We don’t have a choice in the people who become our family but even if I had, I wouldn’t change anything. Ashwini Patil, my little sister, a piece of my heart. She is more like my kid than my sister.

She was a pain in my life. I was the guinea pig of our parent’s experiments while she would get the best of their learnings. She got all my notes and would study for the exams and do the homework and assignments without much efforts. She had so many elder friends thanks to me. She was a “kachha limbu”(cannot ever get out because of being underage) in our games and she loved that. I really envied her as a kid.

We fought so much, we are poles apart. I am generally full of energy, wanting to do something or the other and that lazy thing just likes to relax at home. (That has still not changed and I hate her when she agrees to my plans and then cancels at the last min). I remember when we studied playing teacher-teacher, I hit her coz she hit my dolls with scale, that girl is so rational, while me, well I was just emotional(my dolls had life too and they were smaller than her).

She was stronger than me, she would continuously hit me and would cry and make noise even if I hit her just once, just to involve the elders and get away. That shrewd, cunning kiddo. She is an expert at sweet talks and wins everyone’s hearts instantly. I remember the partiality I faced when our relatives liked her more due to her “chaplusi” skills. I always told her she was adopted and she literally convinced me that I was in fact adopted. She was a tough nut!

Then once, while we were returning home from our drawing class with a bunch of friends, she started walking ahead and suddenly a group of monkeys came around in the gap between her and us. I called her name to make her see the fun but the monkeys attacked her (they were mad monkeys who had escaped from National Park). We were 5–6yrs old, I did not understand what to do and as my friends ran, I ran away with them.

But in sometime I suddenly felt something and went back to save her but she was no more there. I got so angry on myself for abandoning her, crying, went home, informed my parents. My parents went out to look for her, while I kept crying, being consoled by my aunt and grandma. I even started fighting with God in the Pooja ghar that how could You let it happen.

In sometime, my parents returned with her, a kind uncle in our neighbourhood had got a stick and saved her. As I saw her, (more)tears ran in my eyes and I swore I would never abandon her again. I gave her a tight hug. That was the day I realised what she meant to me.

I remember hitting a strong boy from her class with water balloon and making him cry after he made her cry in a similar manner, during Holi. Only I can mess with my little sister, no one else!

And well, there are advantages of having a younger sister too. My mother was working, when she would come home, she generally asked my sister how much I had studied. Being the older one I made sure she gave the answer I liked. Before mom came home, I would tell her the number to tell (for the no. of hrs I studied) and that sweet parrot would listen to me and repeat exactly that.

My parents wanted her to call me ‘Tai/Didi’ but it got embarrassing when she called me that in front of my friends in the school bus (she is just a year younger, please!) so I trained her against that. I would invent games, make rules and she would silently agree and follow. She copied my studying style, playing style, shared my friends, she did respect me, somewhere, I guess :D

When I first started earning and got my first salary, I took her to a mall and in a very filmy way told her, choose whatever clothes you like. I felt so good paying that day, looking at her smile. I love pampering her. She is my doll. We have a lot of fun shopping, though our dressing choices differed a lot. Now however, she pampers me a lot more with Apple products (how times changed!).

More often than not, she behaves like the elder one. Hate to admit it but she is much more responsible than me. She taught me how to be more responsible towards home and elders. Being in the same field, she often guides me on what can be done to improvise on the job front. In such ways, we are more of friends, a team.

Distance does make love deeper. We realised each other’s value when she went for her MS. Our bond has never been more strong. I was so jealous of her husband, Mahesh when they got married because her love got divided :( But then, he makes her happy and finally I have come to terms that my little sister has grown up and will have a family away from me too. Besides, me and Mahesh have a bond of our own too! We both love making songs on her and sort of share the pain of living with her, somewhere :P

When she came in my life, she divided my parent’s love and attention, even so I love her as much as our parents do. She will always have my back and I know I have hers. She can never forgive the people who hurt me, even if I do, that’s her, a very head strong and affectionate person. I always tell her that her kids will love me more than they would love her (that will be my way of getting back for all her childhood politics!). But jokes apart, I wish there was an easier life for us than staying continents apart. Miss you chinti!

Inspired by the teachings of my Guru :)