Feb 1, 2010

Enigma of Familial Relations

From the last post onwards, I started a campaign to create short, yet all-inclusive posts. I hope that this post would also end up as a short one. But here the problem is that the event I am going to narrate deals with relationships and the customary ways to address respected elders in families, which normally demands lot of space. Thus, I feel that the best way to describe the relationships is drawing a chart. To describe this post, I have to add the names of two prominent hospitals of my locality, viz, Marygiri and Marian.

(Click on the image to see the bigger size of the family tree)

One day my father tells me, “Your Ammachi (the traditional way to address grandmother) is in Marygiri, go and pay a visit to her”. I obey and go to catch a bus. On the way I meet my second cousin (called Chechi, means elder sister). I say her, “Ammachi is in Marygiri. I am going to visit her”. She corrects me saying, “Ammachi is not in Marygiri, but in Marian” Thinking that my father might have made a mistake, I go to Marian.

On reaching Marian, I embarrass seeing there my second cousin’s grandmother, who is the ‘wife to my Grandfather’s Brother,’ whom I address with a term meaning ‘younger grand mother’. But using my pretension skills, I successfully impress her by claiming that I actually come to visit her. She does not need to suspect me as it is one’s duty to visit relatives in hospitals. She is very happy for my visit. I think that my father might have mistakenly said ‘Grandmother is in Marygiri”, instead, he should have said that ‘Younger Grandmother is in Marian”.

But suddenly my younger grand mother says, “I heard that your Ammachi is also in hospital, she is in Marygiri”. Suddenly, I understand that my father is also right. Again I use my pretension skills, saying with no change in expression, “err…yes…I am going to meet her also”, so, that fixes it.

I go to Marygiri, meet my grandmother (Ammachi) and laugh with everyone there narrating the funny incident. When I reach home, hearing my account of the day’s incidents, my father asks, “Did not you embarrass seeing ‘younger grand mother’ instead of ‘grand mother’?” I answer with pride, “no, I simply used my histrionic tactics to cover my embarrassment.”

So, the only trouble was the one when I met my cousin sister (chechi) on the way to hospital. When I said ‘Ammachi in Marygiri’, referring to my grand mother, she said ‘Ammachi in Marian’, mentioning her grand mother. Admitting both the Ammachis in hospitals at the same time could only be coincidental.


  1. Tomz.. That was a difficult one to write! Good that you decided on a pictorial representation of the family tree to avoid confusion.

  2. Ammachi Sr. And Ammachi Jr may have been a better nomenclature. Relationships are quite a mix up when you belong to large families.

  3. Very well written. I liked the way you have portrayed with beautiful family tree which made very clear to understand. Wonderful post.

  4. thought u didn't have a comment option at all..almost gave up hope when i discovered the 'missing links' mystery on your blog...

    good post.. always thought the naming system was way too complicated.. the diagram made understanding the context much easily.. :)

  5. @Vandy

    Thank You


    Thanks Nona, I am happy that you liked the idea of family tree diagram

    @The Holy Lama

    That's a good suggestion, but the problem does not end. There are many more ammachis and I included in my chart only those who were part of the story


    Thank You Babli. I am happy knowing that you liked the family tree idea


    Thanks for your visit and comment. I noticed the problem that u mentioned. I tried a lot to resolve the problem, but failed. I may shift from this Notebook template to another.

    I could not find any other way to portray the relations so clearly

  6. lovely, i just added many different emo backgrounds for my blog

  7. Looks like a technical document, or a user's mannual...!!!

    You should improve the readability by keeping it intrested not by cutting the beauty of language--

    its not cricket to reduce the 5 day length to 20 overs!!!

    Has anyone ever complained that a 'park' is so big that they don't have time to enjoy it..!?

    If someone said that...the reason can be only one...they don't like nature..!!!

  8. Amiable fill someone in on and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you as your information.

  9. Yes Tom I can understand your predicament. You should be happy that you did not have to pass on your understanding of the message to anyone else- then there would have been a third dimension - which chechi told you about which Ammachi. LOL ! Good post.


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