That is something probably he is used to hearing from F, whom he considered more of a Kid Brother. “My Sister always thought you were a complete mess in your head.”
Something that stuck with him for life. There is a stagnant place in life, just like we all believe there must have been a simpler place in time. Strangely life takes you more often there, leaving you bewildered.
Like the tempting waves of the sea, as one steps into the shore, the water soothes you, caressing you and thereby slowly touching each fibre of your soul and wading you into it. There is a moment when you let go of the fear and step into the horizon of the unknown as the ocean engulfs you into it completely. Few people rarely get into ocean that way, to completely give into it.
Those countless hours they have spent on the sea, her fascination for water as F puts it. He was taken completely by the charms of the siblings. They are quite apart yet they are so similar. As we all grow up, we outgrow the intimacy of being brothers or sisters. What charmed him more, is that he can see himself as the brother and the sister and how much he miss being a brother to his own brother. As D puts it often, “Cranky families produce better children” Yet they are his own dysfunctional idea of family and love.
The girl that he fell in love, a girl who who grudgingly yet soulfully built a home in a house full of strangers. A girl who painfully transformed herself into a woman, having fought for a place in the world. A woman who with an easy smile and with a sip of wine can be dismissive, “Yeah.It all happened. Everything was given to me at the right time.” He did wonder at how many people, actually would be so nonchalant about growing up.
A few remnants of the residual love, the slight amused tilt, “You are so much a kid, still.” the smile she had for him through the side mirror as she parks her car in the reverse, a momentary pause to decide whom to greet first, the dog or the guy. The way he longs for those rare moments when she leans onto him, the smell of her morning shower, the smell on her hospital dress, when she is back home. The way she closes her eyes as a test and a thought to decide how much water for the rice to boil. A tired greeting on the phone at the end of the day. The twinkle in her eyes at his every gesture of love and surprise. Her resignation for his ways into the future, “You are still a student, bubby” Her habit of flicking off the TV for a second to see him in the screen, sipping the cup of tea for sweetness. The way she raises her voice stern and firm, when he is all bugging about ,”Bunk today, Please.” The memory of a woman checking her Kohl in the mirror as she gets ready for work.
Those evenings, when they all huddle together on the floor around the sofa, Tea, snacks, Wine, endless chatter and banter, the movies, the cards, the board games, those dumb charades. Its the time, when all he looks is for a moment when she would little brush against him as she gets up to leave or snuggle quietly into his lap, humming along a song quietly, as she winks at him. Those myriad memories of her. As F teases him, “You are way too smitten,” And remember, “My Sister always thinks; you are a complete mess in your head.”
To meet and part; To part and to meet. And the final memory as she closes her eyes and sings in a soothing voice and in tune with the pitch as she raises in the timbre,
“Kaatru Veesum Veyyil Kaayum Kaayum Athil
Maatram Èthum Illayae.. Aaaa..
Vaanum Mannum Nammai Vaazha Chøllum Antha
Vaazhthu Oayavillai Èndrendrum Vaanil..,”
In that Ephimeral bubble of eternity, he rests his life as she opens her eyes with a smile. The unmistakable sad silt of her head with the twinkle of a small sigh.