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There is an old family house, built on flattened out contours on the left side of a mediocre mountain, that is now void of its makers. One was a nice man, but a drunkard, who had taken his own life insidiously.  His wife, everybody called her Maati (माती), was a giving lady. Their son, a little mentally challenged, also a drunkard, does the job of a peon in a government office. His wife, a sturdy lady, who has always taken care of her family as much as possible switched between many professions, tailoring being one of the majors.

When I used to depend on the bus floor height to be able to see people’s faces, I used to hang out in the two rooms whose entrance doors stood parallel, perpendicular to the way to their house that came from upstairs. And just as one would go up and stand on the last stair, they’d be prone to a state bus crushing them over. I wonder at the similarity of cobwebs of hyperlinks on the internet and distant relatives. How when you’ve clicked and opened so many of hyperlinks, you forget from which web pages you landed on this particular one. How after our grand, great parents die, some relations become distant by this very event. Slowly they start becoming almost non existent, only remembered when something really important happens and our parents force us to attend the celebrations/mourning of that occasion.

I never went back to that house again. I did however see my cousin from time to time in the market, mostly with his girlfriend who was our school junior. Oh, did I tell you we live in the same small town? But I never tapped on his shoulder for the fear of awkwardness and lack of things to say that would follow.

He has two sisters. The eldest one studied to get her PhD and is happily married. I didn’t attend her wedding. Haven’t talked to her for over 10 years. The other one is on the verge of getting married. I used to really like her when I was a kid. If those feelings were to follow in adulthood, people would have cursed my thoughts deeming it taboo and downright wrong.

But if you think about it, aren’t we all each other’s distance relatives?