“I hear thunder…,” sang Babli, her finger on her right ear, showing off her newly acquired knowledge to Khanna uncle. This rhyme was her favorite! Usually, after she had enthralled her audience, emotional aunties would go gaga over her, saying “Oh, so cute!!” Ironically however, she was petrified of the same thunder that was an integral part of her act.
Babli, my younger sister, was four and I, eight. And since her arrival, no one was interested in acknowledging my presence. People were all over her, while I fumed in a corner, consoling myself with my best friend—Barbie. Even mummy and daddy were always on her side, saying “Pinky, you should understand… she’s your little sister.” Unwillingly, I had to surrender. New toys were showered upon her, while I had to plead for the smallest of things. How I wished for a chance to get even with her!
One day in August, we both were at loggerheads with each other, wanting to play with Barbie. “She’s mine,” I said, snatching Barbie away, “don’t you dare touch her!” Babli started crying. I waited for the impending doom—mummy’s thrashing! Fortunately, mummy had to run an errand and didn’t have time to arbitrate. So, we sat far apart, in two corners of the living room, making faces at each other and not talking. Mummy then announced,” Pinky, granny can’t come to baby-sit you today. You have to take care of Babli in my absence. I will be back in an hour. Be a good girl.” And she left. We both were still in our earlier state of war—I kept myself busy combing Barbie’s hair, while Babli engaged herself in some scribbling with crayons.
Dark clouds had gathered in the sky. It was going to rain heavily. Suddenly, there was a flash of lightning followed by a roll of thunder!! And Babli came running to me and hugged me tight, her eyes tightly closed. Reflexively, I hugged her back, as though protecting her, telling her she’s safe and secure in my arms!! She needn’t fear anything or anybody as long as her big sister was with her. That was my moment of realization!! All our tiffs, envy, and the desire to get even were gone. I felt a deep sense of responsibility towards her. We were still lost in our hug when I heard the door unlock and mummy walk in. However, Babli still clung to me. Thunder was all that it took to get us together… forever!!
And as I sat down to type this out, a window popped on my computer: “Di, I think it’s going to rain… I hear thunder.” It was from Babli—now happily married and staying in the other hemisphere. Instinctively, I typed my reply: “Big bear hug!!!”
PS: This is especially for my little sister, Mona. It's 463 words, but not my official entry for the contest anyway. Please bear with me for the 63 extra words!!