Sunday, August 16, 2009
A joyride...That is what I can collectively call the past three days .
It was time for a family gathering after all! My parents had planned to treat two of my cousins at our house after their great exam results. Along with them, their parents too were, obviously, invited. One of them, unfortunately, had to leave for New Delhi before this party because his new academic session there has already begun. But, when the others ultimately turned up for the party at our place, no one seemed to remember the reason for which it had originally been planned. For all of us, it was just a gathering after a long, long time.
From Friday evening, my parents and I began the preparations for the party. My mother cooked two of the dishes that evening and her cooking continued throughout Saturday morning. Meanwhile, we had to get up very early on Saturday morning because I had to go to school for the flag hoisting ceremony(it was 15th August). When I returned from school at around 9 a.m., a real surprise greeted me. My maternal uncle and aunt who stay in Gurgaon, had come to Kolkata the night before and they would be coming over to our place in the evening too, along with my three paternal aunts and uncles and cousins who had already been invited!Then, my happiness and excitement knew no bounds. The three of us at once finished a hasty breakfast and quickly thought about the amendments that would have to be made to the menu that evening because of the arrival of two more people. Then, while my mother prepared the dishes, my father and I went out to buy a few things. We, specially my mother, had to work a lot, but, we enjoyed ourselves very much. After an even hastier lunch, we cleaned up our rooms and got ready just in time to receive the guests. They started coming from 5.30 p.m. At the party, puja gifts were exchanged and it was fun to see how everyone seemed to scrutinize all the gifts. Then, there was this crazy phtograph session when my maternal uncle and I strived to take the best photographs possible. I particularly insisted on taking a group photograph which would include me too and would be taken with the help of the self-timer on my camera. No one seemed to think that it would be pssible but my father made them all sit/stand in a very good order and I arranged the camera and finally, the picture was taken! :-) My mother's cooking went down extremely well with everyone, more so because she had cooked so many items all by herself. There was plain rice, dal, fried bori( I couldn't find an english word for this), paneer, mourola fish, hilsa fish wrapped in banana leaves, chicken manchurian, mutton curry and mixed fruit chutney.
And, there were laughters piercing the air! Everyone was very happy. It made me realize that no matter how frequently we talk over the phone with all our relatives who were present at the party, there is nothing like meeting up and having fun. It felt good to be a part of a gathering where different people seemed to be rediscovering their love for their family.
Today also, we had lots of fun and this time, it was a different kind of family gathering. We (myself, my parents, my maternal uncle and aunt and maternal grandparents) went to Vedic Village, Spa and Resort, located in a very remote part of North 24 Parganas distirct. Its a very pretty, cool and quiet place and we had a really nice time and a delicious lunch. After returning from there, my uncle showed us loads of pictures which he had taken during his recent American tour. Thanks to my uncle's brilliant sense of humour and mu aunt's giggling style, which is very contagious, we had quite a few laughs today also.
So, this Independence Day and weekend was simply a joyride, just as last year's Independence Day and weekend had been!
That's the group photo about which I was talking. :-)The people standing at the back are( left to right) one of my cousins and my paternal uncles. The middle row includes (left to right) my father, one of my paternal aunts, my maternal aunt, my mother and my other paternal aunts. Sitting below them are my maternal uncle, my other cousin, myself and another paternal uncle.