What it is about families that interests us?
First of all, who are RELATIVES? I can give many answers from different perspectives. From a very cynical viewpoint, I can say they are the people who are supposed to watch your back, knowing that they may not get anything in return 🙂 Or more kindly speaking, they are the set of people who progress in life helping each other Or they are just groups of people related by blood, colour, culture and in summation, by patriarchy. All of us know about our father and grandfather but do we know their fathers and so on? Very few of us! The common reason is that we are plainly not interested or we see no benefit from that information.
Personally, I have hated meeting some relatives who are not that close to my family but still are relatives in some direction(horizontally or vertically) because you very rarely know/recognize them.This is what they say after the initial Hi – “Man, You have grown up a lot” or “This is XYZ, do you remember me? I used to buy you chocolates when you were a kid” or “When are you going to treat us with Wedding Dinner??”. I hate that last question! and then you are supposed to have a lively talk with them, entertain them, share jokes etc etc…Its not that I despise meeting new people but I see the inherent similarity in views, thoughts, opinions with them to the extent that it becomes boring when overly like-minded people meet. Its very rare that you meet someone who is eccentric at least by his/her way of thinking and doing. But, it is an unreal expectation simply because we are all similar by genes(biologically) – unless someone did the unthinkable(not my view) by marrying a person from another caste or religion! But still, we meet on some social occasions, share a joke or two, take their hand-phone numbers and pretend that we will call them and then move on..End of story till it starts again!
Of late, I have been reading a lot about taxonomies, hierarchies or things that talk about relationships in top-down or left-right directions. The idea of building a family tree or family map came up from these readings. This family tree that I have envisioned basically will trace one’s roots to the maximum extent possible. It will have basic details such as name, birth place, DOB, status, living or dead, spouse, siblings, children, place of death, education, employment area and countries visited….Now, what is the benefit of building such a map as it would take a lot of time in collecting data from different people? I could foresee lot of benefits. I will list them down..
1.) First and foremost, you get to know your ancestors
2.) You get to know the level of evolution(or devolution!) achieved
3.) You get to know your legacy
4.) You get to know the places where your relatives/forefathers have been and lived ~ Something to brag about
5.) Using the employment/occupation details, you could see if there are any opportunities for any fruitful joint ventures within the BIG family ~ This has huge potential
6.) If you have relatives in exotic locations, you can use them for a trip to those places 😀
7.) Using the data about the folks of your same age, you could set up lateral relationships and build short term/long term business plans ~ Similar to point 5 but this is about the folks of the same age group
8.) Do Social Network Analysis ~ a bit nerdy but can be very useful
9.) Invite relatives to create a common family fund which can be used for constructive purposes
10.) Last but not at least, for HELPING FOLKS WHO ARE IN NEED OF IT
So, I am going to take this exercise as one of my secondary hobbies for this year. I am going to talk to my friends and relatives about it and will create a simple mini family tree in a month or so. I will start with a literature review and will try to merge the Indian “subjective” thinking and western “scientific” thinking in all the planning and implementation activities. Will update this post regularly
By the way, here is my new soon-to-be customary exit line – Do add your comments so that we can evolve together 🙂