When My Sister Was Born I Didn't Feel Angry, I Started A Relationship With A Person I'll Never Forget

Sunandita Supkar Sunandita Supkar in Your Story on 24 May, 2017

You will understand the pain of being an elder sibling, only if you are one. It was my 7th birthday, and mum could not have given me a better gift. Yes, my baby-sister had arrived and I was more excited, than happy. The arrival of the new baby brought many changes in the family. One out of those for me was to shift to my granny’s room from my parent’s room.

I felt ignored. But I was not one of those kids, who react negatively to such things. I was a sweet, obedient and a thoughtful kid. So gradually those thoughts of getting ignored, faded away.

And that’s when I started developing a strong bond with my granny. I noticed, there was an angel at home. From cooking all my favourite dishes to telling interesting mythological stories during sleep, her world revolved around me. Now when I think of those days, I realise how lucky I was. 
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Ours was a joint family. She had a bunch of grand children. But I don’t know why, she had this connect only with me. She was able to understand what I wanted, without me uttering a word. Not that she ignored other kids, but subconsciously she felt more for me, I agree. Time passed, I was growing and so was she. I finished school and started college. She from being a super active woman, was entering into her declining years.

A lady with intellect. Reading newspapers to watching political panel discussions, commenting on Dhoni’s hairstyle to Madhuri’s dance moves. We discussed everything under the sun. She was a source of encouragement and strength to all those who knew her.

I feel my mum is the luckiest daughter-in-law on earth, to have had a mother-in-law like her.

I then had to leave home for higher studies. The day I got to know I was going far away from her, my first worry was how she will survive without me. Rather how will I survive without her. I prepared her medicine chart, and handed it over to my sister. So that she could take care of it in my absence. My granny was in love with her life and always had a fear of death. She just held my hand and said-- "I am feeling paralysed. Don’t know how will I live without you." That’s when I felt, it will not be easy for both of us.

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I didn’t want to go, but I had to. Everyday I used to call her, and that was her happiest hour of the day. 5 months passed and we both had gotten used to staying without each other. 

I have a bad habit of keeping my phone on silent mode always. This pisses off most of my relatives and friends, but still I do it! There are certain habits you can’t really change for others, and this is one of them for me. It was Jan 25, 2008. Early morning around 5, my phone rang, but I didn’t realise since it was on silent mode. It was my aunt calling. When I didn’t respond, she called on my roommate’s phone. She informed, my granny was hospitalised.

My granny was a chronic asthma patient. I felt numb. I kept on insisting my aunt to let me talk to my granny once. And finally I got to speak to her.

She started with-- "If you want to see me, please do come today. If something happens to me, I don’t want you to repent throughout your life." Even today whenever I close my eyes and think of her, I can still hear those words echoing through my head. I can hear it as clear as it was just yesterday.

I immediately started for home. I managed to catch a train. It was a a 5 hour journey. But I feel, that it is the longest train ride I have taken in my life. I was calling home every minute to check the situation. I finally reached and rushed to the hospital. My sister complained, my granny was not bothered about anything else but me.

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Every minute she just was asking if I had reached. There she was, gracefully lying on the hospital bed. A fair angel with wrinkled face. I kept on kissing her on her cheek and forehead, tears were rolling down. My mum and aunts were relieved. I asked all of them to go home and take rest. My aunt and I stayed in the hospital with her. 

It's not that she had been hospitalised for the first time. She had been admitted many a time earlier for the very same reason. So I was thinking, she will recover like she had always, and we'll take her home. The whole night I was checking if she was fine. It was 5 in the morning. I kissed her on the forehead, she opened her eyes for a second and smiled at me. 

My aunt asked me to sleep for sometime. I closed my eyes and suddenly felt very disturbed. I could see my granny going away from me. All my relatives were gathered in the hospital and were consoling my family. I immediately opened my eyes and realised it was just a dream. I felt relieved. 8.25 AM, Jan 26, 2008. A day I can never forget. My granny started breathing really fast.

I rushed to the doctor, as I could sense there was something really serious. She remained senseless and in that state, started vomiting. A team of doctors came, and started giving her cardiac massage immediately. And seconds later it was declared that she was no more. She died of multiple organ failure. 

She had asked me not to cry when she dies. I kept my promise. Those precious years spent with her will forever hold a special place in my heart.

Till today, I have never felt like she is away from me. She may not be physically present, but she always makes me feel her presence mentally and emotionally. Every single time I am in a bad phase in life, she comes in my dreams to console me, to say "I am always with you".

To tell me, there is always a next time. There is always a good phase after a very bad phase. I gather my strength, get up and run towards, not away.