Shaurya knew he was going to hate the day today!How awful he felt! But he had to pretend that he was happy. He was 9 years old and he already felt like he was nobody in this house.
He saw the whole house go mad. He never understood why there was so much of hue and cry. What was the big deal? Huh! Elders are so selfish, so self centered, he thought. He had seen his grandmothers-both paternal and maternal- go ga-ga about it. He saw his aunts on both sides go hysteric about it.
He saw his mother spend sleepless nights and his father make uncountable plans. He was part of it all. But he wasn’t happy. He was tired. He was exhausted. He was annoyed and despised all for it.
He didn’t say a word to anyone. He tried to show that he was one of them in their rejoicing times.
“How could he! How can he even think like that!” Everyone would lecture him. He was sure about that.
It was six months back, in September when his parents told him. Another day of his life that he hated. 15th September.
Mother was being moody and impatient those days. She would have nausea and sleep most of the day. Her moods would rise and fall like the tide of the sea. One day she would be all happy and joyous. The next day she would become gloomy. He was totally confused. And she was visiting the doctor every fortnight. He was scared. He was filled with all kinds of fears.
Watching this happen, for about two months, he finally approached his father. He mustered up all his courage and asked his father, “Father, is mother sick?”
Father replied in the negative. It worried him more. They were trying to hide it from him.
“Let me know father. I can understand things. I am grown up now. Why is mother not well? What has happened to her? Is she going to die?” His questions amused his father. He stood there worried and curious. Father thought for a minute and then he burst into laughter.
“Oh dear! Shaurya what have you been thinking! It is nothing like that. Mother is sick as she has some other problems. She is unwell, yes but it is not serious like you think. Well, we should have told you earlier but we thought to wait more.” He gestured Shaurya to come closer.
He made him sit on his lap. And broke the news to Shaurya. Soon he was to have a new family member. A brother or a sister. Shaurya was taken aback. He had always been the sole child of his parents. He didnt want to share them now. He was in a dilemma. Seeing father’s sparkling eyes, he felt he should show that he was happy.
And since then he had been pretending. Yesterday, after he returned from school. He found his mother wasn’t home. When he asked his grandmother, she told him, that mother had gone to the hospital and would return in a day or two with my little sister.
That made him more apprehensive. There were all boys in the family. All his father’s brothers had two or three sons. So his sister was the first girl child in the family. Therefore the madness was at its peak. So many preparations for a tiny baby. One who wouldn’t even remember all this.
So, today, rather in a few minutes, father and mother were to return from the hospital with that baby! Even though he hadn’t seen her, he had started hating her since he heard of it in September. And he felt nothing would change those feelings of his.
And then she came!
Mother looked a lot exhausted. She got into her room after meeting everyone and kept him by her side for the rest of the time. The baby went from mother to father, grandfather to grandmother, aunt to uncles and all around. Shaurya did not even have a look at her. He didn’t want to.
When finally she started crying, she was given back to mother. Shaurya moved away. As soon as she was in mother’s arms, she was silent. Shaurya was called by his mother. She felt his uneasiness.
“Shaurya, hold her”, mother ordered and handed over the little bundle into his arms. Shaurya was scared as he never held a baby earlier. And then he looked at her.
Those little sparkling black eyes. Those pink lips. Those tiny fingers which she curled around his own finger. Those soft and blushing cheeks. And a sweet smile on her face. Shaurya saw her closely and slowly.
Gradually, his heart was filled with a strange feeeling. His hatred, his resentment, his despise for her had just flown off. With each second he spent having her in his arms, his heart was filled with love. She was his. She was the first girl with whom he would spend his life. She was a little angel.
Shaurya felt guilty for having despised her when he hadn’t even seen her. When mother let him hold and take care of her while she went to the bathroom, he sat on the bed. And then, he realised that she didn’t take up his place. She had made him more important. She had made his stature increase. She had made him responsible. As he kept looking at her. She opened her little fingers and touched his face. Those little soft fingers felt like flower petals tracing his face. She looked like a fairy to him. She was magical.
“Pari”, he called out with an ear-to-ear smile and kissed her lightly, lest he hurt her.
They both were the most caring and loving brother-sister. Shaurya and Pari were the epitome of sibling-love. Shaurya was Pari’s hero always while Pari was always the little angel for Shaurya. Pari was always seen around her brave and strong brother Shaurya. Shaurya was so proud of his little angel.