Today, I’m grateful for two people who have helped make my life easier while I live in Gandhinagar.
The first, is a neighbour of ours. Aunty is one of my mother’s closest friends, and within the community we live in, the friend who lives closest to our home. When we first moved in, and learned that their second son was my age – I was glad my mom finally made friends whose children were in my age group. But over the years, Aunty has played so many roles in making my childhood a happy one. Aside from being a source of comfort for my mother, Aunty has donned several hats for our family, at different points of asking. She’s made me meals when I’ve gone back to the community and eked it out alone at home. She’s provided the curd sample for us to ferment our own mosaru. She’s ensured our house is in tip-top condition for when we do go back. She’s been a guardian of the belief that all is well in Bangalore, even when we hear reports that things aren’t going too smoothly in the area we reside in.
To me, Aunty’s been someone who has gone above and beyond. This one time, I remember she invited me along to a family dinner they had planned, because the alternative was me eating alone at home. My plans changed that evening, but the gesture was so kind-hearted, that it’s not something I will ever forget. She’s also introduced us to so many good people, reaffirming my belief that doing good always attracts warm-hearted individuals.
For me, in application season, when I haven’t had access to documents I’ve needed to ensure that I’m able to upload my application successfully (like transcripts and certificates), Aunty’s looked in all sorts of weird corners in our house (because my memory is awful), to help me locate them. She’s sent scans across promptly – just to ensure I had things ready and could ask for help if I needed it at any point. I’m so grateful. Not just for this, but for so much more she has done. I’m grateful to that full family – who are, and will be, lifelong friends to my own. For all the dinners we’ve shared, that one trip to Tirupathi, the multiple, hour-long conversations we’ve had, and the things I’ve personally gained exposure to since I’ve relocated to India: I’m eternally grateful. For comforting my parents through some of the roughest times I’ve seen my parents endure, I cannot thank you enough.
The other person is my Uncle. My Chikamma’s husband is a source of a lot of the values I’ve learned in life, and I’ve blogged about him before, but today, I’m grateful again. They got married when I was 1 year old – as a result I’ve always known him as a part of our family. And him and I, we just get along. It’s the same way I get along with my Chikamma, but different. It’s difficult to explain, you know? These are two people I can argue politics with, but then tell jokes to with just my eyes. They can sense when I’m thinking something mischievous (and yes, I am capable of this), and when I’m going to act on it. My relationship with my Uncle transcends all of this. There’s this comfort level because he was probably the first to challenge my political views (I could get away with disengaging with my mom, but my Uncle was relentless). When he realized I enjoyed watching sports, he introduced me to a bigger variety. And whenever I’ve been confused, or sought guidance – it’s never felt out of place to call or message him. I remember doing this when I was incredibly stressed out in Grade 12 when I had offers in hand, but I wasn’t sure where I’d be in 3 months. And I did it 2 weeks ago too. To have people like him, and my Chikamma, in my life: I am blessed.
On your worst days, on days when you feel particularly low – and when you’re not sure how you can deal with flaws you can see in yourself, its people who give you comfort that you’ll be most grateful for. I’m in the lucky position that its not only my parents, but a circle who will care for me while I figure out things – no matter how badly I’m doing.