I thank my dad for a lot. Passionate nature – we can fly into a rage and out of it into absolute joy in 60 seconds flat. We care – for everything, people, family, friends, the environment. We are impulsive and haphazard. And we love music. You know that noise that makes a house a home? Dada and I make that noise. The OA and my mum are the moments of silence in between the noise that bind us together.
But most of all I thank my dad for Tamil music. He doesn’t understand most of the lyrics or sing any songs (thank you, boarding school!), but in part I know its his association with Tamil Nadu that drew me to the music. So daddy darling, I might refuse to live in Madras, but for the music I cannot thank you enough. I pick up a word here and there and try to string them together and make sense of it. The music really kicks Bollywood’s ass. (Anyone who is willing to translate a song for me will get paid in chocolate.)
I am sure there are better songs than these, but living far away in the north and not really understanding the lyrics or watching the movies, these are some that the OA and I really trip on.
And older ones
and older still…
and a little more recent…
And of course my Mama… for bringing all the variety into my life. The bengali that my kids speak when pushed. The Rabindra Sangeet that I trained in for years. The ability to slip into that tongue when there is something private to be said (although with the number of bongs I am surrounded by, its hardly the smartest choice). My sturdy Garhwali legs and snub nose (although I wouldn’t have turned down the lovely grey-green eyes my dadu’s family had) and the realisation that hybrids have more fun! The Chinese great-great-grandmother that made people in China ask my brother who was on a project there, if he had any Chinese blood.
And finally – not really my roots, but the touch of the Western coast that the OA adds to my children’s gene pool. They aren’t really flexing their brains and learning it, but its amazing to know that between him and me they have the four corners of the country covered as well as two religions. We call them the peace ambassadors around here.