Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day 71: Guests from Abroad

OYLPA Day 71: Guests from Abroad, originally uploaded by klodhie.
When you live in the Pakistani diaspora of Los Angeles, you get used to the fact that L.A. is pretty much the absolute other end of the world for your relatives, and traveling from Pakistan to you would be a too-foreboding hassle which they do not wish to experience unless they absolutely must (which, as you may have guessed, would be for a wedding - I have been told many, many times that I continue to be the reason my family does not visit; I have become hardened to this form of marriage-blackmail).

But every once in a couple years, a relative does decide to make that trip out, and brings us lonely West of the West-siders much joy. Mother's cousins (one from Pakistan), came a-visiting this afternoon, and we spent a few hours catching up, talking about memories of yore (and how those were, of course, better times, when everyone and their mother [and father and mamoo and bhabi and bunty and dadi and...] lived in the same house), and making obligatory ruminations on the tragedies, dramas, and "bad luck" that seem to pervade "our family in particular." And naturally, three hours saw two rounds of chai.

Finally, as all guests to and from Pakistan must, these guests brought a gift, an embroidered shawl for my mother. I wonder though if my relatives, any of them, realize that what we need here so far away on this lonely other side of the world, is not more gifts, but them.

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