Some of my readers will know that exactly a month ago, I had to attend the funeral and subsequent thirteenth day ceremonies for my aunt who was the grand matriarch of our family. She was 97 and the last few years of her life had been quite stressful for my cousins and their respective spouses.

When she passed away, she was living with her eldest surviving son in Navi Mumbai, which is New Bombay. My cousin and his doctor wife were the care givers for her and went through a great deal of stress doing an admirable job of providing care for her.

My cousin, currently called very affectionately and our cheeks firmly in our cheeks as the Clan Chief, CC for short, wanted to get away from it all for some time, and decided to come over to Pune to spend some quality time with me.

That he did the last two days and the two of us had a grand time catching up with each other and talking family politics and generally had a great relaxing time together. He left earlier today after lunch and has just confirmed that he has reached home safe.

For me, it was male bonding at its best. He and I had got fairly close to each other over the last twenty five years or so when both of us were living in Bombay. He and his remarkable wife had always been great hosts and affectionate kin for me and Urmeela. Since both of us are now retired, we have been planning a meeting like this for quite some time, and finally we did it in an atmosphere free of tension and care giving. I am extremely satisfied with the outcome and hope to have more of them.

Next on the agenda is for the two of us to drive down to a gated community for senior citizens near where he lives to scout possible retreats for us when we eventually decide to quit city life, which is not too far off. I hope to do that within the next few weeks. I shall keep my readers informed.

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