Why didn’t my cousin talk to me?

All day in the back of my mind, I had this lingering thought: why didn’t my cousin talk to me?

As her older cousin, when she was a small, I baby sat her occasionally.  We, kids, had a lot of fun playing together during Summer vacations. Whenever she got into trouble, I was there for her rescue. And yet, she didn’t talk to me.

Did she start loving the phrase “Silence is Golden”? Silence is not my first experience. 61ujeq9t26l-_ux250_During my engineering study, gentlemen and ladies in our class were divided over some silly matter that I cannot even remember. People didn’t talk across the lines until our senior year. And finally, when our school days were about to be over, we all hugged each other as a family. Many of us became life-long friends.

……Finally, when our school days were about to be over, we all hugged each other as a family. Many of us became life-long friends.

Talking is a constitutional right in the US; so is in India to a greater extent. Talking enables us to not only to express our own opinion but also help us find out about other people. For instance, we know more about politicians through their speeches. If there were no protected free speech, they wouldn’t talk as much and we will never know much about them. Does she not believe in speech anymore?

As much as I know, my little cousin grew up into a sweet, well behaved woman. Did she suddenly change her personality?  I am confused.

Does my cousin find me culturally strange because I have been in the US pretty much all of my adult life?   When I was looking for a college, I traveled to North India and visited many places – sometimes in “unreserved” rail cars in which most poor people in India travel. That is when I touched the face of poverty and knew the life of poor people up close. From outside, they lacked everything, but they had everything — plenty of love.  Even though I didn’t know their language or culture, that was never a barrier for communication.  Culture couldn’t be a problem.

….From outside, they lacked everything, but they had everything — plenty of love

Besides, on talking about this over dinner, a friend of mine reminded – now India is getting more and more globalized day by day. So, it couldn’t be the cultural difference, after all.

My accent has changed over the years.  First, I had Kerala (mallu) accent. Then when I lived in Bangalore, I started picking up a Bangalore accent.   Being here in the Midwest of US, over the years, I have developed a hybrid accent.  Does she think that I am putting on a fake accent when I am not?  Or do I sound plain, when I try to talk Indian based on my memories of it?

Did her work influence my cousin? My cousin works for the Kerala government. I have some idea on how government offices work in India.  People going there for services are routinely asked to come back at least three times before their files are even looked into.   Maybe I have to repeat “hello” three or four times for her kind response? She kept me guessing.

Or did I hurt her feelings in anyway? I try to be as soft as I can, yet I can be absent minded. One of the quirks of being a professor, I guess. Did I ignore her in some way? I can’t remember.

Did she learn a new management strategy? Some managers feel, if they make themselves freely available, they lose respect. In my humble opinion, If one believes that way, he or she probably doesn’t deserve respect anyway.

Or did she pick up the rudeness from the society and is now started acting aloof to protect herself from the world? Who knows?

Or is it jealously? But why?  Many people tune outwards for success. Our neighbor who is driving a Porsche has to be definitely more successful than us. The guy next door throwing parties every night should be having more fun than us. Everyone’s spouse is certainly better than mine.

Every day is a miracle and we should be grateful for just being alive.  Start our day with gratitude.   Stop trying to hinder the growth of others. Tune in rather than tune out. Pursue our dreams. Live our life, not others’.  Don’t disconnect from successful people!

…..Every day is a miracle and we should be grateful for just being alive.  Start our day with gratitude.   Stop trying to hinder the growth of others.

Or is that that she is too proud of her own success? I know that she is a smart young woman, who is immensely successful in her career. Did she develop an attitude that she doesn’t need anyone anymore? If so, be assured that I will honor her right to be left alone.  As my friend suggested, “try your best to connect with your old friends and relatives, but keep going forward with your life, no matter what”.

Maybe she doesn’t have time for us. Maybe she just doesn’t care. She probably has too many interesting people in her life that I am insignificant.  Or is her boss giving her a tough time?  Does all work and no play make her this way?

Or does she think that I want a favor from her? I seldom make friends for my personal gain. Wrong personality type.

Or just be that she is a bit too lazy now?  The possibilities are several.

Maybe I am overthinking when I shouldn’t be thinking at all.  Like another friend of mine said, “Let it go”.

 – BINTO GEORGE

Note: This is a work of fiction – so don’t worry, it is not about you. Did you have similar experience in life? Like to hear from you

3 Comments

  1. Binto,
    How did I miss this great piece! very well written. It felt bit like a thriller ; I thought the reason for her not talking will be revealed. However the journey was worth it, in itself.
    Keep sharing your stories..pretty please binto@cstrends.com

    Like

  2. Thank you Shy. Hope so — still waiting. Thank you. I’ve submitted another article to Riyaz/Neethi – I don’t know if that will probably come out soon. Thanks again for your kind remarks.

    Like

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