I have no proof to back it up. No notarized documents to substantiate my claim. I can’t even quote the source as an eavesdropped private conversation where folks tend to whisper such dark secrets. Nothing dramatic of that sort really. It is simply a hunch, a gut feeling that I have.
About 30 years ago, in a fairly large city in southern India, a male child must have been switched at birth. Don’t ask me who committed this dastardly act because I don’t know. But I know that the switch happened as surely as I know that a plate of deep fried onion fritters is the best reason to think favorably of a dark rainy day.
Before you write me off as a lunatic, let me explain the logic behind my supposition. The alleged ‘switched baby’ happens to be my cousin from my mother’s side. He is a misfit in our family and I say it in the nicest way possible. Here are some of the reasons why.
1. If he is Einstein, we are the Brady bunch.
2. If he is Marie Curie, we are the nosy neighbors of Mary Poppins.
3. Philosophy is to him as popcorn and a movie are to us.
4. While we restrict our reading list strictly to milk cartons and horoscopes, he has written and published a book on Computer programming. I am sure that the word ’embedded’ plays a crucial role in his book but I somehow doubt that he was talking about quilting.
5. While the rest of us were wasting away our childhoods with pillow fights and the like, he spent many joyful hours staring at the World Atlas, committing to memory the landscape of the world.
6. While we consider it a victory to just be able to recite our own names without getting our tongues twisted into a knot, he can not only recite the Vedas and the Upanishads but can take on even the wisest of men in an engaging religious discussion.
7. While we don’t attempt any addition or subtraction over 2 digits without a calculator, he can make a TI-85 hang its head in shame.
8. While we have all happily settled in to a rut that we call life, he quit his successful job recently to open up his own software business to pursue a dream of pioneering in the technology field, to “go where no man has ever been”.
9. Mathematics does to him what a bowl of cold Banana fudge sundae does to us on a hot tropical night.
10. Generosity, kindness and humility are next only to Physics, Math and technology on his list of accomplishments while we are all still scrambling to put together something that resembles a list.
Do you still doubt my claim that he was switched at birth? I am sure that the rest of the family will agree with me when I say this to the culprit who switched him to our cradle - We owe you big time man!