This is one day that leaves me thinking about life, its uncertainty, beauty and mystery. Tomorrow is Raksha Bandhan ( sister ties a sacred thread around the wrist of her brother as a symbol of him being her protector, saving her from troubles and sorrow) in India and here I am lost in my lone musings. It has been 21 years since I tied my last Rakhi on my late brother’s wrist. Only this time I did not have to worry about the length of the thread as to whether it would fit my strong brother’s wrist as he was fast slipping away from life’s grip. As I did the Teeka ( applied Vermillion) on his forehead, our eyes met and the look that we shared conveyed it all. We both knew that this would be our last Rakhi but the way he let us handle this emotional moment is commendable. There were no tears, no sadness.
As I tied the Rakhi around his wrist that one last time, we looked at each other and our hearts communicated with each other. He looked at the Rakhi, at me and then managed to give me a faint smile and I reciprocated with a dull one, but smile we did. We then held hands as we reminisced about our childhood. The slipping time that was soon to deliver grief that I would find tough to leave behind, lingered in my mind. For the first time, I displayed courage and did not breakdown before him. I would go out to the garden and weep to my heart’s content as he lay there resting on the bed in his room.
As we held hands and began to talk softly about our time together, he suddenly drifted off into deep sleep. I immediately recalled our days when I would be scared and he would ask me to hold his hands and sleep. Only this time the doctors had declared him terminally ill and it could be anytime. I was terrified and all sorts of thoughts flooded my mind, thoughts like would he wake up, has he left? Too scared to wake him up, as I bent closer towards him, he woke up with a start and announced all of a sudden.” don’t worry, I am not going to go away just like that.”
As I made him sit up on the bed, my mind went on a flashback trip. My handsome strong brother had always been my bodyguard while I was in school and college. One look from me and he would beat up the bad guys nice and proper. I had always felt so safe and secure all my life and here I was today, watching my brother fight a losing battle. Soon, he would be gone leaving me to fend for myself. I could not imagine life without him.
But I did survive. It has been 21 long years since he left us and I have managed to do my duties well. Maybe in all this, I had forgotten to look after myself. But hey, Life does send you angels in disguise and I am positive that things will be awesome from now on.
I still buy a Rakhi every year and place it near his photograph. Love lives on, never to part.