I am walking to school with my brother on a shady and deserted road to my primary school. As we near the turning to the 100ft road that leads to our school, we notice a group of drunks sitting on a stone and drinking and laughing away to glory. I notice one of them has a sickle and am a little hesitant to go closer. I ask my brother if we shouldn't pick another route. He being the idealist says "C'mon, we should be brave. We haven't done anything wrong. And we are already late to school. Am sure they won't even notice us". I thought ok - let's move on.
As we head closer, one of the drunks notices how scared I am and says something to his friends. When we are about 10 ft away from them, he picks up his weapon of choice - the sickle and brandishes it and says "chindi chindi madi hakthini" (I'll cut you into pieces). I take two steps back. They all have a good laugh over it. My brother steps in between (I hide behind him rather), holds my hand and says "Nanna thammanige enu madbedi. Do anything you want to me." ("Don't do anything to my kid brother. "). Seeing this, the guy backs out "Aithu paapa antha bidthiddini - hogi schoolge" and goes back to his drinking.
When I think about the incident, it brings a smile to my face. My brother is one person who's always been there for me. Just to think that he was in his 2nd grade when this incident happened. There may not have been many instances when I've gone to him for help. But he's been there whether I'm in distress, i'm in doubt or if I'm in conflict over a decision trying to help me out. I don't remember once asking him for help. But he's always been there at the right place and the right time. Whether we were both in Bangalore, he was in Hyderabad and I was in Bangalore, whether I was in the US and he was in India, it did not matter. He knows I'm in trouble, he'll call me and spend hours on the phone trying to solve my problems with his advice or just patiently listening to me.
Off late I've started trying to do my part too calling him and talking to him whenever I find out that he needs someone to talk to irresp. There are obviously some things which can only be told to a brother. Hope I've done half as well as he has done for me. I just wanted to say "Thanks a lot Sudhir for being there for me all my life. Love you." and here's wishing you a very very Happy Birthday - May you have a great year and an even greater life ahead.
PS: I don't think my bro is a visitor of my blog. But then who cares. One day when he comes across it - it'll make his day. :-)