Monday, December 7, 2009

Tall Tales

It’s been a strange couple of weeks. Disinfectant and fluorescent lights. Green uniforms and visiting times. The family’s been down in droves, people I haven’t seen in years have been in town and it’s been a mixed bag. The cousins and aunts whom I love to bits, the grandaunts and uncles with whom I’m a lot more guarded.

My relationship with the family, on both sides has never been a simple one. Too many secrets in the past and other skeletons in the closet to have ever resulted in what anybody could term a ‘normal’ situation. It was however quite interesting to hear the old stories, stories I’ve either never bothered to hear or have bothered to remember.

The old house in Negombo, three hundred years old but sold by an irresponsible grand uncle and now torn down. The great grandfather who was brilliant but an inveterate gambler, he apparently got a medical scholarship to Kings College but spent far too much time gambling and got sent back in disgrace. He then promptly won another scholarship in Ceylon (it was a long time ago) and had the dubious honour of being one of the students who had taken the longest time to finish medical school. There were countless more tales of people whose genes I shared but had never really thought about. It was surreal.

I guess family emergencies do have their plus points.

No comments: