Friday, August 19, 2005

Sisters, mangled dolls and raksha bandhan...

When my sister was born, my dad was quite happy. Contented. A few years later, my mom wanted to have another baby. “But we’re doing just fine. Why do we need another one?” My father asked. Now, he wasn’t being rude or anything. Only puzzled. Not that he had anything against a second baby, but…that was his opinion. He was happy with a single child. Not my mom. She wanted another. “I want a boy. And something tells me this time round we’ll have him.”My dad’s a scientist. So you can well imagine his reaction to that ‘intuitive’ sentence. But well, they went ahead and had another one. Me.

My sister was one of the most over-protective big sisters in the locality. “Give him back, your one minute is over.” Yeah, THAT over protective. And as a small kid I’d tag along like a pooh doll wherever she went. And she didn’t mind one bit. She’d bully me, boss over me, give me a dressing down, but in the end, I was her li’l brother, her ‘puppy’ as she’d call me lovingly.
Some boys are destructive by nature. Well....most are. No prizes for guessing what I was. My sister had a doll with lovely hair. One day she returned from school to find Persis Khambatta of Star Trek instead of her beautiful doll. Awash in tears, she ran to mom. When they stood over me, my answer? ‘But it’ll grow right back, won’t it?’

When in her 6th standard, she went away to boarding school. She’s been an independent person all her life and the fact that she’d have to live hundreds of miles away from her parents and little brother did sadden her, but didn’t break her. She wanted to be a dancer. And she’d do anything for it. Kalakshetra, Chennai. She trained in Bharathanatyam (A classical dance) and completed her post graduation after ten long years at boarding school. Of course she visited us twice every year. I think only once dad went all the way to Chennai to bring her home. The next time on, she was on her own. ‘I’ll be fine, appa,” was all she said. My father agreed. He was confident about her. She was his ‘big’ girl.

I myself was in boarding school for 5 years. I’ve never thought about my 'akka' (big sister in our mother tongue) and me consciously. We were a pair of ordinary siblings. We’ve never been very expressive about each other’s love. But during our teens and adolescence she was always there to guide me when I needed a ‘girl’s’ point of view. There’s not been a single raksha bandhan when I’ve not worn her rakhi. Not one. The distance never mattered. Though she’s never lived with us throughout she’s always been there. We’ve had our fair share of childhood escapades. Thrashing from parents. But we’ve never really lived together for an extended period of time.
I guess distance makes the heart grow fonder. And in my case, this distance has always made me respect my sister that much extra. Love her that much extra. To me she’ll always be my loving ‘akka’. And I’ll remain her ‘puppy’. I'm always there for her, and she for me.

Happy Raksha Bandhan, big sis.. And yeah, I received your rakhi, as always. A day in advance.

17 comments:

manuscrypts said...

hey, changed the post...come have a look :)

Kahini said...

:)

alpha said...

lovely phatichar! I sent my brother a rakhi and he is buying a house...for himself.

Sudipta Chatterjee said...

Phatichar, that was a good post. And it was straight from the heart, I can sense that.

Can't help commenting on Alpha's comment :) Are you anyhow trying to imply a cause and effect relation?? :)

Prerona said...

Hi. When is Rakhi? I dont really know - dont have a brother of my own. Lots of adopted ones though :) those are very beautiful relationships too but very different. Have been mailing you for a while but havent been hearing from you. Where have you been? Mad at me? Remember who I am? Prero!

Prerona said...

Hi. When is Rakhi? I dont really know - dont have a brother of my own. Lots of adopted ones though :) those are very beautiful relationships too but very different. Have been mailing you for a while but havent been hearing from you. Where have you been? Mad at me? Remember who I am? Prero!

GratisGab said...

What a lovely post Phatichar! Sweey yet not sugary, loved it :)

Ash said...

Nice post, Ramana.

Personally, I'm not a big fan of RB since I don't have a brother, and I'm too irked by the pheku women who go around making rakhi brothers and then falling in love with them ! Bah !

But yes, I do appreciate the significance it has for true bro-sis r'ships ... so what did you get for your Akka this year ?? :)

KJ said...

lovely post....

KJ

d4u said...

The essence is beautifully conveyed:-)

aqua said...

this was wonderful to read. i have an elder bro who treated me quite the same way. :)

phatichar said...

manu; :) saw...neat comparison i must say

Kahini :)

alpha: thx alpha..hehe..don't worry he'll buy something for you as well. patience.

Sudipta: thnx..

Pre: hi prero..c'mon, how can i forget u? just been busy..how've you been girl? I'll send a looong email soon, hmm?

gabby: thx dear..

Ash: lol @pheku sisters.. yeah, have seen quite a few in my college days as well.. i too dont buy the 'muh bola' bhai logic.. 'ts either the real thing or no 'bro-sis', just friends for me.. well, my sister's gonna be a mom a 2nd time, so i've planned something reallly nice for her (combined gift. brothers will all be the same huh?)

KJ: thx, how've u been?

d4u: :)

aqua: thx.. good for u.. :)

shub said...

:):):)
howdy ramana? lonnng time! n howz aayushi?

KJ said...

me ok. hows u? how's aayushi?

have a nice day

phatichar said...

shub: hey :)...am ok, u tell me. How's Singapore treating u?

kj: aayu's fine...how'z ur kid?

Priya Iyer said...

loved this one.. could sense that real feeling in it.. almost had me in tears. :) i wish i had a sibling too.. :(

Seяendipity™ said...

I get it, I so get it now :)