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The long wait.

            Fiction:

         "Ria, did you hear? Reema has been selected for the Inter-School Debate Competition this year! Once again! Isn't that great? Did you congratulate her, Ria? You have such an intelligent sister as a role model. Why can't you be like her?" 
             "Ria, Reema has once again topped in her exams! When are you getting there, you slow coach?!"
             " Reema wants to take up medicine. Did you hear that? Medicine! What are you planning to do with your future, Ria?"
             "Ria,.......         
         
                 ......the words echo in my ears non stop. They go on and on,  like an ear worm. Since the time I could comprehend life around me, I could hear  them. Although, it has been quite some time now since  silence took over,  those memories still haunt me.  Living under the shadow of a bright, over-achieving, all-rounder elder sister can...no, not can, HAS  been a burden I have been carrying  since my childhood.  Did mum or dad ever stop to think that I, too, may have had  some special talents?  Actually, they hardly had any time to stop and think about me. Reema kept them on their toes "right since she was born!"  
         Reema learnt to crawl, sit, speak, walk, and what not, way earlier than most kids her age. Not only that, she was also the brightest child in her class "right since play school!" They -- mum, dad and Reema -- lived in a different world altogether. I was the outsider. The slower of the two, the average  kid, who had no special talents, rather, no talents, to brag about. As if that was my fault! Yes! That's right. Am I not a combination of mum and dad? It is their genes that I have been 'blessed' with. So, they have no right, whatsoever, to criticise me for being who I am. It is they, who are to be criticised for passing on their worthless genes over to me.  It is really not my fault!
        I wish I could have thought about this all those years ago, when the comparisons began. But, the  "dimwit" that I was, this fact about my life just did not occur to me. Hey! So, if that is the case, then I must have taken after dad! Wasn't he the one, who never could come up with a quick retort  to mum's barbs?
       And, mum? Now, let me see...that day, when I crept into the attic to look for  my school certificates, didn't I find some, that belonged to her? And, what did I find in there? Quite a many red marks! Ohh! So, that means, there weren't any clever genes in there !  And, I have taken after her, as well! Gee! Thanks, mum, for unloading your useless, good for nothing genes onto me. Look what you have done! Wonder  why you didn't have a quick run down memory lane before cursing me for my stupidity.
        And, Reema, was it not I, who always took the shoutings for her wrong-doings? Every time she  screwed up, it was I, who faced the gunfire. But, not one word of apology or gratitude ever slipped out of that  ungrateful mouth! Were we really sisters? I have my doubts there.
        Whenever I visited my friends, I was enamoured by the love and warmth that exuded from each of their hearts for their family. Family -- a term I was always curious about. Did I have it in my world? And, if I did, then why was there so much hatred, so much of angst, and so little love in it? All the love and warmth was reserved for the elder, more deserving child. None of it came my way. Not  one tiny bit. Not even left overs.
     
          Ah, but, I am going to put it all behind me, now.  The decision to  move to this wonderful city, with its loving people, and with no 'family'  to tag along, life is going to change, for the better. Of that, I am sure. Things are going to look up. And, the dream job that I have landed, is going to take me places!
   
          The one thing I have ever learnt is, that everything happens for the best.  The mountain fire, our holiday home at the foot of that mountain, I, on a picnic with my girl friends, away from harm's reach, and all three of them, tucked into that so-called cozy and warm cottage, with no neighbours to call for help. Guess, I was meant to live the rest of my life in peace and happiness, without any more comparisons with my gifted sister and any more loveless relations with  my parents.  The best things in life  come to those who wait. And, boy, have I waited!


NaBloPoMo November 2014

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"Youth comes but once in a life time!"
               ___H.W.Longfellow.



             Traversing through  life, how often do we look back wistfully at our past and wish we could go back, wish we could live it all over again, just one more time?   Each time we witness the young around us enjoying life, enjoying their freedom and pursuing dreams with an enviable vigour, how we wish we could swap places! Sigh.

             A few days ago, I happened to have a chat with a 23 year old cousin. Excited about her future and the plans she had chalked out for herself, she had quite a lot to share with me. The sparkle in her eyes and the enthusiasm in her voice spoke a lot about how eager she was to embark upon the path she had chosen! Her enthusiasm was, indeed, contagious, for it left me yearning to turn the clock back and re-enter that age I left behind almost 2 decades ago.

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