Living in the oblivion that I have, for the past goodness knows how many years, its almost like I have stopped feeling.
There are moments when I laugh, others when I find myself melancholy. Some moments just pass by – without creating much of an impact. Nothing seems to have touched my heart for a long long time.
This trip home was meant to be special. I had intended it to be. I would get quality time with Baba with the oncoming Eid holidays and I would see Dada.
Having being a single child, I have seen the pros and cons of being, well, single.
My ideal sibling in my head was always an older brother, and I have, for as long as I can remember, longed for it. This is where Dada comes in – he is the oldest of our generation of children and hence I seem to have looked up to him for everything. Since memory allows me to recall, I have felt this innate bond with him – a special something which I have never really understood.
When he moved to Dubai and used to visit us on long weekends, it was almost like a festival to me. I remember waiting for hours, staring out at the roads leading upto the house waiting to spot a glimpse of his maroon Mitsubishi. Among others, I can safely confess to an array of juvenile activities I have undertaken revolving around him – like standing up for him against all odds, not hearing a word against him, travelling to Mumbai in the middle of the night to see him and others that I might not be able to recall at once. I dont really understand why I would feel that way – only bonds of blood are supposedly that strong; or so I told myself.
I last saw him in 2003, when my baby nephew was a few years old. It has been over eight years but I feel as though nothing has changed. A phone call or text message from him still gives me so much happiness.
When he told me that he might be able to visit me in Muscat this time, it was almost unreal to my ears. I thought to myself that this would be different – I am twenty four, more in control of my emotions, with enhanced abilites to be indifferent and protect myself from any prospective disappointments. I couldnt have been more wrong.
From the time I saw his car being parked from my window, there were stirrings; I dont really know how to produce that feeling in print. Its like nothing had ever been wrong, like I was just seeing him like I used to every year during Eid holidays. It was as though warmth was spreading under my skin and every evil thing was being driven away. I have never understood why I felt this way around him and why his mere presence could bring a smile to my face. It has been this way for years – I cried myself away every single time when he used to wave goodbye and I fear that I will this time as well.
It weakens me to comprehend that maybe I have not really grown up – myabe I am still that twelve year old who felt nothing but pure love for her big brother, expected so much in return, perhaps was disappointed at times, but kept holding on. Dada writes to me sometimes saying that I have always stuck to him, in good times or bad – I do not understand how it can be any other way. Is it possible to stop loving?
Like everything else I write brimming with emotion, I do not feel this does any justice to what I will always feel for him, regardless of what life brings us. Today I am only glad that despite the various disguises I am required to don, I still have that feeling.
Dedicated to the much loved big brother and friend.