Hah! When I think of it, it makes me chuckle.
My father is probably the most extroverted person I know.
I believe he has always been this way and will always remain this way.
There is no stopping him
when he begins his tales and fables.
And if he really likes being around you,
these stories will get hilarious.
I have memories of laughing till
tears pooled up in my eyes.
Maybe that’s how he loves –
with stories and humour.
He loves to shout,
and it must indicate that he loves his own voice.
He is creative, street smart and skilled.
He adapts quickly –
to new technology, new people and new places.
He’s very “old fashioned” –
yet his masculinity, sometimes toxic,
works with comforting hypocrisy.
He was actively present in my growing up –
dropping me to school,
picking me up from school,
making me delicacies to eat when I was back from school –
from sharjah to bhel puri,
discovering me bunking tuitions for a week,
and never once raising a hand to hurt me.
He is one of two of my favourite cooks –
The other being Mamma.
While I was growing up, he always behaved detached
and refrained from being emotional.
But lately, he even reaches out for a hug.
My mother is gentler,
but nonetheless an extrovert.
She loves talking to people.
She is a social butterfly.
Mamma knows everybody
and everybody knows Mamma.
When she was in our small town in Kerala, that was the case.
When she was working at the Bank, that was the case.
When we moved to our new neighbourhood in the city, that was the case.
Now, even when she’s retired she is still Miss Popular.
Every friend who’s ever had to come home
Knows my mamma
With a significant impression.
Mamma loves to gossip about the glamorous.
Mamma loves to know about my life and its happenings.
Mamma loves the news.
Mamma loves to talk about politics.
Mamma is one of the most confident women I know.
She is 66 and she is still the most fearless, coolest and evolved person I know.
She evolved in a way to accommodate all of my non-sense,
which her past self wouldn’t have known how to tolerate.
She pulls off short hair like no other Aunty I know.
She always makes sure she knows what’s going on in each of her three daughters’ lives.
She tells me she loves me the most,
but she would never choose one daughter over another.
She never forgets her daughters’ birthdays
(except for one time with Ruby
– just middle child maladies –
that mama feels horrible about till today.)
She can get angry easily.
She will not hold back her opinion.
She shouts as well, just like Pappa.
I am one of three children of two extroverts.
Do you think any of the three of us are introverted?
Ha – ha NO.
Rani is exceptionally well-spoken.
Her etiquettes are impeccable.
Her house is always kept beautifully neat.
She’s even moulded five-year-old Austin and Elizabeth to be disciplined.
She is one of the smartest people I know,
Constantly updated with whatever is relevant of the times.
She is very opinionated and firm,
and always open to debate.
(Although, it’s not recommended for us three extroverted sisters to indulge in debates with each other –
It tends to get loud and angry.)
Ranchi is an extremely cool Amma.
She works super hard at home and at work
and still makes time for herself and her twins.
Ranchi is one of the three strongest women I have known –
The other being Mamma and Kochi.
She is constantly curious.
Bringing her to my Art School’s art exhibition was a sight for me to behold.
She was deeply fascinated by every single project at the exhibition
and made sure she grasped as much as she could.
She is one of the two most supportive people in my life –
The other being Mamma.
She is fearless and will take on any fight.
She was my first artistic inspiration.
I looked up to her all that time I was growing up –
It’s hard not to admire somebody so headstrong, so caring and so intelligent.
She planted visual creativity in my head
with a physics project back in my Seventh Grade
that didn’t just change my perception of Physics
but also taught me about the capacity to be fascinated by every day things.
Ruby would argue with me that she is actually an introvert.
Kochi, you might have been an introvert in the past,
But you aren’t actually introverted.
Ruby is one of the two of the funny bones in my family –
The other being Papa.
She cracks me up like no Comedian in this world can.
She is so confident –
Even if she may be afraid or insecure
she never lets it show.
She always pulls through
And constantly amazes the hell out of me and my family.
Cue Mamma saying “She was a Gold Medalist
(and um maa, more importantly, a VALEDICTORIAN)
at Christ University”.
My Kochi used to be a frail little girl,
Quiet and emotional
And so full of love
That it was the only bone holding her up.
She has grown to be such a strong woman.
She bloomed into such a beauty as she grew up.
She is one of the two most hardworking and driven people I know –
The other being Mamma.
She is one of my best friends now,
When we were growing up, her nose was always in my diaries.
Now, no diary can expose secrets that Kochi doesn’t know.
She is super progressive,
Super intelligent –
Sometimes a little too intelligent for her own good.
She is open-minded and empathetic.
She cries while watching movies.
She is non-judgemental –
And a true to the word, ambitious woman.
You can put me in the centre of a room,
With each of my extroverted parents and sisters
At each corner,
And see how I am the amalgamation of all of them.
You truly see biology doing a flip.
If you haven’t realized already –
I love my family.
Each and every one of them.
They have given me a strength that they always promised when I was growing up –
“No matter what, in the end, you’ll have your family”.
They weren’t talking about a proverb,
Or a universal truth.
But they were telling me –
As their eternal truth to me
And hence, mine to them.