Meeting family members who have seen you grow up can sometimes be the spark you need to get your engine going again. When I’m running out of reserves, I often tap into my closest friends and my parents. And they’ll egg you on, sure, but once in a while, you lose sight of how many people have actually been involved in your upbringing.

Today, I had the good fortune of meeting one such person. Aunty was one of the people I was closest to as a young boy who visited Bangalore, and Akka was my first “sister”. Uncle, my father’s cousin, to me, remains the wisest man I know, and even in his silence, he manages to provide a level of comfort. They pampered me every single time I visited them. I was a spoilt NRI brat – if you’ve read this blog enough, you’re well aware of how spoilt I really was.

The three of them ensured I was spoilt beyond compare and shown that Bangalore too, had everything that Dubai had to offer, if not more. I can vividly recount one instance where we went to Amoeba, came home and ate home-made pizza: some of the finest home-made pizza I’ve eaten. I’d sing and dance, providing the entertainment (as most young kids are forced to do), complain to Akka about the travails of being left-handed, and play with all of her toys. My memory is hazy but I remember a rocking horse being a part of one of my adventures as well.

I didn’t meet them as often once I relocated to Bangalore. In fact, that’s true with a lot of my family – I met them more when I used to come for just a month. The sheer travel time to go from Whitefield to Old Bangalore areas (where most of my family is located), was too much of a deterrent.

But family is family. And family forgives very easily. While I’ve taken that for granted, I’ve been blessed that they have. It takes very little to reconnect with family members like people who have pampered you when you were young, and hold nothing but love for you in their hearts and their homes.

I dined with them this time in Bangalore, and it felt like I was young again, with Aunty ensuring there was a huge spread when I visited.

Today, when Aunty came, I got to spend one hour and a bit more with her without my cellphone – which is something I am so grateful for. We spent the time talking about where we were in our own lives. And today, Aunty taught me the art and value of being non-judgmental, and keen to live out your own desires. I won’t go into details, but sitting with her over a meal, walking through a temple/place of worship, and just talking to her – it all made me feel like a 5-year old again.

That spark kids have? A lot of it came back to me today. I felt energized, I felt like I could dream and that, one day, maybe every dream of mine would come true. And I think meeting Aunty was one of the reasons for that.

In addition to the amazing obattu and kodbale she got for me from Bangalore, of course.

Thanks, Aunty.



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