There she was, raising her arms, to say “Hello”. It was a function organised by her school committee in Kamani Auditorium. She was in a special school. She wasn’t a perfect child. She wasn’t a normal child, for that matter. She had problems with speaking clearly, suffered from a low IQ, and was blessed with a pure heart, unlike normal people.
It was some sort of a Play. The stage was coloured with different kids, each of them with some unique problems. The audience was built up by their parents. There were also siblings like me who were assholes enough to not give a fuck at what was going on. I was busy. In texting. Making sounds. Staring at girls. I was probably trying to do everything but look at the stage. And there they were, enacting a play about forests. My sister was given the role of a tree, and she was performing it quite beautifully by roaming around the stage with a teacher chasing her to bring her back to her position. When she stood at one place, the other tree started moving. It seemed like the whole scene was inspired by Lord of the Rings. But sadly, it was not. When she saw me, she screamed “Bhaiyaaaaaa” at a voice which can make Arnab Goswami blush. I ignored it as if I didn’t hear her. I didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of those kids who understood nothing. This doesn’t make sense right? Exactly, it didn’t. But forget about replying, I didn’t even look at her. The whole play got over after half an hour and we were allowed to take ‘our’ kids with us. My father hugged her so tightly that I was embarrassed. Again. I don’t know what’s up with me and embarrassment. We seem to mix together quite a lot. My mother removed her brown cap which she was wearing to get the look of a tree. I ignored her, again. We came back home.
A few days back, I was at GK-2. GK-2, if you don’t know, is one of the most Posh colonies in Delhi. I was there with my girlfriend. We were drunk, drunk enough to realise that we were drunk enough. Oh, I forgot. We had company. Her bestfriend was with us the entire time. When we came out of the Lounge, they both started talking with each other, forgetting the fact that I was with them. But I was okay with that. Not because I didn’t have any other choice, but because I am an introvert, and introverts are okay with anything and everything. So as they walked down the street, making the road look like an auditorium, I noticed something. An aunty, nearly 40, was carrying her kid in her arms. It was awkward because the kid was no less than 14 years. This wasn’t what caught my attention. It was something more. It was the brown cap that the kid was carrying, which he intentionally/unintentionally dropped on the road, just in front of me. When I was about to give him the cap, I realised it was the same cap that my sister wore that day. A replica. Everything was blurry already due to the booze and then the cloud of tears were about to burst. But I started making jokes. That’s the thing about me. Make me uncomfortable and I will make you laugh. Leave me in an awkward situation and I will make you laugh. I don’t get along with emotions. I don’t let them enter my heart. I don’t want to. I have stored some of them there and trust me, I am fine with it. So yes, I returned the cap to him while ruffling his hair. The aunty said “Thanks”. I said “No problem”. There was a pain behind that no problem.
That day when we came home, she asked if I liked her play. I said it was okay. You need to be still if you are performing the character of a tree. She ignored it. A few days later we were in the hospital. She was suffering from cancer. We tried everything that we possibly could have, an average salaried family could have. But it wasn’t enough. She died a week later..and her body was still. So were my heartbeats. So were the trees. She acted quite beautifully that day.
There was a pain behind that ‘no problem’. I wanted to take that cap and bury my face in that forever. I wanted to cry hard, for once. I wanted to escape. I wanted to meet her for one last time and say “You will be okay” and that “I love you” and that “I miss you”. But I couldn’t. It was too late. It was too late to say that I watched the entire play and she was goddamn brilliant. I wanted to get up and hug her when she screamed Bhaiyya. I don’t know if I have a rare IQ making me one in a million, but if I do have or ever had, I wanted to give it all to her. If time gave me another chance, I would have figured out something to solve her problems, to make her read, write, learn, live. But the only chance that I had, i ignored. I don’t know where she is right now, or what she is doing, but what all I know is, I would have loved her. And I still do. I always will. I guess it’s too late to say this. But dear sister, I miss you. Come, visit us. See your dad crying when we leave him alone in the room for a while, see your Mother crying when she is making food, all alone in that kitchen where you used to help her in making rotis. See your brother crying, once in a blue moon, when he writes his diary, or this blogpost if that matters.
Come, please. You are being missed.