Blog posts may be infrequent in the near future. I am in India now, and as with all India visits, the schedule tends to get filled up. Over the next few weeks, I will meet quite a few aunts and uncles, and wonder what they are actually thinking about my appearance.
You see, when I was much younger, they were very open about how I looked. “My, you’ve grown four inches taller since I last saw you”, they’d say. I would beam with pride and think that I must actually be growing then, even if it looked like I would never make it to being four feet tall.
Obviously, the focus was all on my height then. Now that my height has not changed for many, many years now, it would be quite safe to assume that I have, umm, reached my full potential. So obviously, the focus has shifted to other dimensions – specifically, my width.
But there is only so much my relatives can tell me about my width. “My, you’ve expanded by four inches since I saw you last” is not something they can say. We humans tend to be rather touchy about our width. But I know that’s what they are thinking. Secretly, I would very much like to know, though, what that number is. Is it two inches, or three? Or is it more like five??
This is perhaps a good reason to visit relatives much more frequently. All measurements by relatives are, you see, relative. Since they always measure only from the last visit, and not from, say, 1982, the more often you see them, the less the incremental change in width. I mean, you can never expand four inches in three months, can you? Or can you?
Anyway, I can predict with great accuracy what my relatives will tell me about my appearance. They will tell me how my face has become five shades fairer. I will refrain from pointing out that they can’t really see any skin on my face, so perhaps they mean the fly repellant cream. Or my face powder that seems to cake up faster than any actual cakes.
Meanwhile, they will measure me mentally and note the magic number in their minds. The magic number that I will never get to know…
I can’t bear the suspense. It is giving me sleepless nights. It must be. Or why else would I writing blog posts about relatives at 4 am?