Monday, February 4, 2008

A Tale


The heat waves on a hot Sunday afternoon drained my energy level as I was standing in the grocery store tallying the items in the bill. With much difficulty I lifted the bag and walked towards the exit. Through the transparent glass door I could see my elder brother ramu standing on the opposite side of the street leaning on a pole. As I stepped out of the shop he strode towards me, acknowledged me with a smile and helped me carry the heavy bag of vegetables. I was slightly surprised in seeing him in the shopping centre as opposed to his normal routine of meddling with some junk in the backyard.

I was sad that two month long holidays was about to end, but ramu was all excited to enter into under graduation in a week’s time. Basically he is a nice fellow but is totally reserved character not socializing at all and sometimes acts a bit eccentric. The distressing part of it is his attitude towards our parents, not really reciprocating their affection and maintaining a distance with them. Being his sister I was quite close with him as we used to share a secret or two, but there was a thin curve uncomfortably dividing the sphere of comfort. Quite often he would go into his own shell, unruffled by other activities outside it. All of us came to accept the fact that ramu is different and decided to give him his own space and time to change.

The patient approach seemed to have worked as there was a visible change in ramu’s behavior in the last two months since the holidays began. A first sign of it was noticeable during mom’s birthday party in our house attended by members of our close family circle. He gifted her, a cute little watch and gave her a hug surprising everyone of us. His expression of intimate feelings towards us sometimes made us feel uncomfortable since as far as I could remember I have never noticed such fine humane emotions from him. We had long conversations about N number of topics and shared our thoughts. My mother was the happiest of all seeing such wonderful changes in him.

As we were walking on the poorly laid pavement, a lump on it almost tripped me and brought me back to the present. Ramu who was a few yards ahead of me, listening to the newly aired radio station, did not notice me. In a few minutes we ambled our way back to our home, to be warmly greeted by our uncle and his family. Living in a suburban house they frequently visit us making each of it a memorable one. There was a festive mood in the house with spirits high, longing to go for an outing. On ramu’s suggestion we planned to take a trip to the amusement park. We were all getting ready packing sets of dresses, swimming trunks, other essentials.

I was searching for the red colored milo ball all over the house unsuccessfully and took a final effort by deciding to look for it in ramu’s wooden box. The beautifully sculpted piece was very special to him with all his important items carefully preserved in it, usually guarded by a number lock. In all the excitement I completely forgot unwritten code of conduct that the box should not be disturbed by anyone else. Ramu had once casually told me the combination to the lock and with that I opened it without finding the ball but only some documents. On an impulse I browsed through the document to be taken aback. It was a document of adoption dated the 10th of March 1992 with ramu’s name in it.