1989: Big brother or Big sister
Due to some reasons, which I do not know, a small 3 year old girl was asked to wait, all alone, for 2 hours after school (which was 10 kms away from home), so that she can come with her 5 year old brother in the school bus, when his classes end two hours later. On the first day that this set-up was worked on, I was sitting with my (the then) best friend, Aritra Ghosh, concentrating on Ms Berri’s class, when my sister comes and stands next to the enterance of the class, crying. Berri miss, then quietly lets her into the class, and she sits right in between me and aritra, crying stopped, in the security of her elder brother.
Evening. The same day. I am out playing with my friend, my bully, a 5 year old, 100 times stronger than a thin, underweight me. And, as always, Kutush (my bully friend) finds an excuse to beat me up ( probably I got him out in cricket and demanded that it is my chance to bat! I dont know, why he would beat me up in such a case though, because, i would have barely batted an over!!!). My little sister, is there somewhere around, either trying to join us in our game, or playing some little game on her own. But then, she spots Kutush beating me up. She rushes to the spot, jumps up on poor kutush, and starts pulling his hair. He may be a bully, but does not have the heart to beat up a 3 year old girl. So, he pulls out of the fight. And now, I stop crying, in the security of my little sister.
1994: Innovative (stupid?) games
I was 11, my sister nearlynine(!)and all the creative and innovative juices were flowing inside us, minus, the weight of what will the world think, kind of feelings, minus the weight of am I acting stupid, minus the weight of having to act mature just because we were in the teens (which would come in a couple of years!), and all I remember of those glorious days were the games that we invented. There was “Journey to the centre of the earth” were we ran round and round the room and tackled all the obsacles that Jules Verne dreamed of and even more, in the quest to reach the middle of the room. There was Tennis during the grand slam times, when apart from actually playing the game in our tiny little room, we had put two chairs, were we would sip lemon juice made during change-over between games, and even put up imaginary fights with the imaginary chair umpire over imaginary decisions!
But the craziest of all would be the one where I used to piggyback her, and was her piggyback robot who used to take her to school and back. This being the basic skeleton of the game, different versions were made, like the one were the circuits went crazy and the robot kidnaps the hapless girl etc etc. And not to forget, our very own bollywood games, complete with ma ki senti, songs, action etc etc.
A nearlyfifteen me, and a sister who is nearlyteen, tough times in life with exams, peer pressure, a pressure to make a stamp among friends, to stand up and be counted, to be liked, to be loved. My teenage got all this and more, and a little prematurely to my sister. One of the strongest memories of those years, when friendship and closeness blossomed, is of a day, when my sister was listing out the most good looking boys in my class, and she slipped me into fourth place!
Seriously, though, the last 7-8 years, so much has changed in each of our lives, and having a confidant, to whom, you can bare your deepest feelings, thoughts which you find a little embarrasing to state in the public, has made the good times even better and has absorbed the shocks of the bad times!
Growing up, probably would be the exact oppositte of the way, we enjoyed the summmer vaction of may 2006. Our antics would have laid a five year old to shame. But we grow up im moments. We will be 15 years and 234 days, but then at that day, a set of events will make us much more older than that. Precisely, what happend with me and my sister and our cousin, late one night. What started as a “tan-kheecho”, fun time, slowly turned into a very deeply philospohically set discussion, where we discussed, commented, shared, and grew mature!
It is so sad that, when in a few years, life will move at such breakneck speeds. when life as we know today will become a distant memory, “education” has kept my sister 1200 kms away from me, so that we can only meet for 30 small days in a year!
if you are wondering, why I titled the post Scout, refer to “to kill a mocking bird”.