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Saturday, August 16, 2008

My Warrior Fraternity

It's Raksha Bandhan today and it has been sveral years since I've had the fortune of being home to celebrate the festival with those men I adore. And I'm feeling quite down and out about not being there but I take heart from the fact that aunt is now home after years and she made the trip to go see my dad just so she could tie him a rakhi. Some day, that shall be me. I do however, choose to mark this day by professing my love for you guys (and yes I know it might be embarassing... but hey, sisters do that ;)). So, A, A, S & S... here's looking at you all:

A1: My sibling. Which basically means years and years of sibling rivalry... one that hasn't quite faded even in spite of not having lived in the same house for ages now. Who said growing up had to change thins between siblins? :) And yet, as you like to say, our love for each other has shone through all that. Always does.

Growing up, I was always in your shadow, known as 'A's kid sis' everywhere we went... and it was difficult sometimes, being known only as A's sis... watching you be the oh-so-popular and good-looking one in the family, having the limelight all the time. You could walk into any room and instantly be a hit, that's still how the way it works. But you know what? It's great that it is that way. I'm so proud of you. I love seeing you work your charm on people, issue those classic one-liners, make people laugh and basically fall in love with you. I love how you deal with random family, random strangers, how you deflect mum's comic dire threats... you are everything I'm not. You are the face of this family and you carry that responsibility so well. I was silly to have ever thought I wanted that. It's yours. What I have though is reserve. Plenty of it. And I'm happy to be this way. I'm happier not having to be te diplomat unlike you and constantly be nice to people... being blunt comes easier to me. And I know that's not how you'd want me to be, but you ought to know, the reserve is as much a family heirloom as the diplomacy and niceness are. It's just that only the second-borns get it :) ;)

You've had a difficult time the last few years and it is a pity that we couldn't share the burden then... for whatever reason. But I swear, I'd have done it then and I would still do it... I would without second thought hurt anybody who had the audacity to say anything against you. I'm nothing if not fiercely protective about you.

I do wish though that we could have more time together. I've changed a whole lot in the last few years and I wish we had more time together for you to see who I really am. To see who I am around my friends, who those friends are... all that.

In a few weeks' time you shall be raking in fame and big bucks... that you so rightfully deserve. And I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful it makes me feel to watch all this happen to you. No one deserves it more than you do. I can never tire of watching you around your friends, around family, doing the things you do. You're a joy to be with and I love you more than I can ever say or show. Sibling, I'll never stop being your kid sis... I'll always look up to you.

A2: My very first, sharpest memory of you is at that wedding of one of our uncles. You were still a student in those days and I remember you actually gave me the time of your day to go take a walk with me and respond with a hilarious response of 'Well I actually wanted to be a pirate but that didn't happen so here I am!' when I asked you what made you take up medicine. It was years later that your mum told me you'd wanted to be in the airforce but that didn't happen. And true, the idea of you in the airforce has a very strong appeal to it. But you know what? You are a doctor and you were truly born for this. And I've known that from the time you were working at that burns unit. How many other doctors would stay up all night talking to their patients discussing samosa recipes or some such? How many would without a second's thought go ahead and give CPR to a badly burned patient trying to save them desperately? How many would use humour as their main medicine? You will always be the best doctor I have ever known. Beyond any doubt.

But you're not only a doctor to me. You're the other elder brother I have. One from whom I learnt several valuable lessons, specially in the crucial period at th end of my teenage. Sure, I thought it a bit odd that you were rather outspoken and downright disrespectiful sometimes...But I came to understand that that was your odd way of showing you care about someone. I learned from you that I needn't blindly respect everyone and anyone older than I am... that people need to earn respect. And you've earned my respect... ages ago. I think you're the first person who taught me to look at the lighter side of life. Telling me to not stay cooped at home but use my college time to have fun, go out, meet friends... make friends. You were my sole company for months actually and boy was that good!!! You always knew everything there was to know and I wanted to keep asking you stuff just to hear you talk so comfortably on everything and anything.

You were there for me on a number of occasions. Boy-trouble type occasions too! You were there to celebrate my 19th AND 21st birthday... And you made them special by just being there. You also were the first in the family to consider my bf-related plans seriously and made sure I'd have ample support if you were not there personally. You did it in your own inimitable style too!! I won't forget the silence that follwed your pseudo-drunken speech. You are one of a kind really!!!

And you got married... despite all your initial anti-marriage talks. And I'm very glad you did because my sister-in-law is such a perfect addition this this very crazy family of ours!

You're my elder brother too... even if we don't actually have the same parents. Kaka ad kaku are as good as parents to me, if you ask me :)

S1: I don't even know where to begin when I begin talking about you. From those days when we were about 3 and 2 and we squabbled about who was taller, while standing on the rolled up carpet. Or the times when we were out in the afternoons while everyone slept, playing made-up games. Or the times when you were home for summers and at the young age of 9 or ten you'd discuss girlfriends. Or how you'd come to school to pick me up when you were there. Or how you follwed me home from school all the way one day and scared the shit outta me by giving me one vigoros slap on my back, staining my white school blouse with your handprint, because you'd been pretending to fiddle with the greasy chain so I wouldn't see you when I cycled past. You've been the light of my life. An absolute delight.

We've drifted apart in recent years given we now have careers and partners and what not to consider... and that's one of the biggest regrets of my life. Not being able to be your friend like we were as kids. But I'm hoping that shall change ... and soon. I merely have to think of you to get this very proud glint in my eyes. And yet, in spite of all my tries, I cannot still tel you how much you mean to me. You really are my pride and joy. My little brother. I love you a lot.

S2: My baby. :) Even though we're only four years apart... you'll still be my baby. You always have been... right since you were a tiny gap-toothed little creature with a gummy smile and a rather bald head... even though I once told your mom you were 'khout'. I assure you, I didn't even know what it meant. Now I do though and you're far from khout :D I know we all left you out a whole lot when we were kids... and I didn't make much effort to keep in touch with you individually back then... that's something I'm not proud of. But that doesn't mean I do not love you. You're the quiet, brilliant, cute and absolutely funny little brother of mine. You'll be a hot-shot lawyer in the not so distant future and I shall feel like a very proud mother hen watching you do your thing. For now though.... I look forward to more all-night chats about whatever you want to talk about to me. I just feel very glad knowing you want to share things with me.

The four of you are my warriors. You don't actually have to go and physically bash up anyone who hurts me or displeases me... but I know for sure that you'd do something akin to that if the situation warranted it. I don't think there's anyon else out there who is lucky enough to not one, but four such individually fabulous brothers... all doting on her :) You define a big part of the word 'family' to me. And knowing I have you makes me feel like the most blessed person in the world. May you all live very happily always (Or I shall personally make whoever is making your life miserable, and God, pay for it).

Happy Raksha Bandhan my brothers :)

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