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3 questions I never thought of before December 10, 2007

Posted by Sharath Rao in contemplation, ideas.
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1. How much do you know about each of your 8 great-grandparents ?

My answer :

Dad’s dad’s dad – Know his name.

Dad’s dad’s mom – Nothing

Dad’s mom’s dad – Nothing

Dad’s mom’s mom – Nothing

Mom’s dad’s dad – Nothing

Mom’s dad’s mom – Nothing

Mom’s mom’s dad – Whole lot of stuff

Dad’s mom’s mom – Nothing, except the place she grew up (Mangalore)

By “nothing”, I mean absolutely nothing. Ever thought about this – surely we know a lot about our grandparents (and so do our parents know of theirs) but the knowledge that really flows from one generation to another is barely anything (unless you are Priyanka Gandhi’s son). Of course, this is almost entirely be attributed to human life spans being almost capped at 100 something.

This of course works down the tree as well, although technology might as well change this just a bit. So next question becomes :

2. Say you answer this question on your blog, then what is the probability that your hypothetical great-grand daughter will read the post (and maybe get to this one ?)

While you think about that, here comes the next question, which is really a few ridiculous steps ahead.

3. There is a chance that my great-great-great-<go back another 65 generations>-great-great grandfather who as a food along with his tribe-mates,  attacked your ancestors’ village, looted their food sources, burnt their houses, kidnapped their children and raped their women and killed your corresponding ancestor ? Do you feel angry about that ?

Queer isn’t it – we are almost incapable of personalizing such distant relationships and empathizing with people who lived more than x years ago (x probably varies from person to person but is surely not very large). In fact, we are even talking casually so about it right now. And thankfully so !! 🙂

But if you think about it, these relationships are distant in time, not in genes. Or in other words, in all probability I share more in my genes with the above looter/rapist than with a randomly chosen person who is currently walking down the main street in Santiago, Chile, South America. But then, like I care ! Afterall, the truth is that I feel closer and relate more to the latter than the former.

Who says blood is thicker than water !

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Comments»

1. Joy - December 11, 2007

Q1 Yeah I think I can trace my way upto…my Mother’s Great Grandfather. Used to keep asking the grandparents about their grandparents all the time. 🙂

Q2 Umm… mmm. That raises quite a few questions in my head shall leave that for the blog.

Q3.Basically you’re asking If I feel angry that at one point my ancestors were cavemen and acted like themselves? Surely not!

2. Sharath - December 11, 2007

Reasonable indeed.


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