"A sister smiles when one tells one’s stories – for she knows where the decoration has been added."
I was 9 when I was blessed with a sister, Taranveer meaning The brother from Heaven.
You get it right kid, this one's for you, youngest one.
It was a winter morning when I was sitting in the yard looking at the winter sun, feeling the bright rays kissing my skin, feeling the pleasant sensation that comes with it, relieving the cold away.
12th March 2003, I was 9 years old, bumbling with diabetes for about 2 years by then.
Father broadcasted that we are blessed with another sister. I opened my eyes, smiling.
It was a good news we had witnessed in a long while. I felt fortunate.
I was delightful, a mixed feeling of joy, imagining another toddler in the house, while a sudden realisation of being transformed from the youngest one in the family, to turning ancient.
The following day, we travelled to Dehradun, to see the new creature, with my grandparents .
I remember walking into the room, the iodoform smell of hospital.
I looked at her laying in the cradle. She was cute, and she was mine. I felt immense happiness.
She resembled the baby version of me.
I was listening to the doctor talking to father. He said that mother was suffering from unstable blood pressure, which caused her agonizing pain while birthing her. I felt relieved, being informed that both of them were fine.
Harneet handed her over to me. I looked at her tiny eyes. She was so small and perky and so absurdly able to take care of herself. We held her in our arms one by one, trying to talk to her and caressing her, It was a jubilant day.
A few days later, mother was allowed to come home from the hospital. I felt festive, flouncing with merry when they arrived. Father clinched her to bits. He pronounced her the harbinger of prosperity.
I admired my father being happy as having a girl child is aforethought bad enough for parents as a major proportion of the families in India wants their sons to carry the heredity bloodline ahead, but my father valued us like like sons. People still taunt him to be unwise, to spend much on our schooling and sending us abroad to study. My father always had a deaf ear to such pessimism. He always made sure we were delivered with the best in everything. He always impressed us as a strict parent, but when it came to our education and future, he lets us decide about which paths to follow. India needs more men like my father.
I enjoyed the fact, that my little new kin looked exactly like me when I was her age. Often, I compared my infancy pictures with hers showing it off to everyone. She was diagnosed with Hypothyroid, at a tender age. It is a condition where you do not have enough Thyroxine being produced in your body, to help in growth and development.
She was about 3, when she fell wobbly one winter morning. She had very high temperature. My mother stood awake all night, tying wet cloth on her forehead trying to ease the fever.
They presumed it just to be a seasonal anomaly. They were wrong.
The next morning, she was laying on a cot in the sun, outside on the patio when she had a tonic seizure. Her muscles initially stiffened and she lost consciousness. Her eyes roll back into her head as her muscles contracted. She was arched.
We all had cold feet. I accompanied my parents and grandfather when they rushed her to the nearby hospital. They admitted her in emergency. The doctor ran some tests and put her on fluids.
He told us later that day that she had grown a urine infection and the fever got worse, afflicting her brain. I was crying profusely. They kept her under observation for 2 nights. When she finally got discharged, father carried her home, refusing to let go of her for a moment. There on, she advanced to be the most fostered kid in the pack.
She was identified with Dextrocardia situs inversus totalis. For those who aren't familiar, Dextrocardia with Situs Inversus is a rare heart condition characterized by abnormal positioning of the heart.
In more Layman terms, a dextrocardiac person has the Apex, tip of the heart being a mirror image situated on the right side of the chest, instead of the left. Additionally, the position of the heart chambers, as well as the visceral organs such as the liver and spleen is reversed, hence termed situs inversus. It was something new for me.Less than 1 percent of the general population is born with dextrocardia.
She really is a prodigy, one in a million.
I guess life can treat you with a surprise anytime all you have to do is keep your arms open. It may not always be a pleasant one, but the experiences help you in maturing into a person, strong as you never knew you could be.
Being the middle child, I was a braggart. I used to be too transcendental for her. Often my melancholic concern never let me get along with my sisters.
An exemplary tomboy, I never was an active member of our little girls club as well.
It turned out that my elder sister and younger sister started getting along great.
It baffles me at times when I try reasoning with them over something and the elder sister would endorse the young one over me. I stay the odd one out amidst them.
Recently In 2015, Harneet and I planned a visit to India at the same time. She was travelling from the USA and me from Australia. At the end of our visit, We were heading back on the same day as well. We visited Taranveer in her school for the last time, before catching our flights back.
We were seated in the waiting room. Taran came over and clinged Harneet, as they both started sobbing. I stood right in the corner looking at them, trying to contemplate on the situation and deciding the right way to act in a situation like that.
Her teacher who stood next asked me if I was a friend.
"I wish I could agree with you." I laughed. I patted her head and bid her goodbye. It was the last time, I saw my sister. Although I have never showered her with sisterly gestures, My love for her is the most unconditional form.
If you're reading this kid, I promise to you no matter what happens, you will always have me.
I want to learn from my mistakes and I wish you realize you have the power to change the world. You are the most ambitious and inspiring person I know. Your attitude and diligence can encourage and change so many lives.
I wish you will always stay true to what you believe in, and stand up for it. I wish you will always forgive as getting angry and holding grudges can make you unhappy. Learn to forgive and let go but learn and protect yourself from getting into the same situation again.
Lastly, I'd like to thank you for being a part of my life, and making it a merry ride, something I always strived for.
Thank you for being here for me.