[The Story] Meeting Distant Relatives

It’s nice visiting relatives. There’s a sense of sharing common histories and quirks in personality are less problematic. In “The Story,” John hadn’t had a stable family relationship until moving in with Trishna and her family. At the end of every summer, Trishna’s family fly to visit distant relatives, with John’s first year being Trishna’s boyfriend being the year they travel to visit their relatives in Sindia. There, they’ll spend most of their time chatting.

Spoilers?: Minor (hypothetical character buildings)

Maybe they’ll spend time sightseeing.

But most of their time will be spent sitting in family living rooms chatting about family histories. The scene I imagined as the centerpiece for this essay is where John and Trishna will be sitting on a couch, John rubbing Trishna’s feet, while they listen to her Uncle Gopal talk for hours on end.

John and Gopal get along great.

Gopal is hard to understand since his English isn’t great and he talks fast, but what John enjoys about the conversation, not just that Trishna is happy that everyone likes him, is that they have a similar sense of humor. John enjoys reading about political history, so personal history can be an extension of that.

Trishna will really appreciate that.

Uncle Gopal is also Trishna’s favorite relative on her dad’s side probably because he’s always been polite and entertaining for her, so she’ll probably be most likely to hang out with him, and since John likes hanging out with Trishna, they three will be most likely hang out more than the other relatives.

For pragmatic and familial reasons.

Trishna’s family don’t know the neighborhood well, and only her dad speaks fluent Hindi, so the visiting family rely on her other Uncle Jaidev and Aunt Kalyani to drive around to visit relatives, particularly, Trishna’s second favorite relative: her great-aunt Chandrakanta, and it’s not just because she’s also in a wheelchair.

Great-aunt Chandrakanta is the kindly, grandmotherly relative.

Before they arrive, Trishna told John the best ways to show respect, and after giving a hug to Aunt Chandrakanta, she says in Hindi, “you’ve got a good one! He’s a nice young man![1]” Trishna translates for John and hugs him. This part of the family might talk in Hindi for one hour or so, with Trishna following along somewhat, with John and Trishna’s mom just politely listening.

Then they might go to the cemetery.

Some families are mournful when they visit the family graves and others are more celebratory, like visiting them when they’re still alive, and I imagine Trishna’s dad’s side approaches their visit as more of the latter. They might be sad their relatives have died, but they’d still chat to the gravestones as if they were still alive.

They’ll return home early and turn in early.

I’ve intended these inconsequential observations as an outline for their second day on the First Sindia Sub-arc rather than cryptic notes on my own second day of visiting with family.

Ideally, “The Story” is about their story, not mine.

Endtable:
Quotes: [1] One of my relatives said this about me. I appreciate the sentiments.
Sources: The Story’s Imaginarium. Behind the Name randomizer.
Inspirations: Explained in-line.
Related: Essays building “The Story.”
Picture: Generic picture to save time.
Written On: September 28th [1 hour]
Last Edited: October 31st [15 minutes] – I used my triple-Q editorial mark for the names of the relatives. These are rough drafts since I’m not versed in Indian naming systems, and will continue to be until I begin to figure out the geography of Trishna’s Sindian family, after which I’ll consult with people more versed on the culture than me.
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.