Childhood, I believe is the most happening chunk of an individual’s life. The occurrences that transpire during the good old days, account for the memories that we cherish all along. Like everybody, the golden period of my life too is marked by a carefree attitude towards life – with no premonition of what shall follow, with no desire to accommodate any interest for the future – just a little world of ours that was constituted of hopeful dreams and webbed interests – aided by meager efforts to search for happiness – for we knew, thoroughly believed – that happiness shall find us just around the corner.
Garnish childhood with loads of love and care, sprinkle a bit of admonishing here and there, add the essence of a few lessons learned, decorate it with abundant amounts of fun – but still, childhood cannot be served without a necessary addition – those numerous instances of the act of mischief – and when we were young no mischief evolved to perfection, without the active participation of that very person who was perhaps our best friend and often at times our worst foe – she watched our back when in need and chased us all around if necessary – we were two of a kind. Two beings crafted from the same soul, molded from the same womb, brought up with the same amount of love and care and yet so different, so alike – a relation so candid with feelings so versatile – does there exist love like that of a sister’s? Does there exist care like that of the sister’s? Does there exists scolding like that of a sister’s? Does there exists support like that of a sister’s?
I know not, I believe not.
When I was a kid, my life was surrounded by innumerable mysteries. Those mysteries stayed forever – I just grew up and gave up on them. But when I reminisce of the time gone by, I realize into an admission that my father’s study was the most intriguing of all. I cannot be sure into entirety that if it was genuinely inviting or whether my make believe imagination had charmed its way into my heart, but the little me was barred from entering it and this strengthened my hopes for discovering a reserve of surprises upon entering it. My father bore a strict ‘no entry’ policy when it came to his study and the dark dense clouds of the fear of getting caught always surfaced along the horizon whenever I planned to sneak into that inviting blue room. But I had to. I had to witness the most of it. All I had seen of that mystery room were the walls. What secrets do those walls encompass, what rests within that harmony – I had to disrupt that harmony, I had to be the agent of chaos when it came to this scenario. The future held the inevitable. After moments of lame planning and days of gathering strength, I discovered my father snoring off into the world of dreams – provided with this window of opportunity I crept through all the odds and tip toed towards the blue little study. I unlatched the door and stepped inside, thus blending with the possessions that the blue walls so carefully harbored. And boy, did I blend in. The study was the bay of prized possessions. Beautiful books donned in leather coverings, engraved with golden letterings – porcelain artifacts that glistened when subjected to light and an assortment of stationary that comprised of innumerable vintage notebooks with their soft aged yellow paper and bunches of heavy ink pen that lay littered hither and tither – and amidst everything that invited my vision, there was this particular book, the title of which eludes my memory but the sight of it remains etched in my heart as if I had witnessed it yesterday itself. It was perhaps a book for children, the cover of it portrayed an old grandpa, all clothed up in a hilly attire and beside him played a young little girl, probably of my age – with surroundings that could demonstrate nearly anything from Mt. Everest to the Alps, with a bunch of goats dancing merrily around dissolving into the fading shades of blue, green and white – but dear old God bless me, for I remember everything, but I cannot come across the name of it, now matter how far do I tread down the memory lane. But what I clearly remember is the moment when I gave in to my building desires and swept off the blue little room of mystery, with that very book clutched in my hand and with my father still asleep, I took careful measures to hide the book in the darkest corner of an unused storeroom. And that was it, I had disrupted the harmony, I had stolen an element, something had gone uneven and whenever something goes uneven it does not go amiss and nor did my venture.
The day my father discovered my doing, which was a few days later, I could feel the tremors of his rising anger from quite a distance. I had already realized that I had sunk deep into the vulnerable horizons, I knew of the horror that awaited me. So, I took the first step and before my father could approach me, I already found myself running away for him. A chase ensued but the little feet of mine stood no chance and the moment I realized that I was about to give up, my sister who was a little older than me at that time, came to my rescue and pulled me inside her room, bolting it from within. What followed is not worth telling, but here I was, being helped by that very person who was constantly engaged in some kind of fight or argument with me – but when discovering me in the depths of danger, it was she, who found herself obliged with the duty to help me, protect me. This was not the first time (though it was a memorable one) and this was surely not the last time – and though we (me and my sister) often fought ourselves in the pickle of fickle yet we always tended to vouch for one another in times of dire need.
So, while I rummage my brain, storming thoroughly for Rakhi Gift Ideas for my dear old sister – I derive a realization from all my juvenile memories- that though Rakhi is the pious festival of paying tribute to the brother-sister bonding, with the sister tying the sacred thread of her love around her brother’s wrist, who in turn pledges to protect her – in my case it was quite different, in my scenario, it was mostly my sister who used to protect me, care for me and look after me. She was like a veil behind which I could hide and no atrocity in the world could ever approach me. Whether it was my impish childhood or my wandering teenage years, I always relied on my sisters whenever I seemed to voyage into the waters of nasty circumstances. I shall be forever indebted to her – for saving me from father that day, for hiding my report card that was often scribbled with a lot many remarks in red inks, for signing upon my leave applications so that I could stay home and watch cartoons all day long, for preparing maggi for me whenever I was hungry, for educating me on the rights and wrongs so that I never have to sad, and if then also I messed up and sat wearing a grumpy face, I am sure as hell indebted to her for believing and myself and be hopeful. Be hopeful forever, she told me and everything shall fall into a peaceful harmony. Funnily if the tables were turned and the rituals were reserved, and I had to account for her valor, I bet I can design a Rakhi studded coat for her.
I quote myself again, ‘We were two of a kind – two beings crafted from the same soul, molded from the same womb, brought up from the same amount of love and care, so alike and yet so different’ – yet inseparable. And what bonds us is a claim. A Rakhi is that very claim. A bond that cannot be replaced by any other, a void in the heart of a brother that can only be filled by the love of a sister. And though my sister lives far away from me, another city, another state and it is hard for us to visit each other during such hullabaloo of life, I know for sure that during these days when Rakhi is just around the corner, she will send me a designer rakhi online for she is fond of the fancy sorts.
Rakhi was once considered to be a ritual, but times have changed and though we still manage to remain faithful to the ethics of this festival, we have migrated it to the level of a joyous celebration. And it’s the most fruitful, for with the ethical values preserved, celebrating love of any kind is perhaps the best form of happiness that we can assess at such times.