My Baby Sister
Its my baby sister’s birthday today. My baby sister-Having a new baby sister who’s constantly taking up mom’s time, hoarding all her attention-that’s a lot to comprehend for an almost 3 year old and the fact that this baby is here to stay doesn’t make it any easier. No amount of explanations and pep-talks by my mom and aunt and grand-parents would have prepared me for this screaming addition to the family,who would summon all my devoted fans to her side with just a whimper.I was just not ready to give up my kingdom!!I am told I made life hell for my aunt or grandparents who came running to pick me up when I woke up in the middle of the night..telling them rudely -“HUH?? What are you doing here..?I want my mommy!!!”I don’t remember much of this-don’t even remember looking at my sister the first time.As we were growing up, that sibling rivalry had its ups and downs-sometimes mild sometimes reaching its peak,driving our parents up the wall. I remember this one time vividly.Sis was sick and I was entertaining her.Mom was in the kitchen and my little sis threw up.I called mom..who came running and slipped off the wet floor. And me,I ran as fast as my little 5- year old legs could run to our neighbour’s house to get medicine to stop her vomiting.When I came back,I got a whack on my butt, for having run away when I could have helped .. And then I gave my mom the medicine and all she could do was hug us both close.She used to say, that when she was about to give up on us ever getting along, this one episode would restore her faith!
I have a faintest memory of my sister just a toddler,stealing fruits from the Pooja ki Thali on Diwali day.One of dad’s friends caught her red-handed on camera.Another memory of hers growing up I have is that before every Birthday ,she would get into some mischief and end up hurting herself- so she would have a broken wrist or a bleeding nose or scrapped knees on the day of her birthday party.Every year on Diwali day,she had to religiously burn some part of her clothing, her hair or worse her body! And No,My parents were not negligent..This was one naughty brat!
Another cute story I remember is when she was younger, she had acute asthma and so my mom wouldn’t let her go out to play in the dust as the rest of us..So, she would prop this 3 year old up on the bed near the window. In no time she would be standing at the window, grabbing the window bars and screaming-Why?? Because she saw some kid rough-housing me during the game! And she would be screaming -“Hey Chhod de meri behen ko,Door reh usse!” (Hey leave my sister,stay away from her )My little bodyguard..She is still my biggest protector.No one dares to mess with me when she is around.
She hated calling me didi..Nope!Never..Even when she was very young, she would call me SO(nickname for my nickname).Even now she calls me Chotu(little one).The day she calls me Di,I know its because she is missing me too much or needs me to butter-up our dad for something.
For as long as I can remember she has been referred to as my sister-Poor baby had to stand up to the image her elder sister created-in school,among relatives-‘Oh Your sister used to do it like this’ and the sweet soul that she is was always proud of Her sister. I feel so guilty when I think back of all the times when I was mean to her..in an older sister way- Don’t follow me around,don’t dress up like me,my friends are my friends!!Of course that was till we entered teenage..Then it was like we were co-conspirators..we both had the same super-powers to fight-OUR PARENTS!!We had the same curfew and figured out that if both of us are late ,the heat is distributed. That was when we had the same set of friends and almost overcame sibling rivalry.The final step away from Sibling rivalry of course came after my mom’s death.Sure we had fights after that too.. but it was like just so much easier to make than to continue a fight. And now we alternate between the role of mom- She is my biggest Baby!! And she mothers me like there’s no tomorrow.When I went to India last year,she took me to all her favorite restaurants, ordering my favorite food! When I told her about my pregnancy,she had a long list of Do’s and Dont’s! I had to stop her and ask her how many kids has she delivered. It seems she had been gathering all this information about pregnancy and pregnant women, to be delivered to me at just the right moment.That day she also started putting aside a chunk of her salary for her “rock star”( Her name for my baby).
Today morning,one of her friends called me to ask me for her number,to wish her.And while we were talking, mentioned how much she admired Sis and so was looking forward to meet HER sister. I felt so proud! All the ego of those younger years has long since gone.The fact that I am her sister .. and she is so loved and admired in her own world… just makes me wanna fluff up and strut like a peacock.My baby sister has grown up.She has made a place for her self.. her own identity..She has come out of “Trish’s Sister” phase.
And this year I found the perfect card for her– Here are the words on the card-