What More Than This
What More Than This3 mins 7 3 mins 7
Neetu was my eldest brother, yet the youngest for all of us. After my mother passed away and we ensured Neetu was never alone, for he missed her the most. She was his constant companion of grief, happiness, and understanding. She was the rock of Gibraltar, who did not leave any effort to see some good happen to Neetu who aged chronologically but mentally stopped at six or seven years old.
Yet she instilled great values in him. He learned to go to the temple, feed the birds, keeping water for them, feeding stray dogs, giving them shelter during winters and rains. Much of his activities were not known to us as we the younger siblings were busy with our school then college and of course our friends and hobbies.
Neetu was very attached to the' family' and more to the youngest brother. After my mother passed away, being the elder daughter all responsibility was on my shoulders, and till the time I was not married I too ensured Neetu was never neglected. He was often troubled, sneered, and badly bullied by the society boys and my younger became a sharp fighter and protected Neetu with all that he could. Not every time I was lucky to be home for Rakhi but whenever I was Neetu would ask my Younger brother to give him money so that he could give it to me and put his frail hands on my head, to bless me.
Today when I went home my younger was away with his son as they were setting up a new venture. Neetu, assured me, in his endearing, poorly comprehensible stuttering voice that I could give him all the sweets and tie all the Rakhis on his wrist and I hugged him.
I tied his Rakhi and others too and applied tilak on his forehead and asked him to eat all the sweets that he wanted. He was very happy and he spoke about his feline friends who came morning evening and his canine friends sitting under the cars in the street and that they welcomed him lovingly whenever he went out. I was so immersed in his beautiful world of love and acceptance that I did not realize my tea had chilled to its last drop. While my younger brother's wife was busy reheating tea, my second cousin also came. It was a very welcome moment as never get to see her much we all got busy chatting least realizing, Neetu had gone out.
Once my cousin had left I too got up to go.
My Bhabhi gave my gifts and walked me to the car.
My super dusty car, as a colony was coming up 50 meters of my residence and we are facing acute water shortage, topping it the big dumpers carrying construction material day in and day out. though I hate to drive an unclean car today I was indeed helpless.
"My Gosh! Neetu, you, why are you cleaning the car." As I saw him with his used t-shirt and sweating profusely to make my car look white from brown.
He scolded me in his endearing style, saying it's dangerous to drive with such unclean glasses. I told him, I would be careful next time.
I said, " but you should not clean it, I will get it washed."
His answer moved me to tears and what more do I need from this brother.
He said, " you are younger to me and I must give you something today at least, as Sandeep (my younger brother) is not home and don't ask his wife for anything, I thought this clean car was the rakhi gift for you. I hugged him and till now my tears haven't dried. My love and gratitude for him cannot be written here in the form of a few words. Love You Neetu.