In this essay Varalakshmi J introduces us to Joke Uncle and his funny antics, giving us a glimpse of the lighter side of life.
Ah, relatives. I come from a large family; my parents being the youngest of seven siblings, each. Understandably, I have about thirty first-cousins, with me being the youngest among them. A social function at home is nothing short of a small-scale riot, conceiving multiple stories of laughter, embarrassment and distress. One of my most tender childhood memories is coming home from a wedding or thread ceremony or house warming or what-have-you, turning on the AC, drinking a glass of cool kokam sherbet, and gossiping away to a barely deserved siesta.
My father, I can safely say, is the more gracious of my parents. Unbiased, he would patiently listen to my brother and me ruthlessly dissect our paternal side, amidst peals of mirth. If he is not too full from the South Indian spread, Dad might even consider contributing to our favourite pastime. My mother would gloriously participate in the unrestrained exercise as long as it is centred on Dad’s relatives. Come my maternal side’s turn and Mom would obligingly laugh a mirthless laugh, before recovering with a “This reminds me of your atthai (father’s sister), ha-ha, and how she…”