It takes two brothers to keep the bear from getting to the little sister, you said. But sometimes I was the baloney between the two slices of bread. Like when I screamed my head off , saying “Pedal Pannu!!” as you cycled down Seventh Cross, and I thought I’d fall off the cross-bar if you didn’t pedal. You must’ve pretend-pedalled, to humor me, and prayed. Now I wonder why you let your baby sister tag along on these little excursions to Dr. Athey’s house. To humor Amma?
I hated your (and Subri’s) short-cuts through Mohammadan Block, II Block and Rani Sarala Devi, and you walked the long round via South Circle , Kuchalamba and down , down, down the seemingly interminable Seventh Cross, protecting me from the bears, with Subri on the other side.
You told me I came out of a Horlicks bottle, and I long wondered what use you could have for me, a quiet little mouse way away from your universe of cricket, movies and outings to MG Road .. and cousins and friends and summer holidays under the blazing Nellore sun. I remember annoying you (and Subri) when I insisted on buying Amar Chitra Kathas in Kannada……. I wonder what you made of my solitary afternoons at Dr. Athey’s across the road, curled up beside a pile of Sudha reading Ramu-Shyamu, Majanu.and Phantom……yes. in Kannada.
I confess there were times I thought I had two big brothers too many. But it worked out perfect, didn’t it? All the bears that I was kept safe from. I think you were mostly proud of your little sis, and knew you were very special to her, indeed. Though Iwonder if I had become a bear to you lately, I like to think Idid take care of a few bears for you.
I shall watch “Yeh jawani.yeh diwani..” and remember Lalbagh as it once was . The way you probably remember it as you take your place in the sepia-tinted memories of your only little sister. When I bite into a khara bun, or hear the crunch of a Japanese cake , “vettu” a potato fry, and rustle up a vengaya sambhar for a Sunday meal, I shall wait for you to knock on the door and say…….”Ha! Did you think I wouldn’t come?”
And we’d talk about Sweetkharacoffee– You’d say “I have read your blog literature and admire your ability to write so well and so much . Amma yendare aeno thondare was a spoof by the famous Subri-Bunty team in the tradition of other music directors working in pairs. You may recall that Sweet,Kara and Coffee are banned items in our diet. However we will gorge on your blog for a regular supply of Virginia Pak,dose and cawfee!