Thursday, August 02, 2012

Down the memory lane

I tried very hard today to think of the earliest memory I have of my brother but nothing came to me. I thought harder but still nothing...there were blurry, long forgotten scenes from our childhood that flashed before my eyes but I dismissed every one of them. I was thinking these thoughts when it hit me.

I do not know or recognise life without my brother. He has always been there and i mean it literally.I was all of a year and a day old when he came into the world making me, at the tender age of one, an elder child.

One of the most distinct memories i have is of us sitting on the verandah overlooking the huge, lush, green garden and chatting. We must have been 5-6 or maybe younger, i don't know..

I stared at him playing with something in his hand and asked him ' What do you think of when you are not doing anything?' ( Yes, I used to ask such questions)
'Nothing' he said shrugging his shoulders.
I remember being blown away by that answer as in my head a mishmash of thoughts and ideas are perpetually running amuck. To imagine a mind that thought of nothing was so amazing. And so simple. And so relaxing...

We looked a LOT like each other when we were young (yes, things changed when he grew a moustache and beard, thank God for that!). So much so that a lot of friends at my all girls school often asked me about my twin. I have to add, that though we look like each other and share the same gene pool, it is amazing how similar you can be and yet how much better looking one can be compared to the other. He wins the 'Better looking sibling' crown hands down!

Ma tells me how she used to call me 'didi' so that Bhai would learn to call me that. Of course what then happened was that the little me began to think that my name was 'Didi' but more on that later sometime :) What also happened was that all his friends call me 'Didi' which was really funny because some of them were actually older to me!

We would sit in the clothes cupboard, he would be the shopkeeper and i would be the customer. We would take our cycles out and race as the monsoons lashed around us. We spent hours playing with the white gate (yes, don't ask me what joy we got out of standing on the gate and sashaying on it) I picked peas out of his rice pulao and he dropped me to my school before he went to his own when he got his bike. He tried to teach me to ride a bike once which was nothing short of a disaster...soon cycles and bikes gave way to cars and we would drive around the city catching up over hurriedly bought ice cream. He devours everything i cook and he is the only person i get to boss around.

When Ma would not allow me to go for that party, he would work on my case. Being a man, and hence not in the favour of using more words than are absolutely necessary, I have , over the years adopted the role of his PA in our family. When Ma asked him about what is happening in his life, he is reported to have told her to speak to me. (Yes! and this happened last month!)

He is also the funniest man i know. And how can you not love someone who makes you laugh at the drop of a hat?

I on the other hand believe in bawling my head off at suitable occasions.

I bawled my eyes out when he left for med school and was such a pathetic mess each time he was to go back to med school after holidays that i never (and i repeat never) went to the station/ airport to drop him off. At my vidai  I guessed it right, bawling my head off again as i hugged everyone around me one last time before i left. Tears streaming down my red face and barely able to manage my saree,l hugged Bhai. And what did he do? Pretending to pat me comfortingly he smacked me hard on the shoulder.
'Ouch!' i said indignantly to him the tears forgotten.
With that characteristic slow smile on his face he whispered into my ear ' Dharti pe bojh, now go terrorise Sid!'

Though we have had our fair share of wars over the remote control/ computer / cycle etc, compared to other siblings I  know of we never really fight much. Sitting here, i cannot recall the last time we had a fight. I have also realised how well we work as a team. I gave multiple interviews when my first book came out and one of the most common questions was around how the well the book was marketed online. Which agency had i hired, asked a journalist once.
'My brother' i said to him smiling.

Even though he is younger by only a year (and one day), he is and will always be my younger brother. I am ever ready to pounce on anyone who dares say a word against (funnily enough if the same person was to say the same for me, i would not even be bothered). I have never seen him hit a child (even when he was much younger) or speak rudely to an elderly person which is why i repeat what i said about him in the acknowledgement on my book.
He is the nicest, kindest, funniest man I know. And he is my brother.

So today i recited a long winded sentence telling him how i wished and prayed for rosy health, continued happiness and greater success for him this year and forever.He paused for a minute.
'Same to you' he said.

I could not help but smile.
Happy Rakhee, Bhai.


Harshita Srivastava said...

Aww..that is so heart touching...
I do not have a real bro but made one in my college and believe me I could have never got a bro better than him. And in order to cope u with the lost childhood days we wanted to spend together, we still play around in the park, swinging with the kids and fight for candies. It's a different kinda bond we share and I really had a great day with him today. Celebrated my 3rd rakhi this year :)

Ashwin S Kumar said...

Wow !! Amazing!

Divya said...

A very sweet post :) :) Reminded me of the wonderful memories I have of my younger brother :) Unfortunately, we are in different cities now and do not meet so often - but the bond is strong as ever!

Arthi said...

Loved this piece. You inspire me to write a post about my older bro and my memories of our childhood days.

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