Flipping the coin!

17 February 2014.
Wrapped up in a warm sweatshirt, I rode my way through the sudden chill towards his house. I stopped in between at a random shop, picked up a surprise gift and grinning to myself, made my way towards the final destination.
The birthday party venue, my cousin’s house.
Born in the same year, we’re just about 9 months apart. Academically one year ahead, my ‘dada’ never really took up that role. Because technically, he has always first been my friend. As sincerely as he’s gifted me Dairy Milks at each Raksha bandhan, that cruelly he’s made his dog chase me until tears got the better of me. Years ago, I wanted to hate him for that…years later, I still haven’t managed it.
Just as I park my bike below his house, I’m shaken from my reverie of thoughts by a number of voices. It’s his friends, arriving at the same time, come to make his birthday special. And as I enter the house with that group, I realise how different my brother has grown up to be. He’s cracked up laughing amidst the crowd, and yet he’s making sure each friend has had his/ her fill. His friends and their jokes fill up the atmosphere and yet he holds fast to a tradition as he ensures he is facing the right direction before cutting the cake. There was a time when I’ve seen him getting yelled at for being no help at home and yet today he is the one serving plates to everyone.
I sit there and marvel, at how less I know him and yet how long I’ve known him. From those marvelling eyes that first viewed me in my cradle, today he’s grown into a towering personality with one marvelling eye still on me.
Proud, protective yet a partner-in-crime…
We grow up and the relation grows old. But the connection stays fresh, the spark stays new.
A brother and a friend…both sides of the same coin. Be it heads or tails, my win is guaranteed ๐Ÿ˜‰

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The Bondages of Love

14 February 2014.
As Valentine’s Day dawned bright and clear, it brought with it the regular obligations. The cheesy love quotes, the status updates, the dinner dates and the rose bouquets. Crowds come spilling out on to the streets, hand-in-hand, making passers-by smile to themselves.
Such an infectious feeling, this light-hearted, fluttery emotion called Love. As a day specially dedicated to Love, each one goes overboard trying to prove the sincerity and intensity of love one has for the other. The usual controversy strikes up, what happens on the remaining days of the year?
Does Love in its technical meaning, end at midnight? Does it wilt like the roses exchanged in the day? Or does it linger in the form of small gifts lying across the household…some secretly cherished, others fondly flaunted?
The day is associated with lovers, and yet love encompasses all. Friends and family, strangers and lovers…and yet I wonder in how many houses, the peace was shattered tonight? The love was lost? The significance of the day simply forgotten?
But then I stopped my mind from jumping many a stile. There were some gaps yet to be explored before the final leap…
What does Love mean in itself? It gives people Courage to fight against all odds and yet leaves them absolutely fearful of loneliness. It voices sweet nothings to make a special someone blush and yet it steals breaths and leaves a special someone speechless. It is dark with many layers to unfold and yet life is viewed in a whole new light. Love asks for sacrifices and compromises yet also generously gives without asking for anything in return.
Love is a mixture…of the good, the bad and the ugly. It ties you up in shackles but leaves in the key. It makes you want to spend each waking moment together and yet most arguments boil down to need of personal space.
Love is an irony. It is when the bondages of love are really what set you free…

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R…Rajkumar

13 February 2014
It was the sleepy patter of his legs that created my first memory of him. A 3-yr old, waddling out of his room, excited with the prospect of a birthday cake awaiting on the table yet apprehensive of the stranger called me, who had walked into his house.
I’ve always prided myself to be a kid magnet; making friends with someone a decade or more younger to me never really posing a difficulty. Brimming with confidence, I took my first step towards him. Smiling my winning smile. For a minute, he reminded me of an animal caught in the headlights. Stunned and too scared to move. And all of a sudden, he burst into tears and hid himself in his mother’s arms!! The roles were now switched. I was the one who was left stunned…
That night I went to sleep a little disturbed. A member of the age group I absolutely adore had rejected me. It was a heartbreak too raw. Sleep flitted in and out and somewhere in between my eyelids met each other for the night. When, suddenly I was vaguely aware of someone staring at me. Bleary eyes welcomed the morning sun and a blurred outline slowly cleared itself. It was him!! A new day, a new beginning. There he was, standing at the edge of my bed, making me feel like a museum exhibit. Treasured, valued and fascinating!!
From that moment on, a friendship took root. Between 3-yr old him and 21-yr old me..!! He made me an ardent fan; I lapped up each word, followed his every command. In return, he finished up his milk in 10 minutes flat and cleared up his toys after each play session. He introduced me to a world I had long since explored. The world of novel discoveries, of irrelevant but adorable banter, of finding joy in banging together kitchen vessels and of creating hills, valleys and tunnels by hanging towels over chairs. With him, I learnt how children grasp language, how they experiment with it, taste it and test it..!! I saw how absorbent the young human mind is, how nรคive and how flexible. In each song he blared out from his throne on the toilet seat and in each new word he learnt to pronounce in the right accent, I felt my heart swell with pride. I had no contributions in his achievement, but I was glad to be a spectator of his growing-up phase. I’ve spent the past 5 years of my life studying a language and yet it took a kid of 3 years to teach me a language that really matters. The language of love…
Today as he turns 5, I pray that his ever-curious mind never stops churning out questions. It’s the questions that actually matter, not the answers.
And to his parents who are going to kill me for egging him on, remember that I’m the answer to all your questions ๐Ÿ˜‰

Happy Birthday, Rishit ๐Ÿ™‚

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