The anesthesia had already started to work, when the doctor asked me, “Soumya, what do you want?” With a smile on my face, I replied, “Anything doctor.” My doctor asked me again, “Still, any preferences?”
Drifting into the world of my dreams for some seconds, I thought about the most beautiful relationship according to me. The relationship that the siblings share. I had always dreamt of a brother as a sibling. And I also had a wish that, if ever I am able to give my daughter a sibling, then it should be a boy so that she can feel and enjoy it as all my cousins did. I have always felt that the relation between a brother and a sister is very pure, strong and charismatic. I have seen and witnessed the love they share.
I answered, “Doctor, as you know, that I already have a daughter. It would be great if she has a brother to play with.“
The procedures had already begun. I drifted back to those painful 8 months. Those initial pains, series of blackouts due to hypoglycemia, premature tendencies, increased number of hospital visits, chances of miscarriage during the 6th month, admitted and being treated for the same. The many painful steroid injections and IV drips, giving way to many painful days and some very painful nights. The labor pains and the fear that we (mother and child) might not survive if things go otherwise. Emergency admission and surgery. I and my husband were both tensed for many such reasons. During my previous hospitalization, we had a mother who lost her 33 weeks baby to gestational diabetes. I also had gestational diabetes and endocrinologist had also warned us about stillbirths. My husband (who wasn’t in a good shape either) was waiting outside the OT for some news, hoping it to be good.
It took them 12 minutes to cut through, then they pushed my baby out. I was fervently praying that my baby should cry out loud when it comes out. Lo and behold, my baby cried. My doctor told me, it’s a boy. But I was so much happy that my baby cried that I couldn’t hear what she said. I asked again, “Doctor, is it a boy or a girl.” My anesthetist said, “you had made a deal from above, you couldn’t have got anything else, it’s a boy. Congratulations.” After giving him a wash, they brought him near my face. I could just see his small little nose, his beautiful eyes, and red lips. I was overwhelmed.
As soon as I was out of OT, my husband came to see me. I looked at him and cried. He reciprocated. It was a cry of happiness and victory. God had lead us through the valley of troubles and dangers into a beautiful life. Our family was now complete. Our second bundle of joy was here.
Struggling through the entire pregnancy, being ill for almost 90% of times, I now have a chance to witness the bond I have had longed for my entire life. I can live the love and bond through my kids. To be a mother is a very intense feeling and to get your heart’s desire is another one. I had a combination of both at that time and it was a magical and emotional phenomenon. My son is now almost 4 months old and has already started looking at and following his “didi (sister)”. This is just the beginning of a happily ever after.
“Chocolate?” asked Pihu offering a bar of Silk Cadbury.
“No. Thanks! Pihu you know I don’t eat chocolates, don’t you?” snapped Samar.
“Chill…chill, I just tried Ok? Just like I have been trying for last 6 years. But you don’t seem to be willing to move on.” Pihu stormed out of the room leaving Samar alone. She knew well that today Samar would want to be secluded. It has always been like that. Every year, 25th July would be a dark day. Samar would often spend the whole day without talking much and would be in a somber mood. Pihu knew what the reason was and she felt as much pain, but Samar never saw her pain bigger than his. Samar was in his own cocoon of grief and guilt. Not that he never tried to accept what had happened, but he failed every time. Life may not always give a second chance and that is exactly what Samar was regretting.
Samar was carrying immense guilt for last six years. He blamed himself for Sagar’s death. Sagar regretted not having returned home earlier than he did. He could never reason to himself why it took ten long years to muster the courage and approach his own family. So what if Amish was not his biological father, it never made Amish love him less. So what if Sagar was a step brother? Samar could never love him any less, not even today when he was dead. And what about Ruma? How could he abandon her? She had given him birth, raised him loved him so much and had saved him from his (so called) real father. What had happened if Ruma had decided to dump him in a garbage bin because she was too young to care of such a small baby all alone? What had happened if Ruma had left him to grow up with his smuggler dad? Samar couldn’t count his blessings in the form of his family and even then he estranged himself from them for ten years. He never thought about what they must be going through after he just walked away from home one night. Samar could never forgive himself for causing so much pain to the most important people in his life.
Samar continued to drown deeper in the cyclone of guilt. He regretted that the box of chocolates his mother had packed for him and that note Sagar had left inside could never reach him that day. Sagar wanted to tell him something that he couldn’t on that day when he walked away from his family. But alas, Samar would never know what it was. That secret died with Sagar. Only if he had kept his hurt aside and returned home earlier, perhaps he could have known about Sagar’s ailment earlier and could have taken him to the best of the doctors. May be, Sagar’s condition would have never deteriorated. May be Sagar could have lived more? Only if he had handled that evening when Sagar blamed him to be unfit in the family more maturely, all four of them would have never wasted 10 years of their life. Only if…. Only if… and more Only ifs! But regrets have no value. It was too late. Sagar succumbed to kidney failure on 25th July, six years ago. It was exactly one day after Samar had decided to take the Road To Home, but Sagar was gone, gone forever! His little brother had travelled to heavens and the family was incomplete once again! Samar did not get enough time to say the final goodbye! Samar wanted to apologize to Sagar for leaving him alone for 10 years, he wanted to tell him how much he had missed him all these years, he wanted to tell him how much he loved him even then, but Sagar didn’t give him a chance. Or was it destiny?
“No Ma, Samar has not had food.” Pihu was talking to Ruma on phone. Ruma would call every night to check on her son and daughter-in-law.
“Hmm… as expected. But beta, you have the dinner.” Ruma advised with a concern for Pihu.
“Yes Ma, don’t worry. I have had dinner already. Ma, it’s been 6 years and none of us have been able to do anything about Samar’s behavior. I am worried about him. I just fail to understand how to take care of him on this very day every year. I understand that it was a very big loss to the family, but how this behavior is going to help? It pains me to see him carry that guilt because it is slowly killing him Ma. He doesn’t understand that neither you nor daddy holds him responsible for Sagar’s death. He fails to understand that Sagar went away untimely not because of him but because of destiny” Pihu was pouring out her helplessness to Ruma
“I understand how tough it must be for you beta. But you are the only one who can do something really. Amish and I have attempted several times. But he never opens up in front of us. Never mind, don’t feel pressurized. Let’s hope that Samar overcomes his guilt some day!” Ruma gave up, like always!
“Hmm… Let’s hope so! I will talk to you tomorrow Ma. Don’t forget to have your medicines before going to sleep. Bye!” Unwilling to discuss further, Pihu cut short the conversation.
She went to the kitchen to make one last attempt to make Samar have dinner. She took his plate to the place she expected him to be at – right in front of Sagar’s portrait in the drawing room. Samar had switched off the lights, probably to hide the tears streaming down his cheeks. He had clasped his hands together and bowed his head down as if he was apologizing to Sagar for not being able to save him.
Pihu placed his dinner plate on a side table and hugged him tight. She couldn’t see Samar like this. Both of them couldn’t stop crying. Samar was crying for having lost his brother to the hands of destiny and Pihu was crying because she was losing her husband to the hands of guilt. They stood still for, god knows, how many minutes like that and then suddenly something struck Pihu.
She set Samar free from her embrace, turned him around wildly and said,
“Samar, Sagar is going to come back home. He is going to be with us soon. We all are going to live like one happy family again!”
“What???” shrieked Samar. “Have you gone mad? Does the dead ever rise from the grave?”
“Believe me Samar; we are going to have Sagar back. You are going to be able to jump into puddles with him when it rains – just like you did in the childhood. You are going to be able to do everything again Samar– right from waking him up to bathing him, getting him dressed and taking him to school, bringing him home, giving him lunch, making him sleep, helping him do his homework and then playing with him. You are going to have your Sagar back Samar!” Pihu spoke in one breath. She felt as if it was a Eureka moment!
Samar looked at her in disbelief and questioned, “How is it possible Pihu?”
“I am pregnant Samar. The reports say that the expected date of delivery is 15th January. Isn’t that Sagar’s birthday? Life is going to give us a second chance Samar! Sagar wants to come back home.”
And the news seemed like unburdening all of Samar’s heaviness in minutes letting Pihu know that the healing process has finally started after so long.
The surging of emotions were so much that Samar got choked. He wasn’t expecting that he will find Sagar in this condition. All three of them were in tears as they hugged each other in happiness as well as in deep sorrow. There was happiness of Samar coming back and at the same time there was the pain of Sagar’s sudden sickness.
Sagar was unconscious for quite sometime till he got back to his senses after he was given the emergency treatment. Samar and his parents were waiting outside… sitting and praying for their child to get back consciousness and recover quick so that they all can make merry and celebrate as a whole family together after 10 long years. Ruma and Amish were just thanking God for bringing Samar at the right moment when they needed someone very close to be there to take care of all the situation that came up so sudden. At this age when they were supposed to take rest they had to rush to the hospital with their well grown up son in an emergency condition.
“He got back his consciousness but the condition is very critical… we need to discuss about something very serious and emergency as soon as possible…” The doc came out of the emergency ward and declared with a very serious voice which was unbearable for Ruma. Samar clasped her hands in his and assured that nothing will happen to Sagar and he would never let anything happen to Sagar.
Samar asked, “Doc, may I just meet my brother once and then we can discuss about the matter… I will be looking after everything…” He declared clearly looking at the doctor as well as to his parents making them feel proud as well as relieved. And when the doctor nodded and went his way they all walked towards the room to see Sagar.
Samar’s legs and hands were cold and there’s a chilling sensation in his spine that he was feeling as he walked slowly behind his parents. He felt as if he will fall down. His emotions were making his whole body to shake in excitement. There was an amazing joy that was bubbling out of his heart with a feeling of fear and apprehension about losing his brother again. Ruma could not control herself and started sobbing at the very sight of Sagar in a very pathetic condition. She had never seen him so vulnerable and helpless before and her motherly heart was broken to pieces. Amish went ahead of them and caressed Sagar’s forehead and called his name, “Sagar… Look, who has come to meet you…”
Samar tried to appear as soon as possible in front of his eyes before he opens it so that he can have a look at his beloved baby brother for sometime as he was scared to meet eyes with his. Sagar didn’t open his eyes immediately as he was in deep pain. He made a painful grunting sound…
“Saa… Sagg… Sagerr… Beta… it’s me… Bhai…” Samar’s feeble voice hit Sagar’s ears hard and he opened his eyes wide right away and could not believe whom he saw… He was astounded completely… He was unable to express his feelings… Samar held out his younger brother’s hand as he started weeping like a child looking at him… And the atmosphere was very pathetic… Sagar was dumbfounded and was unmoved with the storms of emotions were ready to burst out of him… His tears were rolling down his cheeks… Samar bent down on his brother and wiped his tears with his fingers whispered softly, “I am back my baby bro… And I will never ever leave you again…” Samar smiled and clasped Sagar’s palms with his. Samar leaned down further to hug his brother lying on the bed and they hugged… Samar kissed his cheeks and forehead as they both wept in joy of meeting together after a decade. Samar controlled himself and sensibly so, as it was not very safe for Sagar to be too excited or emotional at that critical time. He excused himself after sometime and went to meet the doctor.
Samar had a very thorough discussion with the doctor understanding the condition of Sagar and he had never ever imagined that he will have to go through all these all of a sudden in his life. Sagar’s kidneys were damaged and he needed a transplant within two days to live further. Samar didn’t wait for a minute and paid all the amount that was needed for the kidney and the surgery was fixed right away the very next day. The family of four was not quite feeling steady with all kinds of emotions pressing them harder from all sides making them extremely unstable.
The very next morning all of them were in Sagar’s room as he was getting ready to be taken inside the operation theater… He was very happy seeing his brother, his father like brother with him and his parents at this difficult time yet he wondered, “how come this man forgot every hurts that I inflicted on him 10 years ago!” He called Samar near him and softly said, “Thanks Bhai… Thanks for forgiving this idiot and being with the whole family at this time…” Samar listened to him and warned him saying, “Now, shut up kiddo… Don’t you know, ‘a friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity?’” Samar gave him and the parents the hope that Sagar will be alright soon, before the nurse rolled his stretcher in the corridor towards the OT. Sagar showed his thumb to his family cheering them as he entered the OT and the door was closed.
Samar was hopeful yet was regretting for his step 10 years ago which literally make the whole family go through such pain like this. But Ruma and Amish were happy finding their broken family coming together at last. Ruma, let her heart poured out to Samar… letting him know the secret which was hidden for years as they were waiting outside for the dreadful surgery to get over.
Samar reached home with his head reeling with many thoughts laced with confusion which ceased to clear. Amidst all the haze that clouded his mind his trembling fingers dialled “HOME” on his phone.
“Shall I speak“, “what shall I speak“, “who would answer the call“, “will they recognise my voice and if yes how they are going to react” again the same questions rallied as phone was ringing on the other end.
“Hello” a voice answered, it was his mother’s. That one word muted Samar, and flow of tears would refuse to stop. It’s been ten long years. Ten long years filled with melancholy and a void left behind. “Is the feeling mutual” Samar would ponder. “Hello, who’s this” his mother spoke again expecting a response from the other side and this brought Samar back to senses. “Sorry wrong number” Samar replied, just the way he decided and hurriedly disconnected the call.
On the other side Ruma held the receiver close to her heart. For mother she is she recognised at once that it was him, it was Samar, her son. She thanked God for answering her prayers and in a way finishing her incomplete quest for her son. She couldn’t meet him when she set out to search for him and had to return back home from midway as Amish unexpectedly fell ill and was home early. Now this call did raise her hopes. “Finally My Family will be together” she sighed with content and went to sleep.
But a call to her mother made Samar restless and sleep eluded him yet again. After hearing her mother now he wanted to see her. “Don’t be greedy Samar. Do you even know if you are wanted there? Don’t make a fool of yourself” he said to himself and rested his head on pillow facing the ceiling. But again the turmoil within him raged and this time he ended rebuking himself “enough of this battle, I am tired of restraining myself. She is my mother, my father, my brother, that’s My Family. Just once I need to see them, Just Once! Decided, I will go and see them before I rest in peace. Rest is destiny” Samar’s thoughts echoed strong enough this time. Haze seemed to be setting down with his shutting eyelids.
Next day he applied for a leave. He did muster lot of courage to pick up car keys and take a ROAD TO HOME. Those few miles seemed to be the longest stretch ever. All the years gone flashed before his eyes.
As he was about to enter the gate of the apartments he saw an ambulance waiting in the building premises. Nothing alarmed him until he saw his mother getting in and closing the door behind her.
Before he could call her out the ambulance started. Without wasting a second he started following the ambulance. This is something Samar never imagined or wanted to be greeted with. “But who it could be? Is it father? What might have happened? Why the hell is it happening with me all the time?” Now Samar was fretting and nervous. All the pain that he was reluctant to show to this world was venting out as his frustration when he saw the ambulance stuck in traffic jam. He was honking relentlessly urging people to clear way for the ambulance.
Finally they reached hospital and the patient was hurried to the emergency ward but Samar missed who it was as he had to park the car. In about two minutes he reached the reception huffing, catching for the breath “Emergency, emergency ward? Wh..where it is Mam?“
“First floor, extreme left cor…” Receptionist was about to finish but Samar couldn’t even wait for her to finish, said “Thanks you” and dashed towards the stairs. With each step as he was inching closer to the Emergency Ward his fears and apprehensions loomed larger and larger. And yet at another corner of his heart he was praying that nothing unforseen and unwanted should happen.
He finally saw his mother, standing outside, grief-stricken and worn out. “Ma” Samar reached out to her and that was it. She clung to his shirt, rested her head on his chest and let her pain drench his heart. He embraced her tightly and not a word said.
After few seconds “Ma, what happened to Papa” and there was a tap on shoulder before Ruma could answer Samar. It was Amish standing behind him. Samar was happy to know that his father is fine and hugged him as a child expressing the relief he was experiencing.
“Where’s Sagar” Samar questioned them in a meek voice and short lived his happiness was as his father pointed towards the Emergency Ward.
Samar turned pale to see his beloved younger brother, his Sagar there…
“Samar, are you alright buddy? You look lost!” asked one of his colleague. Samar was startled. Samar told him that he was fine and then he went out to have some coffee. He took a sip of his ordered coffee and drifted back to his world of thoughts and emotions. He felt all jittery, after he had sent the flowers and the card. He couldn’t help thinking about the reactions of his mother, his step-father and Sagar, only if they told him. He didn’t know what the answer to the question he had asked was. He was desperate to know. He thought about all aspects of how the present conditions might be. Along with each kind of situation, there was a different emotion associated. He could feel all of them. He wanted this to stop for some time. He wanted a little peace, a little sleep and finish a little undone work. Although his logical brain was finding his emotional heart illogical, it had given up for the moment. His heart was in total control of his body.
Once he thought, ” May be they have adjusted to the fact that, they now have to live without me. They understood my decision at that point and have moved on. They are the authentic family after all and I was the odd one out there. Of course, I moving out was the greatest plan. I hope I did bring them together and have left them with times to cherish.” His heart had mixed feelings for this thought. A little happy, a little proud, a little satisfied and a little sad. “I hope, Sagar has a good career and is into something creative. I hope he is still a good student as he was before. I want to see him very successful when we meet, if we meet.” He said to himself. He also thought, ” Might be everything is not so good. Might be leaving Sagar behind all alone, at that point, wasn’t such a good idea. What if he did something very bad after I left, fearing our parents’ wrath? ‘OUR’; he thought and then corrected himself, ‘HIS, his parents’.” He felt troubled thinking about it. Sagar still was his life. He couldn’t think about Sagar being harmed in any way.
“What if?” he thought, “Are they in good health? Are they able to take care of themselves? Are they living a happy life?” The deep pain forced him to stop thinking more about it. He just wanted to see them all and hoped they were fine. He prayed, “God, please, keep them all safe and sound. Give them all a very long life. I really want to see them happy together. Smiling and enjoying time with each other.” This thought troubled him so much that he continuously chanted the prayer. He took another sip of his coffee, which was now ice cold. How is it so cold? Hadn’t I ordered it 5 minutes ago? He looked at his watch. To his horror, he was sitting there for almost 20 minutes now, lost in his thought world. He then, finished his coffee and hurried to his desk to complete his pending works. He had so much to be done and yet was able to do nothing. “Coming to office, isn’t working for me today, I should have taken a leave. I should sleep more. I am not able to concentrate and I have a lots to do for this financial year. How will I reach my target? If I am not efficient, I won’t be a good example either. I really need to focus. I can go home and think about them with ease”, he tried hard to divert himself. Diversion did work for almost the whole of 5 minutes. He had almost reached his thought bubble, when another thought struck him. “What if I could just get my mother’s phone number?”
This idea gave him those ticklish butterflies. He started searching for it, in all ways possible. He asked the persons who told him about his parent’s whereabouts, if they had their numbers. He searched online, many sites, social sites, but it wasn’t there anywhere. He tried to search for official sites, if he could find just anything. In the end, he found a landline number. He quickly fed the number in his mobile as he wanted to save it. He instantly wrote ‘HOME’, and then stared at it, painfully. He erased it and wrote ‘SAGAR’S HOME’. He went out again, staring at his mobile phone, thinking hard to dial it or not. He said to himself, “I won’t talk if anyone answers it, or I will say it’s a wrong number or will call as a sales executive, or something. I just want to hear their voice. Any one of them.”
It did not take long for Ruma to decide that she just had to go and meet her son. Courier did have the sender’s address and she assumed that it was Samar’s work address. She would simply go and inquire about him. It shouldn’t take too much to find his whereabouts.
She was going to meet her son after ten long years. She had no account of how many sleepless nights had been spent in his memory. She could not imagine how many tears had been shed for him. A mother without her child is like a mother without a life. Every waking moment – she was reminded of Samar. What all did he had to deal with?
How was his life now?
Did he get married or has a girlfriend?
Samar was always obedient, truthful and kind – exactly the kind of son any parent would ask for. Today, she hoped, all her questions would be answered. But most importantly, she would answer all the questions that Samar would have for her. All these years, she yearned for just one opportunity to explain to Samar how her life had been before he was born. All she wanted to tell him was – “Child, hear me out once and then if you still wish – you can choose to leave me and your family”. She felt that she had been denied justice because she never got a chance to explain herself to Samar.
With these thoughts, Ruma sat in the cab she had booked. “But what would I really tell him about his father?” Her mind drifted away to the story of her marriage.
Back in those days while she was studying, her father found her a groom. She met him a couple of times and found him attractive and interesting. She understood that he loved to travel and would want to spend a lot of time doing that. She liked travelling too, so she believed that they would make a great couple. His name was Abhishek and she used to call him Abhi.
The engagement happened and then the wedding within 3 months of their first meeting. Honeymoon period was really a great honeymoon for both of them. They went to Maldives but it did not end there. After about 3 months, they made a trip to Bali.
Life was a great vacation with Abhi. Almost every 2 months, they made an international trip, stayed in resorts, and did adventure sports along with that plenty of sightseeing. She believed herself to be the luckiest girl on the planet to have a husband who could support such excursions. She had heard a lot about miser husbands and how wives had to struggle to get money out of the pockets. She considered herself extremely lucky that she wasn’t one of them. Often she asked Abhi – how he managed such expensive vacations. And he just waived her off “You don’t worry about that. Money is my responsibility and I will give you all that I can”. She believed him – the biggest mistake of her life.
It was 15th February – a day after Valentine ’s Day which they had celebrated very exuberantly. It was a double celebration because she had completed 3 months of pregnancy. She was carrying Samar. They had a knock on the door at 6:30 am. “Who could it be at this early hour?” thought Ruma. As soon as she opened the door, she froze. It was two policemen and they looked as if they were here to do some serious business. “Is Abhishek at home?” asked one of them sternly and was already stepping and peeping inside the house. “Yes, he is. But what is this regarding?” Ruma could feel her voice trembling nervously. “We are here to arrest him. He has been involved in drugs smuggling and money laundering. Here is the arrest warrant.” Policeman handed her a piece of paper. A piece of paper that was the end of her beautiful married life and her happiness. “No, that is not possible. He is a deals in a diamond business.” Words just came out of her. Both policemen just smirked and barged into the house. They went into every room, checking every closet and bathroom.
“Abhi was just in the bed when she went to open the door. Where did he disappear?” She thought. Just then one of the policemen said in his walkie talkie “He has run out of the backdoor. Quick, cover him.”
“Abhi is trying to run. Why? Why doesn’t he tell them that he is innocent? What’s wrong with him?” She thought and almost felt like she was in a scene from a Bollywood movie.
Few hours later she was called in by the police to the police station. Her husband was behind the bars in the most pitiable state that she could ever imagine. He told her the story – hopefully this time it was the truth. He got involved in drug smuggling because he wanted to earn quick money. He wanted to do that only for a few months to earn enough and open up a diamond dealership. He did open up his business but the lucrative drug smuggling was an addiction in itself. Every international vacation was a way of smuggling crores of cocaine across the border. He never thought he could get caught and he never did. One of the people he worked with got caught and revealed his name as a partner and it did not take a lot of effort for police to find enough evidence against him.
Ruma’s life was miserable then. What followed was a nightmare! Endless visits to jail, court, lawyers and all sort of people she never thought she would have to deal with. She felt cheated and stupid.
How could she be so naïve to believe all that Abhi told her?
How come she never asked him the details of his diamond business?
How come she never took interest in the finances of the house?
How could she just live a hollow life of a stupid housewife?
How could he cheat her this way?
Amidst all this Samar was born and she swore to herself that she would never let her son get a shadow of this dark life.
She applied for divorce soon after Samar was a few months old. Getting a divorce wasn’t difficult for her in these circumstances. Abhi was sentenced to life-time imprisonment. This divorce costed her everything not just emotionally but even financially. She had to pay huge fine that had been levied on her husband. Fine was enough to sell off their home and empty their savings. She even had to borrow money from her parents to buy clothes for her son. She realized what it meant really is to be poor. She had seen the riches which were fake and now she realized the value of hard earned money. She took up a job once Samar was a year old and started a new life.
This was the story that she wanted to tell Samar. These were the circumstances where she had to leave his father and marry Amish later on. She wanted to tell him how Amish had showered them with all the love in the world. They made a promise to each other that they would always keep these dark secrets away from him and Sagar but who knew then what the future holds for them.
Anger washed away in the rain along with any obligations. Sagar could see he had been a real fool carrying someone else’s garbage for so long. He couldn’t undo what has already been done but he could definitely do some right.
He knew he will fall short of words if he met Samar in-person and was unsure of what he should do.
Next morning, he saw his mother wrapping chocolates; it was the same chocolate his brother dearly loved before he left the house. He knew, she is going to meet Samar.
“Who are you wrapping these for?” Sagar inquired
“Oh! Nothing, it’s our neighbors grand-son’s birthday party, we are going to attend that”
After a long pause, Sagar replied “Let me do it, while you make coffee for me, Will you Mother?”
“Yes, ofcourse son.”
Years after Sagar, was making a conversation with his mother, she was delighted and immediately got up handing over the wrapping paper to Sagar.
Sagar took a pen and paper and started to write,
Dear Big Brother,
Thank you for teaching me at a young age that I’m not the only one that matters. You’ve always given me the reality check I needed the most!
Whether it’s been to share the TV remote with the whole family or when I would act a little self-absorbed, you’ve always told me to get my head straight and think about the bigger picture.
You could so easily just tell me I was wrong and you also knew how to pick me, sometimes by consoling and sometimes by teasing me and making me laugh. If someone hurt me or even said something remotely hurtful, I knew you were there to defend me in a second.
And while I’m thanking you, I should probably apologize for everything I put you through.
I never was able to express this to you, and will never be able to after what happened that eventful day. Something in me died when I heard the word ‘step brother’, I felt betrayed, furious, doubtful but most of all I was deeply saddened of the thought of not being your own ‘brother’. I felt someone just snatched away the dearest part of what I had, of what was my ‘own’.
It is hard living up to the expectations that mom and dad have because you set them, but I also don’t mind because that means I have a really amazing older brother to be proud of and to look up to.
But I want to tell you something, something that I haven’t told that day, something I never told anyone. It’s a secret locked deep inside my heart since years.
Can we meet?
Sagar neatly folded the letter and wrapped it with chocolates.
Ruma came smiling with a cup of coffee and Sagar handed over the wrapped gift to Ruma.