Fights between me and my brother are usual. Separated by a gap of three years but sharing the same room gives us enough room to disagree on most matters.
Presently I had tipped a glass of water on the study table.
‘But it was your fault, why had you kept it here in the first place’, I screamed.
‘And where should I keep my glass of water’, he screamed back.
‘You both are studying or fighting’, it was mom.
We both presented our side of the story.
‘If only I had means I would construct another room now itself and put you both in different rooms’, was her logic.
‘Whenever you build one, that room will be mine’, said I.
‘Why you, it will be mine. After all I am the elder one and I am going to be an engineer and I need more place’, added he.
‘No me’, I said.
‘Me’, he said.
Mother ran out of the room.
Now you get the gist of how our relation is like.
Evening saw him rummaging amongst the books in the bookshelf. I knew he was looking for the bottle of perfume. The same bottle which I had opened yesterday and dabbed some while going to the school. But I didn’t think he would come to know that it was open.
‘Shikha…’, he screamed.
‘What?’, I yelled back.
‘You opened this, didn’t you? It was a sealed pack, but now the seal is open. How could you Shikha?’
I felt bad but would I admit my mistake, no, so I took a different approach. ‘But what will you do with a ‘feminine’ perfume. Want to gift it to your girlfriend, haan?’, I said in an attempt to dilute the situation.
‘None of your business. You have spoiled everything. It is her birthday tomorrow, what will I give her, I do not have any pocket-money left’, and he left the room overburdened with sorrow.
I felt guilty. Maybe he was talking about Aarathi. Yes, it must be her, he wasn’t either friendly or interested with any other girl. Then I had an idea and started working towards it.
It was late evening when he returned from the library. His mood had not improved and he just nibbled at dinner.
‘Are you sick’, asked mom.
‘No, someone killed my appetite’, he said glaring at me.
‘Bhai’, I said when we were in our room.
He looked at me. there are only some days/ occasions when I call him bhai.
‘What?’, he asked.
‘See I made an audio CD of some romantic Hindi songs right from 1960s till date. You can gift her this. If you like it, I will prepare a label too’
He brightened up but would he show that he liked, no.
‘Okay do it then, as such there is no time left nor do I have any money’, he said. And after you finish that get me some rotis from the kitchen, I am hungry’, he said.
I complied this time. After all hadn’t I killed his appetite.
Next evening I found a Dairy Milk kept on my bed. I knew it was he who had got it for me.
‘She liked it?’, I asked.
‘A lot’, he said still his serious self.
‘You didn’t have money na, then how did you buy this chocolate’, I asked.
‘On loan from the nukkad shop’, he said.
‘I deserve it, don’t I?’, I said.
He looked at me and grinned while I divided the dairy milk into two and gave one to him.
Mom had a headache that day as she couldn’t digest the peace in the house.