“It’s only one life from birth to the burial ground – from the womb to the tomb.”
– Shanti Zaveri, A Book Without a Title.
Each of us is merely one human being, merely an experiment, a way station. But each of us should be on the way toward perfection, should be striving to reach the center, not the periphery.
– Hermann Hesse, Magister Ludi/The Glass Bead Game
As I grow older, I meet so many new people but they all come & go. As a result, I have begun to appreciate the people in my life more & more. I have lost some of the most precious people, thanks to my ignorance – thinking that I will never have to be apart from them. However, I failed to take into account that people do have their own lives and their own aspirations. As people I love continue to move away from me, I am regretful of my actions of not spending time with them before they left me. & sometimes regret does teach you a better lesson than mere words. This regret has taught me to appreciate the people who stand with me, wherever they are.
The most important person to me, for the longest time now, is Naveen. (That’s him up there). Nav is my elder brother, 13 years older. With such a huge age gap, it is not weird to think that we wouldn’t get along as much. But we did. I am so thankful for that. Our relationship was not amazing the whole time, but it certainly got better after he returned from France after 1.5 years. When he left, I was so glad. No more fights, no more hogging up the computer, no more crying. This was going to be the best 1.5 years of my life, I thought to myself. However, it was during this very period, I realised how much I loved my brother, how much I missed him, how much I wanted him to come back. It’s true when they say absence makes the heart grow fonder. When he came back, I had finally realised who meant the most to me in the family. It was my brother, and for the past 7 years, it is still him.
I look up to Nav. He inspires me, to be better. Back in the day, I used to be jealous that Nav did better than me in school. As time passed, I realised, we aren’t the same person so it was alright that I didn’t do as well in school. That doesn’t mean I completely dismissed his efforts. I used it as my motivation to be better. Better in school, better in society, just a better person in general. I tried to pursue what he did well in, to name some – photography, writing, sciences, arts. Through my sense of competition and his ability to inspire me (without even knowing), I have improved by leaps and bounds. I picked up some of these just to prove that I can be better than him at least one thing. However, many of them have turned out to be my very own interests. I have achieved some mentionable things with my interests as well, so credits to Nav. In my journey to find something to set me apart from Nav, I found things I love – talking to people, making them smile, and Batman.
Nav is my intellectual/philosophical guru. He introduces me to new concepts, new topics to ponder about. He makes me realise that it is never always what meets the eyes. He reminds me that we are given the capability to think, to form our own opinions. What comes with this capacity is the ability and drive to take action. Taking action for something you feel strongly about. He pushes me to go over my walls of limited knowledge, for a dip or a dunk into the unknown. He showed me that maybe exploring the unknown is not always bad, and just might be one of the most exciting places to escape to. Thanks to Naveen, I have become more comfortable with new or radical ideas.The last time he came, he introduced me to this phrase ‘Epimelia Heautou’ which is greek for self-care. Not only physically, but in every aspect possible. I try to weave in his guidance into my daily life. & I’m oh so grateful that I have. I’m moving towards knowing more about the world and beyond. I’m moving away from ignorance, for ignorance is fatal.
The biggest reason why my brother is the most important person to me – he’s more than just a brother. Naveen has carried out many roles other than just being an elder brother. He’s my caregiver, counsellor, advisor, guru, friend, window to new things, inspiration, etc. His impact on my life is so great, that I don’t even wish to think about having someone else as my sibling. I used to pray that I could have another sibling, younger than me, but now, I doubt I can even be half as good as my brother. Despite our age difference, he made sure that I could feel comfortable with him – he shared his interests, spent time with me, doted on me with so much love and care. He always made time in his busy schedule for me, to talk to me, always remembered to tell me he loves me, rendered his help and support to aid me whenever possible and always cheered me on in whatever I did.
It is harder to keep in touch with him these days, we live in two different places with a 7-hour time difference, our busy schedules, priorities, etc. I miss him, I really do. Every chat we share and every video call on skype we have means that much more to me now. Nonetheless, the distance has heightened my affection for Nav so hey, it’s not all bad.
I am always thankful to fate, that I was Naveen’s sister. I hope he feels the same about me.
Pssst! Happy Birthday Nav (20 June)!