Motley Family.

Sammy Davis Jr, one of my favourite entertainers, married Swedish actor May Britt, in 1960 when inter-racial marriages were very rare. Political correctness also had not reached the absurd levels that it has reached today, and interviewers would ask very personal questions. After the marriage, Sammy was asked by an interviewer, what he expected the children to be from such an inter-racial marriage. Sammy replied, and I as a very young person loved him and May Britt for it, “We don’t care what colour our children will be, white, black, brown or polka dot.” or words to that effect.

After half a century, why do I remember that interview and that classic answer? Josephine Carr has a post “The Family Of Man” in her blog CarrTalk. which brought that memory flooding back to me.

In my family too, a lot of extraordinary marriages have taken place and that too at times when they were not at all as common as they are now. I guess that our family could well be called a Motley family for that reason.

Starting from my parent’s generation of orthodox Hindus, out of four brothers and three sisters, two brothers married out of our caste/sub caste and one married a Caucasian Australian. One sister married outside our caste too. Subsequently, the marriage with the Australian broke down and my uncle married a Roman Catholic, ie, outside our religion too.

In the next generation,we had more inter national, inter linguistic, inter caste, inter racial and inter religious marriages and to list all of them will take a few paragraphs. I personally married a Methodist Christian of inter linguistic composition. I have Jewish and Muslim relatives by marriage too and linguistically, the mixture has just been increasing.

In the next generation, that is my son’s, the mixtures are getting more common and we are likely to see more from the next, I hope.

In all these mixed unions sadly, there has not yet been any polka dot child, or at least not to my knowledge.

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