I was 3 years old and I still remember vividly. It was cloudy, getting dark around noon, muggy like Madras (Chennai now) even though I was walking the dry dusty streets in Hyderabad. I was not alone. My second cousin’s grandfather was dragging me with one hand while he carried his own granddaughter with another. My cousin and I were nearly the same age except that she may have been five to eight kilos heavier and half foot taller; always making me wonder if I were a preemie. My 12-kilo body stumbled over and over again over on the unpaved footpath as we called it back then before learning the American ‘sidewalk’. Each time I fell, he pulled me up and dragged me harder, faster so we can reach their home in time for the downpour that threatened him. And each time, tiny particles of dust clung onto my bruised wet skin pricking me more than I could stand. My cousin on the other hand, I could tell, enjoyed wrapping her arms around her grandfather while he pecked her pink chubby cheeks every 10 seconds. I missed having my own grandfather and my grandmother couldn’t carry me anymore. He passed away five years before my parents were married and my grandmother lived with us. Most of the time, people mistook my father for my grandfather which made me upset. I missed home, my parents and grandmother even more each time I felt my arm was going to fall off because he dragged me so hard. I was angry that they sent me alone to spend time with my cousins. I was resolute to tell them never to do that again. I wasn’t even naughty like other kids, so wasn’t sure of this ‘punishment’. It was one of the longest walks of my life, yet, I learned my life’s first lesson. No matter what, no matter who, blood is always thicker than water!