Holidaying with Gaps

Note: I wrote this post in the beginning of July but decided to post it today on the eve of Rakhi for my little bro.

Once again I have come back to Bangalore after a long trip at home in Palampur and Chandigarh. This time the holiday was a very special one as I got to spend a lot of time with my kid brother, who was on his semester break after his first year of college.

When you were a little baby with tiny fingers and toes

I have  every right to call him a kid, as he is almost thirteen years younger to me and by the time he was in his sweetest years of  growing up I had moved out of the house  to college, and onto a job and then marriage. So effectively, June, 2011, was the first time after he was maybe 7 years old that he and I spent such a long time in each other’s company. This vacation was a lovely time for me to play with him and pester him through. Although, its not easy to get a grown teen to spend quality time with his old, married sister.

This is in the guest accomodation in Jodhpur.. This is where the infamous, vomiting over your head episode occured

I wonder if he knows that I chose his name for him. Dad wanted to name him ‘Sachin’ but I insisted on Abhinav because Sachin I felt would be very common for boys his age as a tribute to the great Tendulkar and also because (stating this in public for the first time in 18 years), I didn’t want him to have a name beginning with the same letter as my mum, or my Dad in the dread that if that happened they would love him more than me. Such a shallow, selfish person that I was and maybe still am.

Trip to Dalhousie after my 12th.. that would be summer of 1998

Here it becomes imperative in the spirit of honesty to note that I was not a good sister to him in my teenage years at home and through college. I was too busy with friends and rebellion-without-a-cause to give him the attention I should have showered on him and I carry a huge vat of searing guilt in my heart about that. I was bossy (which I still am) and impatient, which I now realize is the worst possible quality to possess when dealing with a child. I just hope and pray that he never holds that against me.

Still in Dalhousie..

He on the other hand, was the perfect little brother, who always called me at least once a week when Mum and Dad moved to the East, and remembered my favourite foods even when I wasn’t around. In a child of 8 or 9 years old that is the sweetest thing. He was the one who saw ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ in a store and told my parents that was the perfect gift for my birthday and bought it and then sent it to me. I love to read the inscription he wrote in his childish handwriting on the flyleaf of that book all those years ago.

I remember, this saturday night party in the army where we were all invited and Abhinav and I left early without mum and dad. I was on vacation from college and knew nobody while AJ had all his friends from school and playground buddies there. I remember walking in and then sitting with Abhinav on some chairs, listening to the music and watching the people dance. He kept sitting with me for almost half an hour until I found some company, before going off to join his friends who had been lingering around since the moment we walked in. I never forget this incident of his thoughtfulness and very ‘protective-elder-brother’ attitude at the ripe old age of 12.

The jodhpur guest house... you were so cute and adorable

We are both very different individuals. Abhinav is serious and withdrawn and almost introspective where I am loud and out-spoken; he takes a long time to make friends while I make instant connections; he eats too slow and I was always a gobbler; he can probably go days without talking while I would  burst from the effort in about an hour; he hates to be touched and I love to hug and be hugged all the time; he doesn’t like to go out of the house much and I had to be literally dragged home from the playground and so on and on…. which are admittedly such  glaring differences that most people may be forgiven to think that we are in no way related.

On Diwali vacation from college in Pathankot

And yet, I know that if given a choice out of a 100 songs or books or movies or television serials to choose from we would come up with a 98% match if not more. We make the same comments on the same topics and He has the same low threshold of impatience and irritability that I had, which I hope he conquers a little faster than I ever did. I am a person with good moral and work ethics but his moral standards are so high they are literally off the charts. That worries me sometimes, when I see that the world around us is almost hostile to good virtue and honesty. And yet, I wouldn’t want him to be any other way. I would however, wish for him to develop a better understanding towards those less fortunate than himself and to be able to display kindness to them. Though I suppose that will come with time when the mind moves away from the fog of designer clothes, video games and status symbols.

Neugal cafe 1999/2000?

Abhinav today is in his late teens and is growing up into a very honest, upstanding and principled individual and that makes my heart swell with pride. He still retains an innocence in his manner and way of thinking that is very unexpected in a boy who is college going, watches so much television and reads so much. I think he gets that from my dad. I just wish that he would loosen up a little bit and laugh more and as easily as he did as a kid. There are years enough in life to be serious, responsible and introspective.

On the way to Palampur in the car. Aj is sleeping in my lap and Rusty is on his stomach.

I may never have told him how much of an important part he is of my life and what his love means to me. So, here’s a shout out to you little brother on Rakshbandhan (another one that I spend far away from you) that I Love You! I may fight with you and irritate the living daylights out of you but I wish only the best things for you always.  I pray that you have a happy and fun-filled life and that you may always be surrounded by people who love you!  I hope for a life of travel and adventure for you. I wish that you go around the world and do something in your life that brings you contentment and happiness every single day. And that you find a sweet and pretty girl someday, who can make you laugh and drag you out of your comfort zone and build a happy home for both of you.


6 thoughts on “Holidaying with Gaps

  1. aww…its the sweetest thing I have read in a long time…I almost cried by the end of it….My brother is 6 years younger to me and after 10 years he is here with me for Rakshavandhan. Reading this took me to all the things me and my brother did together. The most special one is me seeing him for the first time ( all red with his eyes closed) and bringing him home from the hospital. Also, my favorite part was to sing him a song ( Dum maro dum 😉 ) to make him sleep and he loved it (considering my horrible singing voice)…
    Thanks for sharing this…


  2. Ty for stopping by… I just felt that so many times we just don’t tell the people in our lives how important they are to us…. I am beginning now. You seem to have been a good sis unlike me. (
    Only AJ feels putting up his pics is an ‘invasion of his privacy’ lol!


  3. I am so glad to read the expression of love and feeling of urs to aj. u are a wonderful gift of god to me and ur mother and seeing u growing has been a story of success for me to be a part of the humanity. I am glad that u always made me proud in all school meetings and entrance examinations. All those emotions and my feelings would be expressed some other day. For the day I and ur mother send you a lot of love and good wishes. May ur love and care take these two little kids rusty and aj to glory and successful career…………


  4. 15th August 2011 around midnight: Happy B’day my dear wifey, you are the most beautiful woman on earth :-)… I always remember the first B’day that we spent together in Mcleodgunj with each other all those years ago and it feels like it was yesterday. It was all predestined you see, the way we met & fell in love with each other… I can never ever imagine a life without you, despite of the fact that you boss me around and want to control me in every possible way :-P.

    Hope next year we can celebrate your B’day with Gaps (the reason for your latest blog) and all your Palampur.


  5. I think this blog also deserves a comment on the main protagonist so here I go… AJ is a rare creature, always reading stuff that is way beyond his age and having grown up discussions with people. Yet, he is so innocently raw that people many a times mistake his withdrawn behavior with “ego” issues. It is almost unimaginable that a guy of just 18 can be so morally upright and so straightforward.that one can almost term him as “boring”. But I for one would never want him to be any other way. On the other hand I do hope that he opens up a little more and “laughs a lot more” for if he continues the way he is I can only wonder what would happen to the hapless girl who would fall for him :P. Now that he is in college hopefully he will do more silly things that young guys of his age are more likely to indulge in.


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