Raksha Bandhan

A few years ago, this site would have driven me to tears. But one is slightly saner now, though the Mother’s repeated insistence that one should buy a few Rakhis for her, does make one fly off into a wild rage.

Anyhow, Rakhi went off the way it usually does with a little bit a tear shedding and a lot of reminiscing. AA, who has been sweeter than usual, ever since my BP has shot up, offers to baby sit but one can be snappier than usual on certain days, so one asks for a rain check.

Check the phone a couple of times and by four get a message from the one who never forgets to send a message. They say blood is thicker than water, this one isn’t blood. Ever since I can remember, the Mother made Rakhi into the biggest deal. The brother and I would receive and send so many Rakhis- from and to cousins, from domestic helps, to friend’s brothers and sisters. It was on this day, we had to make the annual pilgrimage to meet the father’s family, who lived on the other side of town.

Twelve years after the brother’s demise, one is yet to send any one the sacred thread and yet this one never forgets.

Siblings

Wake up with a startle. Another night goes by listening to nonsensical, drunken chatter. Of course that shoots up the BP, again, of course that plays on my mind, in a loop.

Half an hour later, another desperate message from a distraught sibling whose lost ‘her life’. About a week ago, I saw the same hopelessness on a close relative’s face and a loneliness that eventually, finds a permanence in the heart.

We’ve been conditioned to loose our parents. Though, terribly scary it’s the law of the jungle , where the old is to give way to the new. We’ve seen our friends, colleagues, even our parents, go through it. Knowing that we are going to, never mitigates the pain I’m sure, even if your parent has been suffering from a prolonged illness, even if you live far from them, even if you dislike most things about them. I assume, each time you get into trouble, you wish they were around, to advice you, scold you and coax you to do things, their way.

But when you loose a sibling, you loose your partner in crime, your secret keeper, your confidant, your backing, your closest friend, your confession box, the one person you can discuss all personal issues with…without the fear of being judged. You loose your childhood diary, the person who will remember things about you, even you’ve forgotten; the person who has faced the same insanity, known the same loss. You loose the one person who you can yell at, who will still look at you the way no one else ever will, like your there’s, like they get you, forever.

For me there is no greater loss and no one luckier than the one feels that excruciating pain. In a world, where there are so many who are estranged from there’s, to have shared that bond with your’s, however short lived, is priceless and so worth the pain.

‘I don’t know how to move on,’ flashes on my screen. ‘It will take a long time’, I find myself typing. ‘Forever’, I find myself thinking.

And so it goes

‘Don’t take this lightly beta, you could have died,’ says the gentlemen checking my blood pressure. ‘Khudd Khushi kyaa dukhon ka Hal Banti Maut Ke Khudd So Jhamele The!’, murmurs SB to herself. This line always pops up in her head when someone talks about death.

On Monday, I drove myself to the hospital, with Mr B, the help by my side, who had serious doubts on my driving abilities, at the time. In the twenty minutes I was there, the BP came down from 200 to 160 so quickly, they said the cause was extreme stress. So of course I went out with my buddies the next day to avoid the cause of that stress. But a few days later, one was still flushed and breathless.

The sphygmomanometer shows 160/110 on both the arms. Then begins the coaxing. Both SB and SC hate medication. SB is convinced her body can heal itself, SC on the other hand is absolutely terrified, haunted by memories of a time when her Mother was addicted to cough syrups. After a few minutes of being told of horrible cases of people dying on treadmills and cars, kidney failure, blindness, heart failure and what not, I give in.

Pop a pill, rest as I have been advised to and go to the one place that can calm me down- Zorba the Buddha. Though, one has been asked to do Yoga, one just wants to return to a familiar space. The lady in white, greets me with such warmth, half of the stress disappears. A few minutes of Gibberish, yelling and dancing, all the shit starts to come out. I rush to the loo and I start to throw up- food, mucus and blood. Freshen up and then start to move the belly. The last time one did this was the year the brother passed, it was the same year the lady in white moved to Goa.

Psychosomatic, that’s what I think most illnesses are. Especially, in the case of someone whose mind is like a raging bull and a heart that hasn’t reached even double digits, yet. Hypersensitivity, an astrologer told my Dad once, is my bane. Bane or not, one needs to get back to the spiritual practice.