I do not celebrate Mothers' Day.... or fathers' day for that matter. Neither do I celebrate Valentine's day nor any similar day.
So yesterday was just another Sunday for me with a cuppa tea and the bulky Sunday newspaper, which was full of Mothers' Day messages and advertisement. That made me wish the mothers I know - my cousins, friends, friends' mothers. One of my friends replied to my message reciprocating my wishes, which I laughed at and put aside. She later explained those wishes were in advance. I laughed a little more.
So, officially, Mothers' day started and ended for me there and a usual Sunday went on.
Around noon, my cell phone beeped indicating an incoming message. Thinking it to be a nasty marketing message, I ignored it for a while. It was almost over half an hour when I finally read it and instantly broke down.
Having rushed through it in the first go, I reread it slowly and carefully, in between wiping my tears and controlling hysterical sobs.
It was from my kid brother, wishing me on Mothers' day!
Now you know why I broke down.
A day that was meaningless to me suddenly became very special. A whole lot of memories rushed in and took over.
I was 12 when our mother passed away. I had to return from my boarding school to be with my kid brother who was about 5 then. My world had changed overnight. From being a carefree and spoilt daughter, I was now an elder sister supposed to take care of her siblings.
To say I managed things well would be a lie. I was lost... completely.
And there was this little boy looking up to me.
I didn't learn anything.
He taught me.
He taught me to be patient with children; he taught me how to love selflessly; he taught me how to be a mother.
I have rocked him to sleep, helped him with studies, fed him with my hands and ran after him while doing so, attended his parent-teacher meetings, packed his lunch box, got him ready for school every morning, dropped and picked him from school... I could go on and on.
The one incident that is forever marked in my memory is when he was about 10 or 12 years old. I had punished him for something and not allowed him to go for his evening playtime. Soon after, I left for some work.
When I returned, a neighbor came to me and told me that Ankit (my brother) was standing at the gate, watching other kids play. When she asked him to join them, he told her that I had punished him. She further coaxed him, saying that he could play and I wouldn't get to know. He refused and instead stood there all evening.
I was speechless.
And my brother is still the same.
There are so many other moments that make this bond so special and unique.
The day I bade goodbye to my family, post marriage, I had thought I wouldn't cry. Both my siblings said that everything will remain the same, except for my marital status. I would continue to live in Delhi and things will remain as they are. And moreover, I had thought that the happiness of marrying my sweetheart will engulf all other emotions.
I was proved wrong. Though all seemed normal while we walked towards the waiting car, I broke down when I saw Ankit at the gate. It was something I can never explain. A subtle change had taken place, which none of us foresaw.
Yet, even now, our relationship remains as beautiful as always and so it will, forever :)
(My younger sister, Shivani, me & Ankit)
Ankit, I may never be able to express it, but you mean a lot to me. In fact, both of you mean so much to me. As we grow up, our lives and its priorities change, but that one thing that will never change is the special bond and love between us. No distance, fights, or misunderstanding can diminish what we feel for each other.
I am not a mother yet, but I have a son. A son I hold dearer than life, a son who has taught me so much, and a son who will always be my first child.