Building Bonds and Reminiscences

11 Jan

Today, I met up and spent extended time with my high-profile uncle.
Since grandfather’s passing, he’s become the eldest member in our branch of the family. I never quite interacted extensively with him. There was always far too much formality in our interaction, and I perpetually distanced myself. Reasons were several-fold. He’s been ragingly successful and an ideal role-model etc. which intimidated me. Then, he always was a bit eccentric, possibly owing to our age difference. We have well over 4 decades between us!

Anyhow, I used to find any one-on-one interaction with him rather uncomfortable and awkward, but the situation never arose as I was never alone with him. Someone was always around, and he would always talk of his interactions with corporate honchos, challenges at work, the economy of the country and such matters.

Today, for the first time I sat opposite my uncle and actually interacted with him personally. On occasions, he spoke to me. I had earlier e-mailed him personally over my parents’ matter at home, and there was a moment when we were alone in the room with everyone else on phone-calls. I was resenting such a moment, but it came. He religiously remembered the matter, and asked me in a subtle manner, “You wanted to meet me?” And I only had enough time to brief him on the situation and tell him that he’d have to follow up with mom, before someone walked in and our own first-ever moment ended.

For the first time today, I felt as if my uncle (not as his celebrity self, but simply as family) and I connected, whether it was over discussions of his work, or other matters. I saw him looking directly at me several times, making me extremely uncomfortable.

Once or twice, I happened to look back at him, right into his eyes. He was smiling, and his eyes had a twinkle in them. Identical to my grandfathers.

Every time my grandfather used to look at me when he was alive, I’d feel ashamed because I felt that grandpa, a noble kind-hearted gentle soul revered by everybody who even remotely knew him or heard of him, and the only god I’ve ever known, was looking at an impure, imperfect soul in me. Every time he looked at me, with a twinkle in his eye or a smile, I would feel so vulnerable that his eyes would transcend the many layers and behold the imperfection inside. And afraid that I would disappoint him. I hope I did not, in his lifetime.

Today, my uncle looked at me occasionally, with the same eyes and smile. I looked into his eyes, and saw Grandpa looking back at me. Just like before, I crumpled. In sheer humility.


5 Responses to “Building Bonds and Reminiscences”

  1. D January 12, 2009 at 1:02 am #

    “Every time he looked at me, with a twinkle in his eye or a smile, I would feel so vulnerable that his eyes would transcend the many layers and behold the imperfection inside.”

    Loved these lines 🙂

  2. Rambunctious WhipperSnapper January 14, 2009 at 7:41 pm #

    Okay. why do you equate being gay with having a shortcoming?

    What are you afraid of, exactly?

  3. unsungpsalm January 14, 2009 at 10:57 pm #

    I never said I did!

    But I do.
    I mean, I know personally that it’s not a shortcoming, but any parent/relative no matter how understanding would be happier if their son/nephew was straight instead of gay… Leading the normal family life, raising kids… that sort of a thing. Especially if the son/nephew seems otherwise somewhat smart/talented/well-mannered/cultured.

    If I was exactly I am now, except straight, I’d be one kick-ass guy! Like, good enough to be PM 🙂

  4. Peter January 18, 2009 at 6:47 pm #

    don’t credit others with too much intuition… you are still a “kick-ass guy!”

  5. unsungpsalm January 18, 2009 at 10:26 pm #

    Errr… thanks!

    (No sarcasm there, I hope? On the “kick-ass” bit :S )

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