This is one chapter of my life which can effortlessly turn into a book and perhaps may need two leather bound volumes; for the stories are endless, the love boundless. My younger brother Monty (officially known to the world as Avinash) was born on a very special day – September 5th – the day we Indians celebrate as Teacher’s Day. Naughty as he was since childhood, am sure he was a hard nut to crack for all his teachers as he still is for all of us, but delightfully so. This is the first time that I am not around for his birthday – the perils of living in another country I guess! And hence the day has become extra special for me, for I will miss kissing him happy birthday at the strike of 12. It is natural for a blogger sister to write something special for him on such a big day.
He was a handsome kid, but a very weak one and we had to take extra care special care, which meant that he became that much more pampered and had accumulated the bargaining power of standing in the middle of nowhere and demanding things – either to eat or electronics that he could first play with and then open them up to understand the mechanics. I still remember the number of radios he spoilt with the excuse of repairing them – oh yes he must have been all of five or six years old since he became a self-proclaimed mechanic who would repair radios and later stereo systems. I am sure he will laugh at the thought now, but that’s what he would do. Often mom would bring him along when she would come to pick me up from school, and sometimes I am sure she would regret the decision as he just wouldn’t budge till you bought him some electronic item. There was a railway station that we had to pass on the way home which would be his permanent stop. He would spend atleast ten to fifteen minutes there until he was completely satisfied with watching trains come and go. To date, trains remain his favourite mode of transport and he can undertake the longest journeys by train such is his love for them.My little brother, my lifeline! #Siblinglove Click To Tweet
As we were growing up, I was stronger than all my siblings for a very long time, and it used to be so exciting to bully them. We used to fight like crazy, especially Monty and I since we were of a similar age and me being stronger it was easy to just beat him up. Until one day, when he was so angry that he threw the wooden cushion at me which thankfully landed on my foot and nearly fractured it. I had to be carried to the doctor and if I remember right, we never fought like that ever again. But whether we had arguments or had happy moments we never left each other’s side.
People say that your spouse is your real ‘humsafar’ who is with you through thick and thin. I guess they undermine the strong bonds between siblings. For me brother has never been anything short of one of the best companions I have had, till date. We could discuss anything under the sun and were always there to support each other, come rain or sunshine. Apart from family time, we had our ‘together’ times especially when he would drop me to office every morning and more often than not come and pick me up too. That’s when we would discuss issues ranging world politics to philosophy, movies to exercising, gossiping and laughing away. People would be rather amazed at the fact that he would drop me to work every day. It’s only when they came to know that he would drive me down to every city which didn’t have an airport and I had to travel there for work. He would happily drive me down to places like Pune and Surat because I always hated the trains and there was no option of planes. That’s when their amazement would turn into shock. Perhaps they never experienced such bonding where siblings would go every extra mile just for the love of supporting each other. Just the other day when I was speaking to my brother in law, he was pulling my leg when I told him I will have to start driving in my new city to become independent and mobile. He laughed and exclaimed that there was no Monty there and I had little choice but to drive. Sigh… true that! How I miss him, not because he can drive me around everywhere, but for the beautiful times we have spent with each other.
Monty is a great singer when he is in a good mood. He has a good voice and is also very fond of music. But then to think it, the kind of zest he has for life, there is nothing he isn’t fond of. He loves good food, no… he loves food! Because even after a hearty breakfast when he walks out of the house, he is hungry even before he climbs down the five floors of our house. We never cease teasing him about this. Infact, whenever we plan an outing, he is most worried about where we will find food and how it will be. His love for cars is known globally I think. The moment a new vehicle gets launched, we run to the automobile showroom to test drive it, whether we plan to buy it or no, whether we even like the brand or no, it just doesn’t matter. If there’s a new car in town, he has to drive it! The number of long drives we have been on is simply amazing. One time, we left the house telling mom that we were off to Bandra for a drive and then we called her after a couple of hours telling her we were already half way towards Nasik and would get home only late night. Such is his love for long drives.
He is also amazing at mimicking people and the biggest victim of his mimicry is my little sister. Whether she is around or not, we tease her and laugh like lunatics. Even my youngest brother Sid and I don’t stop and pick up some character (usually from the family) and all of us continue the craziness together, with the family as the audience. It becomes our own private laughter challenge!
I remember once, when we were all neck deep into some important discussion. The home land line rang and it was some sales call – a woman calling on him for pitching some investment. He very coolly told her that he was too busy and he could talk to his secretary instead and handed the phone to me. Well, I wasn’t shocked because these I could expect anything from him. Ofcourse it’s a different thing that I did pretend to be his secretary and then we had a hearty laugh after we hung up with that lady. Sometimes I feel these idiosyncrasies have kept our bond so strong.
On my wedding day, I had a ball, especially because my husband and I were joking and laughing the whole time even when the marriage rituals were in progress, much to the disgust of the older members of our family I am sure. I am an emotional person, but that day was so beautiful and I was enjoying to the fullest. I was sure I would breakdown during ‘kanyadaan’ when my parents would give my hand away to my husband. Surprisingly I didn’t. I enjoyed that part too. But the moment it was my brother’s turn to partake in the rituals I wept non-stop. Ofcourse he started crying too and I just didn’t know how to stop my tears. Finally my prudent sister came up to me to rebuke me and said, “What the hell are you doing? You are spoiling your make-up! You will get enough time to cry, so please do it at the appointed hour and don’t create a scene right now. Both of you please behave yourselves right now”. That sounded more uproarious than serious and ensured that our tears turned into laughter. Siblings I tell you, they have all the power in the world to make an impact in your life.
Oh yes, talking about weddings, how can I forget his own wedding. We were in the wedding procession and he was sitting on the chariot first and later on the horse when we were closer to the wedding hotel. It was a splendid evening and we danced till our feet gave up on us… which meant that we reached the hotel. Suddenly at that moment, we called out to Monty and lo!!! He actually stepped down from the horse and started dancing himself. OMG! Can you imagine that sight? The wedding was in my hometown and all the oldies there were stunned to see the groom dancing in his own wedding procession. It was a million dollar sight, not just him dancing but the sheer shock on the faces of the onlookers!
There are so many things to tell, many cherished moments to recount, but like I mentioned before I could write volumes about those wonderful instances. The pages will be less, the stories will never be over… and I hope they never get over, because these are the only things that remain etched in our memories forever.
As my little brother turns 40 today, even though I am not there to wish him in person, my love and blessings will be with him forever. He is my pride and the best buddy the Almighty has granted me.