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Thursday, August 15, 2019

100 Rays Of Son - 95


The Amazing Siblings

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Today, along with the Independence Day, Indians celebrate the festival of Raksha Bandhan which is a popular annual ceremony during which sisters of all ages tie a talisman, or amulet, called the rakhi, around the wrists of their brothers, symbolically protecting them, receiving a gift in return, and traditionally investing the brothers with a share of the responsibility of their potential care. This would be the best day for me to write about the bond shared by Rayyan and Farheena, because it is one of the most beautiful things I have seen in my life. Rayyan is blessed with the most loving, demanding, bossy and jealous sister in the world. If I try to write about them, it would be another series of 100 posts for sure but I will just pick some bits here today.
I never realized how protective this young lady is until recently, when we were visiting my aunt who was diagnosed with cancer. Since, my sister, brother and our respective families were going to visit her, there was no place in our car for everyone. We decided to ask Rayyan and another person to take two wheeler from my sister’s place, which Farheena was not happy with. We kept chatting for long and it was quite late when we were returning home. For some reason, Farheena was on lookout for Rayyan and kept an eye on him. Near Lalbagh, she asked us to stop the car because Rayyan was stopped. My brother checked in rear view mirror and saw that the police had stopped them. Immediately Farheena was in a panic mode. I have never seen her being rude to my brother so far, but that day, she wanted all of us to get down immediately and save her brother and go to jail instead of him. “I don’t know what you do or who goes to jail. You people put him that situation. Get him here immediately and then decide who will go to jail instead of him”. She ordered my brother out like a boss which is the only time I have seen her do that. At that moment I realized, this girl is more protective of her brother and cares for him more than any one of us. The issue was resolved easily and we reached home safely, but I learnt how protective a sister can be. Throughout the drive, she kept an eye on him.
Though I remember very minute details about Rayyan, there is a period in my life, when I cannot recollect his presence at all. For a time period of 8 months, he is not there in my memory, other than the one episode of snakes in the rain which happened during that period. This was the time between Farheena’s diagnosis and passing away of my sister. I know I have taken care of him and loved him but, I cannot recollect any of it now. It looks like the memories of those days are erased. When Rayyan first saw Farheena, he was confused because the baby must have looked very different from his imagination. He thought she would be like Baby Blink from Baby’s Day Out. 
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The day Farheena came home
He was afraid even to touch her. After that I cannot recollect anything about how they bonded, how they interacted with each other or what happened, until a year later. This is the only phase of Rayyan’s life I have forgotten.
When Farheena was growing up, until the age of 4, the only interaction she had with children was with Rayyan. We shifted next to BCH & RC for ease of her physiotherapy and treatment, and it was very lonely out there. Rayyan had few of his school friends, but Farheena had no one. She started looking forward to playing with Rayyan when he was back from school and he would eagerly entertain her. By then, Rayyan had taken up a lot of responsibilities of his sister and would help me in her suggested therapy at home. There is high possibility that the loneliness where most of the time they had only each other to play with, that must have created a strong bond between them. Since the time I can recollect, they have been fond of each other.
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The memorable walks 
Since I have involved Rayyan in every activity, he became a part of her life. Be it walks, games, celebrations or her therapy, Rayyan was there. Slowly, she gained more confidence in him as well. If we would tell her that she will become strong with an exercise, she would look at Rayyan and ask “Yes Piyya?” Piyya is for Bhaiyya which means brother and ‘P’ is substituted for most words in her language. That is an eternal question, which often crops up even today. It is really cute the way she asks it and will never question its substantiality/authenticity once he confirms it. Rayyan would often be in dilemma when he did not know how good the object or issue in question was but the big people were telling his little sister it was good for her, and she wanted him to confirm it for her. He was under tremendous pressure.
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Listening to stories together
Sometimes it is hilarious how she responds to Rayyan. There was safety education about how she should protect herself from abuse in her vocational centre. They told her, no men are allowed to touch her and she should stop them if they did. When Rayyan came back from college and sat with her, “Smack!” she slapped him. As we both looked at her flabbergasted, she explained, “He is a boy, he shouldn’t come near me”. From next day onwards she was fine again. Sigh!
Once when I was busy cooking and asked Farheena to wake up Rayyan, I heard her calling out to him twice and then she caught him by his foot and threw him down on floor. Rayyan, somehow enjoys all the antics of Farheena, though I reprimand her and ask her to be nice to him, which is a struggle; because I find it very funny as well.
Even though Rayyan is the one who regularly expresses his love for her, she shows it when he is in danger or away. I clearly remember the second time I had hit Rayyan when he was made to lie to me by one of his dear one. I was under tremendous financial pressure back then and lost my cool, after which I promised myself never to touch him or even scold him, no matter what happened. I am ashamed of those two times I have hit him, and it is very embarrassing to write here. I remember Farheena crawling up between me and Rayyan and standing holding him, since she wasn’t stable on her feet yet and demanding to be hit along with him or for me to stop hitting him. To prove how anger makes us completely blind and stupid, she got few whacks as well but neither did she cry nor did she move. She was just around 5 years then. On the other hand, Rayyan’s defence of Farheena has been a bad prick to my heart, where I feel quite ashamed and never repeat the same mistake with her. If not for such moments, we can assume that Farheena is a very jealous sibling who hates playing second fiddle to her brother. Many can recall the messages of how she is missing her American friends, or posts on my timeline of her cutting tomatoes, potatoes and helping me shows her attention seeking tactics and conspiracies to get the limelight focus back on her and to stop me from writing #100RaysOfSon. She never allows him to talk to me for more than two sentences before starting her own chatter. At times, when we are enjoying a good movie, she will plop between us even if she is completely uninterested in the movie.
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Lets take a selfie 


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The next moment ,,,,
Even though Rayyan doesn’t declare that he is going to be her caretaker, she does it so often. If he is late, she will try to locate him and check out whether he had his dinner. She wants to wake up along with him, even if she doesn’t have to go for work. Once, I told Farheena that I will not bother about calling him when he is late once he is married, because his wife will do it for him, Farheena was furious. “How can he not be my brother or your son, just because he got married? You have to take care of him as long as he is your son and my brother”. She ended it as though there was no scope for further discussion. She is like his guardian and I am somehow the chosen person who does the task that is assigned to me.
Rayyan is what is he is, mostly due to presence of Farheena in his life. His perception of life, values and other traits are highly influenced by her and her simplicity of understanding things.
As for me, though initially I wanted them to share the bond and live together, as adults I am not sure what life has in store for them. Though it is nice to know that Rayyan wants to be there for Farheena as long as he can, I am not sure if that is possible. I don’t want him to compromise on his life either. Recently, when I was thinking about Rayyan being married, many people said, that girls would hesitate to marry him if he becomes her caretaker, because it is a huge responsibility. That was worrying me and when I brought it up with Rayyan, he says just one simple sentence, “Maa, Farheena will be my filter. Whoever will pass her and come into my life will be free of impurities”. But at present, we have not taken any decision regarding future of Farheena because life has been changing every year for us. It has taken unusual but positive turns. Also, I am not sure how long I will survive either and be there for Farheena. So at present, instead of forcing a change on them, I am allowing Rayyan as well as his life to take its own course. I wish them both happy life ahead.

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Farheena panicked when Rayyan went crazy looking at the cake

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Oh no... he is trying to eat it whole

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Farheena takes charge and trains him to cut the cake
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Signature elbow hit of Farheena... she still does it

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Doesn't even know why they are fighting for ... 
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The outfit Rayyan lovingly picked for Farheena...I thought it was expensive, yet he insisted


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Imitating the brother 
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The original 

           
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