A Few Moments of Pride — Part 1

I’m the oldest of the five daughters in my paternal family. And it always fills me with a sense of pride (and love!) to say that my sisters adore me, even if I say so myself. I wish to share with you today one particular incident that I remember very well.

My youngest cousin, Anushka, she is chubby, little ball of cuteness. Her flabby little arms and rounded cheeks will fool you for when she gets angry — I will leave the rest to your imagination.

Anushka was five years old when I got admission in Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC). She had also joined a new school, where she had placed first in the admission test. Irrelevant information — but a sister wants to flaunt. I remember her excited, young voice as she called me that day.

“Didi ! I stood first in my exam!”

“Congrats! But do you know what it means?”

“No?”

“Well, now that you have placed first, you will have to go to school every day without crying. Can you do that for me?”

“Yes! I will.”

Did you keep all the promises that you made as a child? Well, she didn’t either. Hey! Don’t judge! So, on this particular day, she didn’t feel like going to school. So she slept and slept till it was noon despite her mother’s tireless efforts to wake her up.

The little princess is finally awake and the sun is high up in the sky. And she screams. -I warned you!

“Maa!!!”

And her mother comes rushing before someone calls the police.

“Yes, sweetheart? Are you hungry?”

She turns her murderous glare to her mother and screams louder, if it was possible.

“Why did you not send me to school today?”

“Well, I tried, you didn’t wake up. And it’s alright to miss school for a day. I will inform the teacher. Don’t worry.”

If looks could burn, I’m sure ‘Ranga Ma (4th aunt)’ would be dead. Slowly, very slowly, she breathed and stomped twice for effect.

“You did that purposely” Ranga Ma was taken at the ferocity of her words. “You want me to stay at home. You want to keep me uneducated & stupid so that I cannot become a doctor like Taan Didi!” It took her mother a few seconds to realize the words Anushka had spat out so vehemently and then, she burst out laughing.

When I received her call that night, I was not sure what to feel. Here I was, thinking of ways to leave this place and this mass of studies and exams and there was my sister a mere child of five looking up to me as her inspiration. And the effect of was instant and phenomenal.

I realized that the path I have chosen is not only one of kindness, the gift of saving a life but also an inspiration for a number of people. I think I have never felt prouder!