Grown Ups

I’ve been thinking about growing up. 
It was so much simpler in our time…
Small joys and smaller expectations.
Pagers and facsimile instead of cell phones and email. 
Smaller rooms. 
More affection. 
Last night I was asked to go to one of those get-togethers that are organised by the cultural enthusiasts here. I’ve successfully avoided them for over a year and a half, but this time I was sent an invite and reminder on Facebook { 😮 }, hence I thought it would be only impolite to try and skip it. 
I went there prepared for a couple of hours of mind numbing boredom and despicable casual conversation in the typical Bengali fashion of “OMG, you’ve grown so much”. But I happened to meet the most delightful set of kids  – who despite being in their teens shared the table with the older 26 year old, laughed at the lame jokes and made sure I had a lovely time; in addition to winning nothing at Lotto, which is quite customary for me.
The special one among them was this little girl that I used to be asked to babysit during the family friends’ weekend parties. I remember her distinctly – she looked like a doll and was the most docile among the lot. I guess not having a sibling endeared these children to me and I recollect that she was among the special ones. I saw a tall girl in a red dress with white platforms walking towards me, sitting down at the table and smiling at me with a ‘Priyam Didi’ – I could have never guessed it was her. I was seeing her after more than a decade, and obviously a lot had changed – the little kid was now studying to become an Engineer in Canada. However, unlike a lot of kids I had seen, this one had sort of grown up right – and to add to all of it, she said that she had this remote recollection of a memory with me in it.
Through the ten years of living by myself, I’ve come across a lot of different kinds of people and while some make me raise eyebrows, the others are so delightful that they make up for the rest. 
Even though I’m hardly around the little cousins, nephews and nieces – it is a real treat to go back home and see the little ones you had seen wrapped in towels or in hospital beds with id tags bearing their mother’s names on them, all grown up/growing up.
Anne Frank, the girl who is known from the time of the Auschwitz is said to have mentioned, “Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.”