I remember being very very young and being surprised that people spoke different languages. A language other than what they spoke at home. I am assuming I just sang along to the ABCD tunes and rhymes and thought they were an advanced level of my mother tongue. When I gradually began discovering the world of English, I found this world to be enticing and sweet!! It sounded nice and rich especially when it came from my favorite aunt’s pretty little mouth.
My aunt played a vital role in my upbringing. That’s the great thing about Indian families. It’s not just the parents who mould you and give you the great shape you are in right now. My aunt(my father’s sister) was one of my favorite people in the world. She pampered me just the right amount(gave me the chocolates and surprisingly lost them when I asked for more). My mother and her being very good friends, accompanied me to school one day. I remember hearing a new word for the first time. My aunt proudly told my headmistress, she is my ‘Niece’. I liked the sound of Niece.
They lived just a stone’s throw away from us. Her kids were my favorite cousins, we always spent the most glorious times together. When mum or dad couldn’t be there for me or when I was overwhelmed by the tyranny at home, I became my aunt’s responsibility. There was a play from the dance classes I attended back then. I played a King (don’t fret, you haven’t been following a girl blogger who is actually a boy!! I am a girl!!). But yes, I played a King(King Janak to be precise). Auntie took me to the town hall, got me changed into my royal robes and realized she had forgotten the pins to hold the robe in place. She rushed to the store to buy the pins and came panting back. I loved her for it. I couldn’t say my lines right till I spotted her in the audience that night. King Janak was a smashing hit and I saw how her eyes shone with pride.
I was homesick when I went away to college. Auntie’s office was close to my boarding place. She came visiting almost every week, and brought me pastries so often. No matter how fat I got, I was always her scrawny niece who din’t eat enough. She hugged me close in my darkest hour of need, kept me strong when I wanted to wither away. She cried for each one of my losses in life and jubilantly celebrated every success I had. She probably knew I loved to read, but I wish I had told her the writing bug had caught me.
She was one of the most beautiful,selfless people I knew. She believed the world could not be conquered on an empty stomach and always, always worried about eating right and feeding everyone she met. And her humor!! She had the skill to turn any unpleasant, complex problems into something funny. And she was one person I knew who was as fond of clicking pictures as any of us these days. Thanks to her, we have beautiful memories in abundance. There are pics of us being fat and funny, there are pics of us being happy, there are pics of us after having had too many drinks and not remembering laughing so hard.
Life brings you morbid days sometimes and I had one such day last week. I am glad I said I love you when we spoke last. I am just sorry I dint say how much.