This lovely write-up recalling a childhood memory with her brother wins the first prize – the gorgeous peacock motif photo frame worth Rs. 750/-.
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Here’s the winning story sent in by our first prize winner – Mimi Munshi right here… Mimi, please don’t forget to send us a photo of you posing with your prize! 🙂 We love seeing smiling faces of our readers.
Apu as the name suggests was born in 1982 (The Asiad Year) exactly 10 years later than me and was aptly named so – well that’s what everyone thinks. However, Ma likes to think of us as “Apu – Durga” – characters of an epic Bengali novel “Pather Panchali” by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay. It is one of my favourite piece of writing too.
Apu is more of a son to me than a brother – I guess it is because of the age difference and because I have always loved mothering little kids. Apu filled up the vacuum that was there for all the 10 years that I did not have a little sibling to play and smother with love. I remember returning from school and wanting to cuddle him without even washing up. Ma would try to dissuade me and my round, plump little brother would show his vote of confidence by gurgling and throwing up his arms at me as if to say ‘ here I am – all ready to come to your lap’. When we travelled anywhere he would always want to be on my lap. I adored being the big sister and loved the fact that a little person showed enough confidence in my being able to take care of him.
We would travel from Asansol to Dhanbad often to see our grandmother. It was approximately an hour journey by train. On one such journey as usual Apu was on my lap and after a while he started playing with the bindi that I was wearing. I remember wearing a sari (I started wearing one quite early by choice) and hence the bindi adorned my forehead. After a while I noticed people giving me stares. I was sure that I was looking all grown up and beautiful (I am a bit of a narcissist at times) and reveled in the appreciative glances of the people in the compartment. At least I thought so! One or two fellow passengers even whispered something among themselves and giggled, and yet it did not strike as odd.
When we reached out station Ma came forward to pick up Apu from my lap. That’s when she noticed me and started giggling. I asked her the reason and she told me that I was wearing a bindi on the left side of my temple! To my utter dismay I realized that my little kid brother was playing with the bindi and after a while when I was not concentrating, he had stuck the big red dot on my temple instead of the forehead. Suddenly the meaning of all the glances and stares became clear to me and I was terribly embarrassed.
I scolded my baby brother for being naughty. He reciprocated by clinging on to me even harder and smothering me with slurpy wet kisses. One look at his twinkling eyes, I melted and all my embarrassment was instantly forgotten. This approaching Rakhi Day suddenly reminded me of this special yet funny little incident from our childhood.
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