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Ties That Bind

A note to my brother

My earliest memories of you include fighting over chalk, chocolates and crayons. Weekends and summer holidays (when you weren’t in Calcutta) were about whether we should play ghar-ghar or teacher-teacher. We fought over TV serials and very importantly, which episode of Ramayana or Mahabharata to watch that afternoon. We’ve fought like crazy, I’ve bullied you and you’ve made me cry often. But you are the closest I have to a sibling. In age. In temperament. Ma said it was because we share the same zodiac sign.

Secrets To A Happy Marriage - Ties That Bind

So I begin with an apology. I’m sorry for the times I didn’t show up, for the times I disappointed you, for the times you felt let down. I’m trying to make up.

Last year, when Ma told me in passing that we were considering a proposal for you, I had little to say in response. I merely nodded, in indifference. I was curious about the girl in question but I held on to my patience. When she became your fiancé, I called up Papa in the middle of a busy work-day and said I want to meet this girl. Before we could chalk out a plan, I was informed that you too had said a yes. That evening when I met you for dinner, you quietly called me into another room and said, “Didi, aapne to abhi tak photo bhi nahi dekhi hogi na. Yeh dekho!” And then you showed me the first glimpse of my Bhabhi on your cell phone.

That’s when it hit me. We had come a long way from our lazy childhood afternoons. My baby brother had grown up and how! A few meetings and he had decided he had met the love of his life. Thinking of that evening still makes me smile.

I met your fiancé a day later when she was coaxing Dadima to eat something. And suddenly everything felt so right. The earnestness on her face, the euphoria on Dadima’s, it was perfect. It is how I’d always like to remember Dadima.

Over kiwi margaritas, strawberry milkshakes and pesto pasta, we became fast friends. And our childhood trio now included a new partner in crime.

She is everything you aren’t. Chatty, boisterous, outgoing; but she completes you in every way. I’ve seen you blush, I’ve seen you fumble. I’ve seen you with that rosy glow on your face, whispering sweet nothings into the phone, and waving me a silent hello.

Today, I see the two of you and I see the beauty of how opposites attract. I learn of the power of relying on your instincts and letting the heart decide. Your love is what fairy tales are made of. Cherish it. Laughing away the little stuff will take you a long way. Fight often if you have to. But try not going to bed angry with each other.

I hope you two continue to make each other very happy for decades to come. I hope your lives become everything you want it to be. That it is shaped by every wish you’ve ever had. And that it makes all the time you spent dreaming away completely worth it.

I wish you two all the very best in life, always. And I leave you with one thought, “a good marriage is like a duet – when one sings, the other claps.” Make it a melodious one.

Shruti Garodia is the 20-something daughter of an exasperated mother. When not sparring with the mother, she reads, tweets and occasionally blogs.