So far I have cribbed enough about the fact that I am alone and that I don’t have a sibling. It has been one of the two things that I hold against my parents. To know what the other one is, visit this. The closest I have got to siblings are my cousins on my mom’s side- 3 of them. One a 15 year old guy, N, who just finished his X boards and has been acknowledged to be very much following in my footsteps. Another, his sister, H, who is about 2 years younger to him. And the third, my another cousin sister, D, just about 5 years old. All in all, I am the don in my family. Everybody always listen to me whenever I speak. But that is hardly any substitute for the company that I wish I had.
But there have been a few vivid things that took place in the recent past that seemed to infuse some very unfamiliar emotions in me. I suddenly felt like I was needed on this planet other than for myself. And it felt good.
About a couple of months back I went home for a few days holidays. Since my grandparents and one of my mom’s sister stays very near to my home, my mom’s other sister also comes down very frequently. This essentially means just that all my cousins end up in one place whenever I go home. And I am always looking forward to meeting them.
On one such occasion when I went home, I found H struggling to get passing marks in her Maths exams. I was quite disappointed. All of us were worried about her and her maths. She explained saying that the teacher was not good and similar stuff. But still it didn’t change the fact that she was unable to pass in the exam. She had got about 11/50, which indeed left a lot to be desired. Some of us were just sportingly pulling her leg by predicting her a good husband so that she wont have to really worry about her marks and things like that. I don’t know how she received it. She is not that loquacious kind of girl. In fact she is more of the taciturn kind. At least that’s what she is with us. And so I do not definitely know how she received those comments. And then since I was staying there for a few more days, I said that I would help her in her studies.
And so the next day I went to her and she said she had problems with indices and logarithms as her teacher hadn’t dealt with it properly. So I sat with her for a few hours and explained to her the best I could about indices and logarithms. I made sure that she understood it and made her solve a lot of problems on that. I taught her all the problems which her teacher had given them for homework. And in the end she was confident that she knew indices and logarithms well.
One month later I go home again. And by that time, she has finished one more round of exams. Again all my family is there. And I ask her what happened to her math exam. Her mother told that she passed. Good. And when I ask how much she got, she says she got 30/50. And that was immediately followed by another bout of friendly laughter, basically implying that 30 on 50 was still low. But I was in my own world. What they didn’t understand or probably forgot to notice was that 30 is greater than 2 ½ times 11. And what they also forgot to notice was the faint tone of achievement in her voice when she said 30. Like I said, the taciturn that she is, I could never say what she felt when no one noticed the way she expressed her sense of achievement.
But I am happy to have noticed it and acknowledged it. I guess there was this tacit understanding between us that went largely unnoticed. I know I can get real possessive. I felt that she was mine to look after.Me, being the egoist that I am, was happy because I knew I was responsible for her improvement. And she was just happy that she had gotten better.
But somewhere deep inside I was feeling something unfamiliar. It was that feeling that you get when you realize that someone needs you for their happiness. And like I said, it felt good. Unfamiliar, but Good. I guess God has his own ways of making up. Maybe its all too little and too late. But as far as I see it, little is better than nothing at all.