Then there was that time with the baby mice. How incredible those creatures were! Specially when they were just born and could not even see. He could observe them for hours. But would she understand? The moment she saw the tiny wriggly things she yelled so loudly that the neighbours came to check. Was the girl crazy or what?And what about the day she was eating so slowly that he lost his patience? When mom came to check, she saw both plates empty and the little girl crying. Why for heaven's sake? He only ate her share so she would not be late for school. He was trying to help. But did she understand? Nah...girls are the strangest things.
Once the little boy grew up a bit and the girl was no longer so small, he thought they could be buddies. So he thought he would practice his newly acquired Kung-fu skills on her. Haii-ya...one straight kick up the girl's chest and she simply collapsed on the floor. How uninspiring! Did mom understand that she was the one at fault? She did not try to duck or defend herself with an answering kick. He was just trying to emulate the cool moves shown on 36 chambers of Shaolin. But did she appreciate it? You bet not. Such a sissy. Still, she was not really that bad,in fact she was quite okay for a girl. Moreover all her friends were a little crazy about him. When he played cricket outside,all her friends would say, ''Oh! that is your brother? Will you introduce me to him?" He felt 10 feet tall. But did she ever introduce? Not ever. She said," What? You want to know my brother? But why? He hates taking a bath and stinks when he sweats!" Sisters are such a pain.
As he grew up a bit more, he stopped being a pest and turned more into a guide. He was the one she asked the questions to. 'What is the meaning of homosexual?' Who is an illegitimate child?' He blushed purple while answering but never shied away from telling the truth. After all he was the older brother and he took his responsibilities very seriously. So he answered the occassional awkward questions, escorted her to movies, took her to her friends houses at night and taught her chemistry when she appeared for the board exams. Of course it was another matter that he suffered from an anxiety attack that rendered him completely useless on her exam day. But still...
Over the years, the brother and the sister sparred over the TV remote and books. Friends and family. The last aloo paratha and the precious imported chocolates. They fought and made up. They laughed and they joked. When it was time for him to leave home,she cried.When it was time for her to leave, he gave his blessings.
They witnessed each other's mariages, birth of their children, ups and downs, pains and pleasures. As time passed, their lives changed. They now lived in different cities, with different people. Few things in life remain the same.
But each year,on a special day, she sends a special string for him. He responds by sending his love. The string binds them together and reminds them of a childhood spent together. A childhood that had fun, laughter and happiness. A childhood that was carefree and joyous. And most important, a childhood that was full of love for each other.
Some things in life, still remain the same.
This post goes out to all the brothers. You made our lives miserable but fun. Growing up without you would not be the same.
This is also for Dada, my elder brother. Happy Rakhi.