Ask any Indian student. Chances are this is the event they dread the most in their lives. In the last year of their life as a school student, to be more precise.
My cousin, six years younger to me, is someone I mentally adopted the day I saw his face scrunching adorably behind the military hospital room’s glass, safely chugged in the nurse’s arms. For some strange reason, his hitting puberty has had little effect on me. For even the cracking of voice, him growing as tall as me, or the appearance of a thin moustache cannot shake that mental image and memories of the baby boy I planned my summer holiday shenanigans with.
Coming back to the episode, my little monkey sat for his first board examination today. Being the overtly possessive and protective elder sister, I was concerned about how well was he taking in the overdose of advise and pressure every third person gifts you for free in the troubled times such as these. Haha!
Now, the army brat lives miles away from where I put up, but distance doesn’t matter, does it? I decided to call him up a night before, post dinner, instead of doing it the next morning. For I know a thousand thoughts pester you on such sucky mornings, and it’s better to be the Buddha who withdraws into his inner world than being all engaging. So, this is how the conversation went-
T- Hey, Didi!
Me- Yo! How are you?
You know I feel so emotional right now. My baby is gonna give his boards. You’ve grown so early.
T- Hang on, are you going to start reciting sentimental lines now?
M- *laughing like a hyena* Yeah, I’m lined up with a whole lot of googled emotional shit to attack you with.
T- Yaaaaar… Havn’t started studying yet.
Oh! I get it. It’s English tomorrow, right? You are still early, little git.
T- How’s that possible?
M- No, I meant I am glad you decided to go through your syllabus tonight, instead of tomorrow morning.
T- Heheheh I know, I know!
M- You’re so lucky man! I had Physics as the first exam! Imagine my situation.
T- I’ll sail through Physics. Chill.
M- Ae! Stop bragging, ass!
T- How much did you score in English, btw?
M- 95. Not to blow my own trumpet, but yeah… Was the subject topper.
*both of us guffawed for 2 minutes straight*
T- Right. Yaar, I think time management would be an issue for me.
M- Don’t overthink. You’ll deal with it fabulously, baby!
T- Hope so. Hey, join me here in April! Who fucking cares for entrance examinations anyway!
M- Shuddddupppp! You’ll take them seriously. Remember I am dying to see my brother entering the golden gates of NDA, Khadakvasla.
T- Yeahhhh. Pray for me.
M- Always will.
Now go study. Score well tomorrow. And try and get some sound sleep. Love you. See you soonest.
T- Yeah, should get going. Goodnight. Shall tell you how it went tomorrow. Loads of love. Byeeeeee.
I knew he would pull an all nighter, no matter what. And he did. Elder sisters know everything. Everything.
Anxiously, I waited for his call today. And I relaxed only when his excited voice boomed onto the phone- “I am going to break your record, Di!”
“I hope you do, my baby,” was my sole response. My heart gushed out with emotions and prayers for my little one, who was not so little anymore. Quite a realization for an elder sister. Shit. *takes out the tissue to soak in the happy tears*
A toast to our baby brothers, who are out to conquer the world!
We’ve got your back, munchkins!