I woke up to my morning cup of coffee and had just settled down to read thepapers, when my 3 year old son jumped out of bed like a jack in the box,screaming, “Mama is it time yet?” You see, he had been excited the whole weekto receive a gift for the first time from his baby sister on the occasion ofRakshabandhan! He had learnt all about it in his school, and of course we keptprepping him on how his little sister would tie him a fancy wristband called“Rakhi”. The exciting part for him of course was the fact that his little babysister who can’t even walk yet has bought him a gift that she is going to givehim and that he has shopped something for his little toothless too!
I couldn’t help but share his excitement this year, as Rakshabandhan wasextra special for me this time round. Growing up with two older brothers, Ialways was the baby of the house, and this particular occasion meant, theywould shower me with gifts and indulge me, in a way only brothers can. Howeverwith time, our lives branched out in different directions, and while at onetime we are thick as thieves, geography had gotten in the way. Add to that, thefact that we were all tackling our own set of toddlers, and we had a peculiarsituation, where most occasions were celebrated in isolation, wishing eachother over a phone call, be it Diwali, Holi or Rakshbandhan. But this year, wemanaged to time ourselves right, finally! We are reuniting for the first timefor the occasion of Rakshabandhan after a gap of nearly 8 years, and what’smore, it the first one for my children too!
So, yes it was special and I intended to make the most of it! When mybrothers arrived last night, we quickly settled into our noisy banter, ourspouses subsequently sidelined to knowing glances and the occasional nod, andstories of our fistfights with the colony kids, our secret service clubs andthe numerous toy wrestles, dominated the evening. Even the times when we pulledpranks on the neighbors or let our dog loose on unsuspecting passers by, theevening was filled with a whole lot of fun memories to choose from. Of courseit wasn’t always harmonious between us! During the teenage years, we hadour shares of struggles with each other, with them being too protective andpossessive and being watchful of my every move. But they were also the ones tobail me out, when I got onto a sticky wicket with my parents, whether it wasrelated to my academic perstrikeance, or missed curfews or even seeking approvalfor my then to-be-husband.
For instance, I can’t imagine how I would have survived those years incollege had it not been for my brothers who always looked out for me, and madesure I never bore the brunt of any ragging or pranks that my friends weresubjected to. My brothers, have truly been a source of strength for me in my growingup years, and my closest confidants. I too have done my share of protecting andpreserving their feelings over the years, whether it was broken hearts, ordipping scores in college. We have always shielded each other strike the world’ssnare, and that includes our parents!
Even today, when I am perplexed by my toddlers’ behavior, or some careerchallenges, or even a spat with my husband, I know I have the two of themstanding right by my side, even if its just to vent! And they too knowthat if they need a 4:00 am friend, they needn’t look far!
So when I see my children today, on the brink of forging this life longrelationship that is unique and special in it’s own way, I can’t help butwonder what their journey will be like. After all, their relationship is likelyto be the longest one they will experience in their entire life. From my end Ihope they learn to value each other’s presence in their respective lives, as Ihave learnt to value my brothers’ presence in mine. As I put down my cup ofcoffee and slowly drift back to present times from my nostalgia, I see myoldest brother emerging sleepily from his room, and attacking my cup of coffee,and toast, one of the habits’ that gets my goat, but even so, I can’t help butsmile and feel thankful for these two special people in my life who I willcherish forever.
With that in mind, I have a special celebration planned for us this longweekend and I intend to capture this occasion in my memory, to reminisce aboutfor years to come.
I would love to know how you planned to make this occasion special for yoursibling. And before my toddler trips me off my chair, I’ll sign off …and wishyou all a very Happy Rakshabandhan!