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 😉
17 February 2014.