Drizzling climate, morning 7 am, I was jogging along with my dad. We saw a distant relative on the way and he was so happy seeing us. He was a schoolmate of my father as well. They started sharing their childhood memories and how they used to roam around their village. They talked about the village priest and his weird but powerful ways of prayers. Their sight of Britishers collecting tax, their play time at the fields, stealing sugarcane etc., I have been to my father’s village where our roots are and I was able to appreciate their talks. But just at a lightning moment a thought stuck me. I time traveled 20 years to the future where I am jogging along with my daughter. We meet my childhood friend where my friend and I started chit chatting about out childhood days.What would be my daughter’s reaction? I am pretty sure she wouldn’t be astonished as I was born and brought up in a city just like her and there wont be any inquisitiveness at all.
That’s when I feared about the scenario of my kids and grand kids not knowing their roots at all. According to me knowing your roots is your identity and is extremely important. One of my acquaintance is an Indian by origin but settled in Australia for generations. He became a complete Australian but at one point in his life he felt a kind of disconnect. He came all the way to India and started genealogy (the study of ancestry and family history). He went back till his 7th generation and is still continuing.
Genealogy is actually very interesting and is as well very important especially for today’s Indian kids who are growing up urban throughout without knowing even their great grand parents. I started this recently and I am amazed with the facts that I collected. My great grand dad’s father had a book (diary in fact) wherein he wrote his day to day happenings. It was locked inside a pot and people later after his death made that a religious one. My great grand father’s way of life is more like ideal where he used to get up at 4 am and go to bed by 7 pm. He used to eat only healthy food and no junk . He can calculate complex additions in seconds. My friend did his studies and found out that his great grand mother used to ride bullock cart secretly and she was an expert in it.
Where do you belong? Who are your forefathers? What were their practices? How they lived, how they prayed, how they time passed, etc., Lot of questions, How to know all these things? Its not as difficult as it looks. Interest and curiosity to know is all it takes. Step 1 is to know the names one by one back to the past.This is a bit difficult task. even 2 generations back doesn’t have any birth registry. So, we have it find this out from churches or temples or from near and dears. Step 2 is to build the family tree by connecting the members. Further to that as top up visit the natives and interview the people over their to know the past practices. Take some photographs and videos and append the same to your findings. This treasure collection of data, snaps, audio and video would be the most valuable gift to your next generation.