My first memory of her is a child who was much cuter than what I see her now as! She used to look identical to these Cerelac TV commercial kids, who all look the same by the way. And as minimum as I remember of our early days together, we weren’t really the closest of buddies. I guess most of the siblings aren’t for you always have the fear that the younger one would blabber about your escapades (as few as they were) in front of your parents! Long story short, I used to think of myself as the cool kinds, which I certainly wasn’t for I was as much a geek that I considered her. And well, the cooler kids don’t hang out with people younger to them! I guess the age difference is too apparent when you are 10 and 8 and not so much when you turn 26 and 24!
The formative years were a love-hate relationship to say the least! There are flashback-like-images in my mind, of us shouting the hell out of each other and spending days as strangers at home, conversing in front of parents to avoid the bashing. But nevertheless, staying out of each other’s way, it was just convenient! I am not proud to say this, but there was a satisfaction in just grouping up with my cousins, and teasing the little kid. Which I realize now is pathetic and despite all my beliefs back then, it made me look nowhere close to a bully! Thank god I grew up and learnt to behave once I reached college. May be seeing a world outside, brings common sense, if not intelligence, in you! I guess the unsaid pact between us was that we step up for each other, irrespective of the situation. What started initially as self-defense, more like you keep my secret and I keep yours, became a habit! And to this day, we have that oath!
Our relationship took an unexpected turn when I left for my MBA hostel. After years of sharing a room, and being annoyed by each others’ habits, me with how much of a nerd she was, and she with how obsessed I was about dressing up to look all cool (being a jerk to be precise!), the clichéd trick of being apart bringing people closer just worked! So from just tolerating, to being protective, to missing each other was quite a pleasant surprise! After that I guess, there was a couple of years of fallout, as we lost track of each other, she busy in
with her masters and I with my first job in Mumbai. But the best thing that
destiny did for me was her Ph.D.! That brought us in the same city and that’s
when we actually became friends J
So with all that background, today she is someone I look up to. She has a life that I will trade any day for! She is pursuing doctorate in a subject that I had struggle getting a decent score in, at high school level. She lives in the most posh area in Mumbai. She almost has a poetic lifestyle and she doesn’t have the most hated thing in my life – Monday blues!!! Of all the things that figure in my fun-time list, shopping with her and cooking for her are probably my favorites.
She is still that cute little kid, who used to hate wearing glasses and be terrified of exams. But her sensible and thoughtful persona does a good cover-up job! I adore her for all the emotions that she displays but more so for those hidden ones which connect me to her more than anyone else! How she became the most indispensable person in my life is something I have no answer for, but probably the thing I am most thankful for!
From that annoying little brat to a wonderful, self-possessed, judicious woman – that’s my baby sister for you!
- Dedicated to Charanya Ravi
P.S.: When I re-read the blog, the pedantic and elderly tone is impossible to miss! Not sure if it’s because I am writing about her or am I really aging!!