Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Misfit is the name of the game

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!

-Meena Sankaran


Anonymous said...

Absolutely true, Meena. His true greatness lies in the fact that he does not let this huge, gaping chasm between us come in the way of our love and relationship. Hats off to the man that made the switch, to him whom we have the privilege of having in our family and to you who put it all so well.
Great post!

jeyashrisuresh said...

Well said meena.Many times i wondered how it is possible for a man to be like this.
And nice write up meena.U clearly stated his awesome character in ur post.

நாகு (Nagu) said...

Thanks for clarifying the 'cousin' part. I was going completely in a different direction till then... :-)

Anonymous said...

Very True Chithi, Nice post.... He is one Super Man.
Very genuine, goes out of the way to make others Happy. Super sense of humor, Master of many trades, modesty personified. I think the best part is his eagerness to share and impart his knowledge and enlighten others. Anything at all, you can ping him and be assured to get a solution. An inspiration for all, but alas others can only aspire to be like him.
Wonder how all these wonderful qualities can be rolled into one single person.

Great post chithi! Coming to think of it..... I guess one of us should write about you too. You are super woman, juggling various things effectively... giving excellent concerts... working successfully... and wonderfully managing home.... among many things!:-). You have been a pathbreaker in the family, learning to drive a two wheeler, typing, going for long excursions during school days. The adventurous, the hard working, the achiever!

Anonymous said...

The first working woman of our house.... I forgot to mention!

Sriram V Iyer said...

Dear Meena, I think I know this guy quite well! I think he has been quite lucky all along, esp because of the love he gets showered upon by his family & friends esp doting sisters, caring brothers.

If we remove the influence of the people surrounding him and supporting him, I think he would come across as a very ordinary guy across the street :-) - The guy is just another ordinary bloke! Sorry to contradict your view!

But, I am truly envious of his close circle of friends and cousins who love him so much!

Niveda said...

WHAT? NO MENTIONING THE NAME? fine fine... Mr. Anonymous: LOVE YOU !Well... he is THE smartest, kindest and the most modest ( we all boast for him, so no worries there) guy i know! He is also very generous. Best of luck mama :)

Awesome post Chithi!

ps :D) ( secret code)

Meenakshi Sankaran said...

Krithika and Jeyamma,

I knew I was voicing the sentiments of our whole family when I wrote this post. It is great to have you both confirm that. :-))

Meenakshi Sankaran said...

You should not let your imagination run ahead of you Nagu. :-) Thanks for stopping by.

Meenakshi Sankaran said...


It is wonderful to hear from you after a long time. Your comment on 'HIM' was just right. With barely a few deft easy strokes, you have outlined his character so much better than what I had attempted to do in the post. I am especially glad that you thought to point out the fact about his eagerness to share knowledge and his willingness to help others at all times.

As for your comment about my rebellious childhood(ha ha), poor thatha and paatti is all I can say.

Meenakshi Sankaran said...

Welcome 'guest of honor' at this 'Praise your family' convention. Your comment is proof of your character. I rest my case Sriram.

I am glad that you are family. Otherwise I will have to be formal and say stuff like 'Thank you for inspiring us to be better human beings' or 'Thank you for always encouraging those around you to challenge themselves and do more than what they thought possible.'

I am so glad that I don't have to say such cheesy stuff to you. :-)

Meenakshi Sankaran said...

Oops Nivi. I think I just let the cat out on the anonymity issue. BTW, I 'ditto' everything you mentioned about 'Him' in your comment.

PS: I may need some help decoding your PS, ok?

Niveda said...

Chithi, how can i tell you if its a secret (underlined) code?

fine fine, because you are my lovely chithi i will let you in on the secret. it was my great invention :D).. like a smiley full face... or a double chin as Shambavi akka says. we always leave that in the end of messges

:D) nivi

Niveda said...

ha ha yeah.. cough cough SRIRAM cough cough MAMA :)

vidhoo said...

Very well said Meena. This cousin of ours is really one in a million. Elders and youngsters alike agree on this. We are extremely proud of his achievements in varied fields and without any doubt looking forward to his scaling great heights in the future.

All said and done, nobody could have put his virtues and qualities in a better way (what with the light humour element) than you.and for that, hats off to you "Mathematics does to him what a bowl of cold Banana fudge sundae does to us on a hot tropical night" describes us (or rather, i should say,ME) best. dont keep us all waiting too long for more enthralling posts.

Anonymous said...

Dear Meena,
To appreciate good quaities in a person in itself needs a good heart and this post of yours proves it.
Very few of us have the convictions to give shape to our dreams and to acheieve what he has at this tender age and then have the guts to risk everything in the quest ,leaves the majority of us in awe.
I believe in " you live life once" and everything is an experience to be tried out once ,whether good or bad,and hats off to a person who is guided by the doctrines and experiences only the good leaving the bad to the likes of us!

Keep it up,


Meenakshi Sankaran said...

@ Nivi - Gotcha Nivi....

@ Vidya - Glad to see yet another family member get on board this 'Praise your cousin' campaign.

@ Hari - Welcome to my blogpage. My cousin is everything I said in my post and more. Glad you appreciate him too.

Srilatha said...

Is he also the one with excellent taste in music that he has shared with Aarthi? Very nice post. Except for the superior intellect part, my mom says much the same about me..

Meenakshi Sankaran said...

That's him alright. Catching up on my posts Srilatha? Welcome back!

I don't think I got the superior intellect part wrong. And I have to agree with your mom too.