Uncovering Ancestry: Secrets, History, and Family Heritage

Delving into family history reveals fascinating and sometimes scandalous secrets. Understanding your ancestors' lives, professions, and affiliations provides insights into your heritage. This journey can unearth hidden truths that shape your perception of the past. Acknowledge these complexities with compassion, recognizing historical context and the limited knowledge of past generations to form a nuanced view of history.

Picture: John Templeton Foundation

Exploring Your Family History

Have you ever delved deeply into your family history? Understanding your family structure and lineage can be both fascinating and enlightening. Where did your ancestors come from? What cities or towns where they born in? Tracing their origins can reveal a lot about your heritage. But it doesn't stop at locations. Have you uncovered what your ancestors did during their time in these places? What professions did they have? To which religious denominations where they affiliated? Were they business owners or co-owners? If they owned businesses, what were their trades or services? Did they produce goods, and if so, where did they source their raw materials? Where did their products go? Did they trade domestically or export abroad?

 Uncovering Family Secrets

As you dive deeper into your past, you might uncover secrets—some benign, some perhaps scandalous. Did you discover any shady dealings? Are there aspects of your family's history that you'd rather not talk about, things that can't stand the light of day? Were there "wrong" relationships within your family? For example, did your great-grandfather, himself a father of eight children, have an affair with a neighbor or even a family member? Such revelations can be shocking and might lead you to question who your ancestors really were. What did these people do in the distant past that might make you want to condemn them today?

Confronting Dark Family Secrets

If you know these secrets, you’ve likely made judgments about them. Often, we embrace the positive aspects of our heritage while trying to keep the negative ones hidden. Since few people typically delve into your family history, these secrets often remain buried. But imagine if others suddenly discovered your "family secret." They might find out that your great-grandfather was a terrible person—a sadist, rapist, or slave trader. Someone who caused immense suffering during his lifetime.

Has Your Secret Been Discovered?

Many believe that the suffering caused by past generations is long gone, especially if it happened during a war. However, imagine your current neighbor bringing it up recently. Ed, the neighbor from two houses away, found your family history in an old library book. Unbeknownst to you, Ed had discussed this with his wife, who then shared it with her friends, who subsequently told their partners and children. These discussions often lead to a snowball effect, where the story spreads further and further. People talked about how they didn’t see your grandfather’s behavior in you but speculated it might be in your genes.

Do People Look at You Strangely?

You might have noticed people looking at you strangely at the grocery store, but you never connected it to the story about your grandfather. You thought it was your imagination and went on with your life. Until one day, Ed talked to you again, revealing how horrified everyone was when they discovered your great-grandfather’s story. This news can be devastating and might make you feel judged for something you had no part in.

Can You Defend Yourself?

You explained to Ed that you knew the story but that it was slightly different. You tried to contextualize your great-grandfather’s actions by comparing them to the harsh realities of survival during wartime. Despite your explanation, the damage was already done. You were seen as a descendant of a brutal rapist, and people around you advised caution. The fact that your great-grandfather was also considered a hero by some was irrelevant to them.

How Will People Judge You in the Future?

What’s the moral of this story? Today, much attention is paid to historical figures once deemed heroes. These individuals, depicted in paintings or statues, were once spoken of with great respect. Now, we reassess their actions and often condemn them. History, until recently, was written by victors. It’s crucial to understand that historical accounts are not absolute facts. People of the past had knowledge only of their time. General civilization didn’t exist as we know it, and literacy was rare until Martin Luther's time (1483-1546). Luther’s work revealed discrepancies between church teachings and the Bible.

What Will Future Generations Think?

Future history books will reflect our actions today but remember that historical accounts are not absolute facts. People of the past had knowledge only of their time. General civilization didn’t exist as we know it, and literacy was rare until Martin Luther's time (1483-1546). Luther’s work revealed discrepancies between church teachings and the Bible. Look at the past with the right perspective, using lenses fitted with knowledge and context.

Understanding and Forgiveness

In conclusion, while it's essential to acknowledge and learn from our past, it’s equally important to apply a nuanced understanding of historical context. Our ancestors lived in a different world with different norms and pressures. Before passing judgment, consider the complexities of their lives and the limited information they had. This perspective not only fosters a more accurate understanding of history but also encourages a more compassionate view of human behavior across generations.


Cooking up a mouthwatering recipe for love in the main course.

Cooking on the grill. The outside fire, the flames, the smells, tingling your taste buds for something juicy and delicious. Firing up all senses is a dream come true for an author. Only if I could write to where you could smell each mouthwatering word.

Family! You can’t live with them or without them. And it's one of the most complex things in life: a marriage. We can't pick and choose our relatives. But you can choose your partner. No matter how you spice up life, there are complicated adult things we run into, like divorce. Not that divorce is the fix-all. When the bonds of marriage break, it is sad. Two people once in love fall out of love. Why can't love last forever? When the conditions for love are no longer met, the bond fades. A shared commitment between both partners can replace lost love and hold the relationship together for years to come. And then there are the couples whose bond is so strong they can't live without each other. Couples who have been married for 40 to 60 years or more are fascinating.

So what's the recipe for a long marriage?

The million-dollar question. From what I have experienced in life, the answer is, "Love fades and becomes a lost love." We crave to be loved. Love is a lot like basting a chicken on the grill, with a great chicken rub with all the right spices. I had to compare love with food, which we also crave. The universal meaning of love is always to baste your love with tender loving care. Studies have shown that we think love is in the heart, but it mostly comes from the brain. Romance does not have to fizzle out in a relationship. Maintaining a goal like all good things in life requires energy and devotion. It’s all in what you put into your relationships. Couples should strive to spice up with all the trimmings. When you keep the fires burning, it will never go out.

Treat your love like the main course, not the garnish.

Jackie Lynaugh

About the novella COMPLICATED, by Jackie Lynaugh.

First, yes, I am experienced in divorce. Once was enough. I know of many people with 4 to 5 divorces under their belt. I imagine the more the divorces, the more the complications. The story is about marriage, lost love, newly found love, children, family, careers, home, and the characters Lee and Scarlett. Not so much in that order, but the topics are about what we all share in common, life. I was married for 10 years to my first husband, and 40 years to my second husband. So far, so good. The second time around has been heavenly. I hope you enjoy the novella, COMPLICATED.


Navaratri Festival in My Hometown

In Navaratri days, I feel myself a very lucky person that people in my hometown gives me and my family such extraordinary respect. When I was a boy, I could remember all those things that had happened in our village. Population in my hometown is a consist of around one thousand. The village has only two Durga temples, but a hundred years ago it was only one. That first old temple had broken down into the pieces and took his Lord Durga (Maa) at his house and set up a new temple in the yard.

After some period of time, my dad rebuilt the broken temple and placed new goddess Durga. This reconstructed temple just in right near the bus stop in front of the main road. That time I was a child, doing my schooling. I could remember all the things that had happened at that time. Whenever Navaratri used to come, my school friends and I  all used to give a helping hand in the temple during the festival. Lot of fun we used to have, especially on the last day of the festival Visarjan time. All-day we used to wait for a dance. The crazy and wild steps that everyone could remember.

Since I left my village and started staying in Pune for my further education, I could not attain Navaratri every year. This time I had decided to go to my hometown and attain it. I have spent almost 8 days in this Navaratri and felt delighted and blessed. I took a lot of time to think over my past and a bit on future planning.

My dad is a great devotee of Maa Durga and people respect him a lot. In below pics, my dad carrying Ghat to the River after all the prayers. This time it has got late and the bad thing took place- black magic must have done by someone. As per my dad, he told me that, the Ghat Visarjan should be done before 12 pm or after 3 pm. Otherwise, the bad thing may happen particularly with the person who carries the Ghat (pujas over the head) and today the same thing had happened with my dad due to delay in Visarjan. Their heart was blocked attacking by an evil, it was last longer for 1 min.

In the Visarjanaround 500 people include boys and girls takes part in the celebration. Sometimes 70% of people in the village. Nowadays, a screw run entire festival, the entire village contributes Cereals, Wheat, Oil and all other required things for Mahaprasad. And before one day of Dashera, all villagers have Mahaprasad, the entire village come down to the temple for dinner.

Whenever, you get a chance, never miss it. It’s quite holy Prasad… Jai Ambeeee! Jai Durgeeee!