Girlfriend

It was about 44°C (110°F) outside when the mailman dropped off the mail. I ran outside without slippers and grabbed the mail quickly so that I could run back inside. But, even before I stepped back in, I saw that there was a letter for my brother Roshan. It was from the girl I was teasing him about. I wanted to read the letter first, but since Roshan was in front of me asking for the mail, I had no option but to run.

With no footwear on, I ran with the letter outside the gate of our house, on the scorching asphalt road. The road was so hot that I had to tip-toe as fast as I could. The little sharp pieces of gravel were piercing the bottom of my feet as I ran, while I tightly gripped the letter in my hand. Oh, I was so desperate to read that letter. It didn’t even hurt.

“BHAI (Brother)! I HAVE YOUR GIRLFRIEND’S LETTER!” I shouted with joy, teasing him from a distance, while trying to open the envelope.

It was about 44°C (110°F) outside when the mailman dropped off the mail. I ran outside without slippers and grabbed the mail quickly so that I could run back inside. But, even before I stepped back in, I saw that there was a letter for my brother Roshan. It was from the girl I was teasing him about. I wanted to read the letter first, but since Roshan was in front of me asking for the mail, I had no option but to run.


Big Brother and I

When he heard that, he ran behind me. He was wearing his slippers, and armed with one of my slippers to throw at me, he chased. I had run quite far, and so he wasn’t going to catch me, but I had nowhere to go! My feet felt ignited, and I kept jumping, and I kept trying to step on the soil and the dead grass that I could find, to avoid the burning hot lava-like asphalt.

I then heard my mom calling for me from inside the home while Roshan tried to catch me. She was the one who finally convinced me to come back and return the letter to Roshan, and told me that it was personal. With charred and hurt feet, I returned under the shadow of our cool verandah. What a huge relief it was to step back inside, on the cool marble floor.

Before I could look up I got a sharp slap. I didn’t even know where it came from. The letter was now in Roshan’s hand. He then walked away with the letter. My Mom hadn’t anticipated any of this, and so she quickly took steps to calm the situation down, and told me that it was my fault. Roshan did not speak to me for a few days, which was not a big concern to me. All I wanted was to find the letter and read it.


Big Brother and I

I knew as a matter of fact that however happy and calm Roshan was for everyone else in the world, he did have a very strong mind, and even stronger control. Only I knew it. He was like a volcano. He wouldn’t hurt anyone, and would have tremendous control over his emotions. He was always smiling, always doing everything that he could, for others. He would let you mess with him, too, and just laugh it off. But, if someone crossed the line, the volcano inside him would explode. And this anger inside him will not care about what came in its way.

I had had many fights with him when I was younger, and I had gotten beaten to pulp many times, and so, I knew my limits, and I knew when to stop.

Lying in total darkness, trapped, hungry, thirsty, and struggling between life and death for the last 48 hours, I was thinking about Bhai. My ever-smiling, strong, determined Brother. I knew that he would have made it outside for sure, because he was awake when the building started to shake, and then collapse.

Then why was he not doing anything to find me?

Where was he?

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