The Grass is Not Always Greener...

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Last weekend I ran into two friends of my good old college days. On Saturday I went to visit a friend who is a doctor in the US. He is good in his profession and has made it big in life. He has come to his parents house after 14 long years. During his absence, I had visited the parents from time to time over the years.

My friend was here as he wanted a groom for his grown-up daughter. This secret had not been divulged to her. While she happily took pictures of people on rickshaws and people sleeping under trees, her father was in clandestine negotiations with other families. My friend explained to me in a conspiratorial whisper that his daughter had grown up the American way and was averse to having anything Indian in her life. Why she did not even know Hindi properly. My friend admitted that initially when they had settled in the US they had pushed their daughter to behave more like Americans as they wanted her to fit into the system. India or grandparents staying here were hardly ever spoken about. The girl had grown in the system and her value systems were as per the system. As per my friend, something unacceptable had scared them stiff and compelled him to take leave and come to India.

Well one thing for sure delighted me, it was the delight on the faces of my friend's old parents. They were thrilled!!! It was a sight to see the old lady communicating with her granddaughter. I do not want to think of the day when my friend will leave for the US for God knows how long this time.

On Sunday I met Mishree. Mishree Mohan Mishra was my neighbor in the college hostel. He was commonly known as Triple M. An exuberant, humorous fellow always beaming from ear to ear. In the good old college days Mishree would bow down with folded hands whenever he saw me and would, in his most melodramatic style, say "Chaubeyji Namaskar". He was a good friend of mine. We lost track of each other after leaving college as life buffeted us between its rocks. Imagine my surprise when after decades I heard the familiar "Chaubeyji Namaskar" while shopping. I swung around to find a greying Mishraji bent over with folded hands. I was amazed to learn that he was posted in the same city. We chatted for a long time before I noticed a big 'kaddoo' protruding out of his shopping bag. He informed me that his mother loved kaddoos and he had bought it for her. Mishraji insisted that I must accompany him to his home to meet the rest of his family. I went with him to his place. Mishraji had got married early in life and fathered two sons, one was studying medicine and the other was still in school. Mrs. Mishra, a happy faced lady, was a teacher in a local school. His mother was surrounded with family all seeking her advice and final verdict on various matters. Within an hour it seemed I had known all of them for years.


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