being the youngest of the group, had to maintain courtesy. However, the itch remained inside.
I had to visit my new relatives house for a puja (religious ceremony) and I got the opportunity to meet my Athim’s elder sister, let me call her Akka (Akka means elder sister in Tamil) there in their house. She has landed in the morning for this puja. We got along the moment we were introduced and in the course of conversation, Akka mentioned that though originally she is a Bengali, her parents are Tamil. Well, of course I have had enough of this suspense already. So, this time, seeing that she is such a lovely, friendly lady, I asked her, how is that possible? How can Athim be a Tamil and his parents are Bengali and she is a Bengali originally and her parents are Tamil? I just had to know it. Here is the story that blew my mind off!
Akka told me that when her parents were young they were friends with a Tamil couple. They were such good friends that they wanted to stay together forever as friends. Hence, they started living together. This must have been decades ago. The Tamil couple and the Bengali couple hence started staying together in the same house and had children of their own. The friendship never changed. The children that is my Akka, Athim, their respective siblings, all have grown together in the same house as one single family. Now in their 60s and 70s, these siblings are still very much there for each other regardless of geographic boundaries. I just couldn’t believe it.
Obviously, my question was not answered yet. How can she have Tamil parents if she is of Bengali origin and vice versa for Athim? She told me another fascinating story of love. When Athim was born, his original Tamil parents sighed and said, “No, not another boy again!” So, the Bengali couple said, “Never mind, give us your child, he will be ours.” The Tamil couple agreed. However, when another girl child was born in the Bengali family, the Bengali family returned the favour to the Tamil family and they lived happily ever after.
Isn’t it an amazing story? Akka told me, the mother of hers and Athim’s still live together. Now they are in their 90s and they have bitter fights with each other everyday, make up with each other everyday because they can’t live without having each other around. I found this story to be really amazing and mind blowing! How people can be so broad-minded and unconventional! How did the cruel society allow such an existence! I am sure people must have made dirty stories about them. But they never bothered. I wonder how they could manage so nicely over the years and the love they share is simply amazing! Akka was the one who had come to Kolkata to choose the bride for her brother (my Athim) and managed everything and nobody objected anything. Athim’s other sibling consists of a very famous female singer of our times now. I cannot mention her name here, but the whole of India knows her. I am so happy to be a part of such a wonderful broadminded family. God bless them!