She was nine-years-old, innocence on face and mischievousness in eyes. She was chirpy like a sparrow and was a pampered child. She was scolded for making mistakes, but she knew mamma and papa would never chide her without a reason. Yes, she was an apple of their eye. This little girl had the best time of her life in these nine years. But today, exactly after two decades when she is sitting in her veranda, looking outside the glass window, she is missing something in those carefree nine years. She realizes what a vacuum it was to be deprived of an important member in the family.
Empty mind as usual hovers with endless thoughts. The drizzles, pitter-patter of raindrops and the earthy aroma in the air make her nostalgic and take her back to her childhood days. Such a fun it was to have the complete love and attention of her parents. No, she was not the only child of her parents. But, there was something strange, unusual that kept her away from her brother.
Bachhu! That’s what her “Bhaiyu” used to call her in love. She was his darling sister, who was run-down of all the love and affection, and fights that usually strengthen the bond of brother-sister, in the initial nine years of her life. That tender age when your sibling is your best friend, these two were kept apart. The circumstances at times push you to do things, which you never dream of. And, certainly she was too young to dream. But, the innocence in her always tempted her to ask her mom often “Mamma, all of my friend’s stay with their brothers and sisters, then why not me? I also want to play with Bhaiyu like all my friends play with their siblings.” Poor mom never had an answer except a statement to cover up, “I’m there to play with you dear. Come; tell me what you want to play.” This deviated Bachhu for few hours or maybe few days from the topic of discussion and generated a wave of enthusiasm in her, which drove her to get her favourite sport to play with mamma.
For sure, Bhaiyu who was elder to her by two and a half years must have equally craved for her sister. By destiny’s choice, he was staying in a different city, away from his parents at such a tender age and the only means of communication then was a telephone and letters. Yes, they did not use to meet often. Often, they used to hear each other’s voice over the phone and be happy.
Only when Bachhu was ten, destiny demanded that they should be together. Luckily, her father had to take a transfer to the same city as that of her Bhaiyu. And, then she found her company for all the mischievous acts and tantrums. Those arguments on trivial issues to some major fights, she experienced everything she could, till the time she had to leave him again and go to a distant state for further studies. Again, almost a decade spent.
But, today when she looks back in time, she regrets the loss of those beautiful years in her childhood, which would have been even more heavenly in Bhaiyu’s presence. If Bachhu can feel the pain of staying apart, twenty decades later, I wonder how a mother would have felt to keep away for 12 years from one of her kids. 9 months in womb and 12 years of separation, what an irony of life!
This Raksha Bandhan, I dedicate this story to all the brothers and sisters around the globe. It’s important to value the bond of love and respect because life’s uncertain and you hardly have time to spend with your loved ones especially with your siblings in this busy life. On this special occasion let your brothers and sisters feel the warmth that you hold for them. Eliminate the rough patches and be generous to forgive and forget. Spread love and spend time.
Meanwhile, I take this opportunity to wish my brother a Happy Raksha Bandhan and say, “Bhaiyu, I’m glad to have grown up with you and to have you as my brother. I’m proud of you in every sense. I’m not with you on this Rakhi, but I want to tell you that you are very much in my thoughts.”