“We’re a normal family.”

It’s a funny thing, normalcy. What is so normal about the broken bonds and forgotten travelogues? What is so normal about the half-eaten lunch plates and skipped dinners? What is normal, I ask you, about the doors mostly shut and windows rarely opened? Nothing, isn’t it?

The house is pretty. The lights have been imported from Thailand. The walls are covered in the most beautiful wallpapers. The artefacts on them, a constant reminder of happy days. The framed photographs in monochrome, relentlessly carrying the childrens’ childhood in them. Can you still hear their laughter? Because I can’t.

They have grown up, in every way possible. They don’t ask for second helpings of their favourite dessert anymore. They don’t sleep to the tune of their mother’s lullaby. They don’t go on picnics anymore. Don’t you think there’s no love, there still is. It’s just that no one sees it around, not anymore.

Mom and Dad never fight. They’re the best set of parents anyone could ask for. Aai doesn’t do the dishes anymore, Baba doesn’t wash his scooter anymore. They barely remember those nights when all of them, all four of them, used to gather around the TV, watching a nice, old classic. Everyone’s busy, I fathom.

But they still are a normal family, aren’t they? They still are normal, even though the earlier lilac curtains have been replaced by darker shades, Sunday morning breakfasts are seldom done together, and Dad never drops the children to college. They still are normal, aren’t they?

[pullquote]This sounds a lot like our family, doesn’t it? The normal family that we live in. The homes that we’ve built, broken and rebuilt.[/pullquote]

But really, there is no thing as normal. If what is haven to the spider is chaos to the fly, then what is normal to us might be absurd to our next door neighbour.

There’s no normal family, there are just families with interesting stories