When I came to know that my cousin Ravin had come down from the U.S. to Hyderabad and was staying with his elder sister, I was filled with joy and nostalgia and longed to meet him. I had seen him last perhaps as a teen ager before he left for the U.S. and eventually got married and settled there. Memories of the wonderful time we had in Lallaguda where my parents and two brothers were living came rushing back to me. Ravin, who was studying for his degree would visit us regularly and my mother would insist on his joining us for lunch or dinner depending upon the time of his visit. We were all very fond of him and he too reciprocated our affection and warmth. I felt he was more an elder sibling than a cousin.
As I was tied up with a few assignments in Madras and hence couldn’t leave the place, I called Ravin saying I longed to meet him, my brother and also wanted him to meet my family in Madras. He immediately agreed to visit us and asked me a million dollar question, whether I would be able to recognize him as I shall be seeing him after a lapse of more than four decades.
When Ravin alighted from the train at Central station I noticed he hadn’t changed at all except that he had grayed slightly. He was as trim as ever and even as we were emerging from the station I could observe the spring in his step. He exuded the same warmth as before and I felt the several decades that had passed in between made no difference. He was meeting my husband for the first time but they both behaved with such familiarity and appeared to take an instant liking to each other. Though he had been living in the west for a better part of half a century, he spoke Telugu and kannada to the manner born. Once we reached home he greeted my m-in-law in chaste kannada to her amazement.
We made most of the few hours he spent with us in catching up. We took him out for breakfast to hotel woodlands and later visited Fountain head where we picked up books to gift each other with our autographs. When I told him I was handling classes in HR Management at a Business school, he thought fit to present me with a book on the subject. As he preferred to have a light lunch, I prepared pulav with a side dish which he thoroughly enjoyed. I felt it was like old times. After tea it was time for him to catch his train back to Hyderabad from where he was flying to his home country. Seeing him off at the station we returned home and I knew my brother Ravin’s visit to Madras to meet his sister will be etched in my memory for ever.
n.meera raghavendra rao