Neil Tambe

I'm a Detroiter who happens to enjoy writing, national parks, orange juice, the performing arts, and fanciful socks. More than anything though, I aspire to be a good husband, father, and citizen.

Family Business



I don’t just like this picture because it looks good. I took this picture when I was in India over X-mas break. I’m lucky because I have many many homes. With my parents, at the University, with special people, and with my family. With my family. I didn’t really understand this word before. I mean, I could be like Webster and give a definition of some sort. But, this word wasn’t one that I could have any kind of interaction with. It was just a word. Just like computer, bologna, or polyester.
I like this picture because it’s a family picture. But let me tell you a little story that I think is important to be telling. This is Anju Bhabi. Bhabi is a word referring to an older sister in law on the mother’s side of the family. In Indian culture different family members have equally different titles to be called. I’ve spent probably less than 12 hours hanging out with my Bhabi. The last time I saw her was three years ago. By all standards I should barely know her at all. She’s in our family by marriage. She should think that I’m just a distant (not only because of unfamiliarity but because of mileage) cousin. Her kids should think I’m their one uncle that they never see, and don’t know. I should just be another face to her. I should be less than a brother.

But, I’m not.

I like this picture because it’s happy, and by all typical standards, it’s a picture with someone I barely even know.

I really had a wonderful trip. I miss my family daily. I wish I could see them more than I do. For real. By the way, I went for my sister’s shaadi (wedding)

It was a soul-searching experience, my trip I mean. I thought really hard about very much. It was inevitable. About the future: marriage, majors, destiny, friendship, love, spirituality, humanity. It’s almost an overwhelming experience, which is part of the reason why I slept for 17 hours straight when I returned home.

The ironic part of this story is that I have far less answers to the questions that itch me then when I started. I have less direction than ever. I am terrified in a way. Or rather, I’m rather powerless, which is where the discomfort comes from.

I’m sitting at 707 Oxford in Ann Arbor, MI right now. At my fraternity house. I will be a brother soon. Probably at this time in two weeks.

-Brief note: Is it just me, or does the shuffle feature on music players just flow with how you’re feeling when you really need it to?-

Anyway. This will be my home next year. I was just reading through our petition for initiation. Three of my pledge brother’s fathers were FIJI’s. Adam reflects on how he would always play with his father’s fraternity ring. It was a monumental part of his childhood. I’m laying that down for my son(s) now, should I ever have sons or even children. It’s like I’m putting down a road to drive on with the loves of my life.

It doesn’t feel like it really, I think many of my peers, friends, and colleagues see this time at the University as some abyss of money and intellectual race that doesn’t have an end, a point, or a prize. It can’t be. This has to be more than that. My friends, will start getting married soon. I will be getting married soon. (I’m not sure what soon means, but I know it’s not terribly far away.) We will be in prime soon. We will be the future and past soon.

(Shuffle is awesome yet again: You’ll be in My Heart- Phil Collins)

I can’t believe life sometimes. It’s so breathtaking. So unreal.

The point is, life is scary. It’s terrifying. It should be impossible and irrational, just like how Bhabi and I shouldn’t seem like we love each other in that picture. We have people In our heart though. I have people in my heart though: Jessi, my parents, my family, my friends, my brothers. I have people in my life to whom I can call home.

Being home makes life not scary anymore. So, I think we’ve gotta make wherever we go home. Constantly. Home is where we’ve gotta be. Never settle until we’re home. Never settle until we’re home. I can’t. I’ve gotta find home. I’ve gotta keep going until I pull up into the drive way, and put the key in the door and open it. No matter what other people think or believe, I can take advice from people who settle, because they are part of what home is, but…I can’t let people stop me from getting there. I’m desperate to build a home, and go there.

I’ve been bubbling with a philosophy lately. Or rather, an articulation of how I feel about my own life.

I have and will have enough to be satisfied. I could just kind of coast in a few years, get a kush job and live a nice life. But, I’d rather fiercely fight to find peace. To find happiness. Satisfaction is alright for awhile, but I mean what is it really worth in the end. Is there any good reason to settle for satisfaction? Is there a reason other than “security”?

My response to this notion of “guaranteed security”…

Shove it. Bring on the challenges.

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