Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Extensions: A sister and a daughter

I was in class six when my sister was born, though both exited and relieved from the strict life of a single child, I was little doubtful whether the little sister will  ever be a friend to me. I seriously showed my doubts in front of my mother, and I can still remember my mother's face who although might have been amused in her heart, explained me very honestly that, one day, eleven years between us will be parted and we will be very good friends, who will share  secrets, dresses, junk jeweleries, watch movies together and talk about recipes to cook.  While growing together, I figured out that my little sister was more like a living doll for me than a sister. I enjoyed caring her, making new styles to her hairs, teaching her how to write alphabets, telling her stories. Of course, I will be lying if I say there were absolutely no bouts of jealousy, when sometimes I saw my parents were doting on her only and not on me. But those moments were rare and  not that intense. 

An usual scene was, she sitting on my lap and I holding the science reference book of class X written by Lakhmir Singh, she asking me questions seeing the figures in the book and I telling her fun stories about them. Another scene very deep in my heart is my mum telling me to take my sister with me while going for an evening stroll with my friends. I hated to do that, as my sister a three year old baby could not walk that fast, but I remember I took her along most of the days, she was a darling amongst my friends. After three years, we got a brother, and I a teenager with a baby sister and a brother had a different time than most of my friends. Those were most funny days of my life where the tensions of school exams used to get evaporated by the giggles and tickles of my sister and brother.  Also I was not that interfered by my parents for studies as lots of their attention was also channelized  in caring two toddlers. That helped me a lot to find my own ways in terms of education, career and life. Then I had to leave them, when they were around seven and three, as I had to go to another city to pursue my education in different universities, of my country, of another countries, one by one. 

On flash back I can still  see the time when I got married and my sister a class six student holding me tightly and wanting me to promise that I will always love her the most.  After that our meetings were discrete, some times once in a year, some times after many many years. We were though very well connected in minds, they shared most of their secrets, worries, dreams and jokes with me and I did the same, told in details the life I was having in different places, about my work,  my life as a new mother. I  tried to help them out with their studies and other worries, all by telephonic conversations. Although years were passing by but they remained kids for me in my eyes. 

Along the line I always had great confidence  mothering 'J' using all the experiences I had while handling my much younger siblings. In 'J' I could sometime see glimpses of my sister, or sometimes the attitude of my brother. 'J' 's favorite bedtime stories still are the childhood incidents of my sister and brother. 'J' unknowingly started sharing a great companionship with them. On our short visits to home I could get only glimpses of my sister and brother, and each time I could feel that those small kids I left years ago are growing up. Specially my sister was becoming my extension, a stronger one. I myself was becoming a bridge between them and my parents, I tried to explain my parents the logic of my siblings and I tried my siblings to understand why parents keep worrying about their children, more so because  I after being a new parent was understanding these feelings first hand for the first time.

Recently after coming back home, my sister came to visit us. We had great fun shopping on the footpaths, bargaining, eating street food and discussing fashion. She is now a working woman, living in another city away from my parent's. She is walking on a tighter rope than I walked in her age. She  has cultivated strong opinion about life,  seeing her this time  instantly I can feel the prediction my mother had made long time ago has come true. I was always an adviser to her but this time I wanted a role reversal, I asked her suggestions on several points which I have been facing while working. I never told her, but she is the symbol of today's Indian women for me, those who are trying to extend their paridhi (limits), little by little in every way. I love the sense of confidence and carelessness they possess. I look towards them with great expectations as they are laying the path for generation of 'J'.

This time, I also saw repeat of history where 'J' was sitting on her lap and she was reading a magazine, I saw that my sister was doing the hairs of my daughter with great care. I saw how 'J' was telling her small secrets to her Masi (Aunty). I saw how my sister was seeing 'J' as her extension.

And I smilingly with a cup of tea in my hand was doting on two of my extensions.