Every individual has a story. No matter, how ordinary a life looks like, there is always an extraordinary story behind it. No life is born without a story and no life ends without creating a story. I’ve met so many people who may seem like any other ordinary person, but as you start talking to them and get to know more about them, you realize that the simplest of lives are based on an amazing story. Usually that story is in the family roots itself. No one realizes about their story until they actually start discovering it.
I have a story, too. I belong to an upper caste family hailing from God’s Own Country, Kerala (Note: If you haven’t visited Kerala yet, book your tickets now, because you don’t want to not visit that place ever!). Even though castes divisions are removed from our society long ago, there are still some sections of our society which follow caste divisions. From a really tender age itself, I’ve had an interest in knowing my family history. I maintained a book where I wrote about my ancestors and their relations.
I started with my maternal and paternal great grandparents who died even before I was born. My last great grandmother died the day I was born. So, I haven’t met any of them and I couldn’t really know about their family history in detail. But with the help of my paternal and maternal grandmothers, I tried to collect some information about my family. What they did, how many children they had, how was the family gatherings then, how they spent their free time(they didn’t have Smartphones then!) and since in earlier days, we had a joint family system with over 10-15 people living in one single house, I wanted to know about that too. My grandmother spent her childhood living in a big family mansion, so I was eager to know about their life then.
Every year I visit my grandparents I make sure that I talk to my grandparents about their childhood because learning about your own ancestors teaches you a lot. They had a different kind of life altogether. Knowing about these things sometimes makes me wonder, what if I was born in those days. How different my life would be? And what if my great-grandparents were given a chance to live with our generation?
Sometimes, I wonder, if given a chance now to travel back into those times and live a life according to those days, will I be successful in it? For some days, I may be really excited to travel around and explore and meet my ancestors but as times goes on, it will become difficult for me to survive without my Smartphone or my computer. Smartphones are dearer to us than family relations now. Technology has soared to new heights and new inventions are being made every day to make us more comfortable. But the entire concept of having a family gathering and talking and socializing has lost its essence. And even though I’m a part of that generation, I’m not really proud of it.
Things changed as soon as families started breaking and the big joint family has turned into small nuclear families. Whenever I go to meet my cousins, it fills me up with happiness because it fills the house with joy and happiness. Coming back to home, to my comfortable bed is at the cost of leaving cousins and their love.
Every story is important, as is remaining grounded to your roots. These roots brought you up. These family traditions and stories is the reason you are you. Anything you are or anything you will be will be partly because of your ancestors. It’s time we go back to the story which brought us up and remember our past.
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly writing challenge: “Digging for Roots.”