Passing by

[I wrote this on Facebook for my sister on 22nd Jun, 2010]

Last afternoon, as I pulled the car out of the office parking lot and onto the street, I saw a familiar face in another car, parked parallel to the curb. It was my sister, Shraddha. I stopped as my window aligned right beside hers, rolled down my glass and said Hi. Her eyes lit up and she smiled. Traffic was piling up behind me and I said I would call her later and moved on.

I remembered the laid back, rustic setting of rural Barasat where we were born and had learnt many a lesson that the school of childhood has to offer. Presently, she was waiting in her car to pick up my little niece from school. She is four and goes to school at one of the swanky addresses which, is much sought after by parents and quite expensive I am told.

I have passed her by, many times before. These were occassions when cows had strayed across to our lawn and we raced them. Our mother, roaming the verandah doing various chores as we could not afford domestic help, would caution us. I often close my eyes and see mummy, standing there, wearing a gown that touched the ground.

Come winter and my sister and I would take a walk each afternoon to the great lake nearby. Large herons and other birds populated its waters and banks, after having flown many furlongs to avoid the harsh cold that had enveloped their summer homes.

We would race frogs that were all around this lake. The frogs my sister chased always won, scared to death by her shrill voice and quick moves.

Once a week, a car zipped down our lane and we would run behind it, getting covered in the dust the tires awoke from the earth beneath them.

A long time has passed. We drive our own respective cars now. I still love my sister most. I called her this morning and she talked about how her upcoming Singapore trip excites her. I pray for her speedy return. She is the only one in this big, beautiful world, I share a blood relationship with.

I feel sorry about this new found life of speed and materialism.

I feel sorry for the frogs, who think we will return, just like the birds, when the cold north breeze blows.



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