Posts in Family – Abe’s

Galapagos Lucky Strike Extra: Seeing Family

(Day 0, Miami) My Mom’s from a family of 7 kids. Dad, a whopping 14. Most of the siblings are now in the US. The upshot? Many of my destinations have the high probability of not just a friend in town, but perhaps a cousin, aunt or uncle. As the eldest grandchild on both sides, I  straddle two generations of two families. What great luck, no? Visiting family also answers my penchant to “maximize experiences,” as I have a good history with my extended family. That’s a blessing I don’t… Read More

The Long Tradition of Siblings Helping Siblings

Brothers helping brothers.  Likewise, sisters helping sisters, and siblings in general helping each other.  It happens across geographies, time and culture. Here is my dad and his younger brother, Ellisuncle, getting ready for the wedding of my cousin Aruna.  And one hotel room over is my son Paul, with the same intense focus helping his younger brother, Sidd, with his zipper tie.  (Yes, a zipper tie.  Hard to know what sort of help is needed.) Age-wise, ~60 years separates these two pairs.  Yet a blessed pattern repeats itself. Dad Helps… Read More

Partners in the Journey

Here’s an engaging set of gentlemen:  a grandfather and his two grandsons. Dressed up for a snappy event and ready to make their way thru the evening’s crowd of party goers.  The younger two have the optimism, energy and unfettered whimsy of youth.  The older one carries the wisdom, appreciation and peacefulness of years of great work helping thousands of patients, staying involved with immediate and extended family, and applying nuanced lessons from many journeys.  (Perhaps due to my outsized interest in Mafia stories like The Godfather and The Sopranos,… Read More

Presence and Absence

My oh my, I am shocked how far away a loved one goes when they die.  I personally find it so hard to get used to the total and complete absence of their physical presence – there is just not a trace of them to be found. I keep expecting them to come thru a doorway, to call, to bump into them at a get together of the usual personalities, to see them at a table sitting.  Yet, they keep showing up, unannounced, into my thoughts.  It is maddening how… Read More

Coming to America, (cont’d)

A follow-up to this post… Sometimes one’s pen and paper captures their voice well. All too often what drove the clarity in the writing is a powerful topic. Below is a letter from my dad along with my 1st passport that he dug up and sent to me. The passport was originally needed so I could be chaperoned by an Air India hostess from Cochin, Kerala, India to JFK, NYC in May of 1966. It was shortly before my 4th birthday and it was the 1st time we were meeting,… Read More

Location Certainly Helps

One common observation about the great cities of the world – – more often than not they are located in some notable place, or have made greatness out of that place. San Francisco. Hong Kong. NYC. Paris. London. And Chicago. The shoreline of Lake Michigan is one of the many mesmerizing parts of this grand metropolis. As example: Montrose Harbor, with its dreamy southern view of the skyline – literally miles of towering residential buildings marching off until they meet up with the downtown skyline. Go there on a slightly… Read More

Another Remarkable Reunion

BIG family get-togethers are generally due to events that are very auspicious, or very sad. Here was yet another blessed example of a wonderful occasion – Anita’s wedding, attended by a whopping 600 people! And contrary to my own fears, the entire event was just fabulous – – no outbursts from people who had underestimated their ability to juggle drinks and emotions. Below are three of 1,200 shotsMylangee – Elsama Auntie and Johnny Uncle offer their best wishes…– -Abe Pachikara, Copyright 2008 (click for larger image) The moment arrives…– -Abe… Read More

Mementos from Susie Annie

Here we see the traces of a few doodling sessions that Paul, Sidd and Susie Annie had. It includes favorites of each party: Honey the bunny; bullet trains; balloons; more bunnies; and more bullet trains. Standing by the Siddo/Paul/SusieAnnie Masterpiece – – Abe Pachikara, Copyright 2008 (click for larger image)

Susie Annie’s West Coast Bunnies

We had the good luck that Susan could work out of the local GAO office in Seattle and thereby make a trip out West to see us. All get-togethers that you look forward to are blustery ones, and this one was no exception. Given that the boys are old enough to hold their own meandering stories, she had her hands full hearing about friends at school, toddler luminaries like Curious George, and at times long-winded opinions about dinosaurs – – and this was in addition to chats with Molly and… Read More

The Moveable Priest

Unfortunately in some respects, “church,” in my head, is something that occurs in a big, fixed, specialized, largely single-use structure that sits out on its own. This notion has been turned upside down (only) twice at this point, and by the same priest. Stephen Uncle, here all the way from Nairobi, ended the wedding weekend by presiding over a quiet reflective function at Asha’s house. 3 years ago, I attended a similar function that he presided over at a family reunion at Sunil’s house. In both instances, I wondered how… Read More