My youngest cousin K is home for her semester holidays. We suffer from a nettling age gap of 10 years and our interests are weirdly incompatible which in toto explains the kinda bond we are destined to share in the name of sisterhood. Her home is only a few hops away from mine, it feels right to say we are sisters by blood and friends out of no choice.
My dad and I never perorate if it isn’t about Dr.H or baby meds or diapers, my mom sure blathers a lot. Last night I heard her say ‘semester’, ‘bus’ and ‘holiday’ a couple of times, however the whole news of my sister’s arrival somehow escaped my notice. So this evening when she unbolted the gates and scurried towards baby D, I was pleasantly startled.
K was all neatly decked up in a long sleeved Kurta with zig-zag hem lines, the kind you come across in Ajio Women or similar shopping apps. Her voluminous plait of hair that once contributed to half of her body weight has now reduced to the size of a scrawny rat tail. It was well combed though. Adorned with flashy hair clips and all that. There wasn’t a trace of puerile attitude in her behavior, the girl even sounded so mature for her age. Baby D screamed in excitement as she planted kisses and hugged him tight in her arms.
Her love for baby D is sincere as well as profound since beginning. The way she expresses it has greatly evolved though. K is getting better at managing baby D all by herself when I slink towards the kitchen chores. Somehow they managed to muddle through playing muttu-muttu and olicho-olicho for nearly an hour, the time being the longest undistracted playtime baby D has ever had. She also assisted me during a diaper change and took charge of the subsequent ones with ease. I was overwhelmed by her deep-rooted empathy and even felt like thanking her for the same. A word of thanks is meant for formal relationships hence I held it back.
So yeah, here I am, sitting half-organized with some sort of maddening gusto and half-unorganized due to ignorance, trying to figure out my responsibilities as a mother, while my baby sister whom I still vividly remember as an insouciant, playful child returns home with a maturity level that beats even my life’s most optimistic experiences to a mere nothing. She spoke just like the women of my age – with kindness, understanding and a genuine concern to know if I’m really okay. Her presence refilled the void of my heart that craved for a deep conversation not restricted to screen or emojis. It’s only now I have slowly learnt to hibernate my emotions and wallow in my own company, all of sudden this little girl pops out of nowhere with such a gleaming attitude that makes me want to slough off my own reticence and do the talking rather than just fashion a few lines from the corner of my couch. Cor-blimey!