When Brothers became Brothers

We were a hell of a sibling, Aman and I. How hard our parents  tried to settle things between us, it only got worse. Father was a policeman and when he returned home on vacations, he used to get embarrassed with never-ending dispute between his sons. He used to give us millions of lectures on importance of brotherhood and would narrate us legendary stories of Ram-Lakshman and Pandava brothers so that we’d assimilate the essence of intimacy between brothers. Sometimes he used to show us trailer of what he did with those scoundrels in the police station too. Mother used to say that brothers are made in heaven by God, so we should never mess with God’s arrangements. But nothing could transform us from fiends to friends. We were playing cat and rat all the time until the brotherhood in us emerged so intense and we became inseparable entity.
The enmity between us sprouted at the very time of my birth. Aman was only two years old by then. One of our lousy neighbors planted this idea on his small head that after the birth of little brother, love of his parents would be divided. They will start to love me more and neglect him. Of course the neighbor was mocking him, but this idea hit Aman. And with father posted away from our small village, it was tough job for mother to raise two kids alone. So it was very obvious that she would give less time for Aman who grew up healthy and faster than the usual kids. Aman speculated it the other way and started to blame mother for not caring him like me. Mother says that father bought a cycle for him when he was four and he used to get angry with her because she would be occupied with me as I suffered with pneumonia and she would not be able to assist him on driving it. He was a small kid and wouldn’t understand of me being sick and would curse me for keeping mother busy all the time.
When I turned four, I had also developed distaste in my brother. I would reject to play with him and hang out with neighboring kids instead. Because when we played together, Aman used to cheat and we’d end up in a fight which I would always lose. Once, we were playing dandi biyo, and he cheated as usual. I don’t know what came to me at that time, I threw the stick(dandi) at him and it stroke straightly in his forehead, leaving a part of it swollen. Mother scolded me for it, but crying, I still resented him. The scar of the accident is still alive in his forehead.
Fights were our daily schedules. There were always competitions ongoing between us. We both were set to outrun each other. It had to be first for him to receive something from parents and I’d protest. When given a rupee less than me, he’d quarrel. If father bought more pretty clothes for him during Dashain, I’d destroy peace of the whole neighborhood. When I was in class two and Aman in class four, father had bought new bag for us. Aware about our envious nature, he used to buy same bags in the previous year. But this time, his was bigger than mine and also had vibrant red color over my lame gray bag. I was so angry that I protested going school for next three days. Persuaded by father and promised to get a new watch, finally I agreed to carry the bag for the rest of the year.
We were growing faster than ever. Aman was eleven and I was nine. Things were still hot between us and we’d speak less with each other. He used to hang out with his own pack of friends and I was acquainted by my own group of friends. It was a month of Jestha and we had summer vacation for whole month. Father also had fifteen days vacation and he was home. We were bored as hell as our friends started to go to their relative’s place for spending few days. Aman was crazy to go to grandfather’s place. He would cry and get stubborn. Besides, uncle was inviting us from a long time ago. So, father had no option and he took both of us to grandfather’s home. We traveled to Pokhara from Lamjung. Grandfather used to stay with our uncle there. Grandmother had died when I was only three. Uncle was a businessman at Pokhara and made good money. He was married for fifteen years but had no children. So we meant a lot to them and were received well.
Father returned home the next day we reached Pokhara. Uncle used to go to his office during day. So we were left with aunt and grandfather. Grandfather was in his late sixties but still strong and healthy. He took us to visit Fewa Lake on our fifth day there. It was a beautiful lake. We got into a boat and went to the temple in center of the lake. It was strange to see water around everywhere. Grandfather fed us with momo, jerries and bought a decent pair of shoes to both. When we were waiting for the bus to return home, Aman teased me for being afraid at the boat. I was called a looser. Grandfather ordered us to end our fight, but the old man wasn’t heard. I got so angry and punched Aman on the face. Then he also pushed me and I couldn’t control my balance. For I did strike with a bike and went unconscious.
I was rushed to the hospital. It was not a major accident but as the motorcycle hit me at my ankle, the bone was fractured. Father came from home and next day I was discharged from hospital with my left leg plastered. The doctor said that it will take two month for the bone to recover and until then I was supposed to take rest at home. Though everyone knew Aman had pushed me, nobody said anything to him. He was very much sorry at my condition. He wept most of the times. We returned to our village after a week. I couldn’t walk at all, so somebody had to carry me even to the toilet. I sat all the time at bed. It was agonizing and I cried for first few days.
The accident changed Aman a lot. He used to sit by my side all the time. He even begged forgiveness with me. I guess he felt himself responsible for my miserable condition. I was stuck to the bed all day. But he started to give me a company. He read stories from his book to me. We also played ludo, chess and carom board. After two weeks, I could walk a bit but still needed assistance. My brother helped me to revive again. He brought food to my bed, we played and he never cheated again. He was no more my enemy. After father returned to work, Aman started to help mother with household things. Soon our school reopened but I couldn’t attend for a month. After I was free from the cement plaster, I felt huge relief as if a planet clung to my leg is freed. I could walk like before. I could walk school together with my brother.

After this incident, we have become loving brothers forever. I guess it made Aman realize the essence of his brother and so did to me. Sometime I think we were made brothers in heaven by God and were best brothers from the very time I was born. When I urged to study English literature over engineering after I finished intermediate in science, my parents didn’t like the idea but it was my brother who stood by my side and made it possible. It was always my brother who stood by my side. Last year, he persued MBBS degree from a medical college in Bangalore and I went with my father for his convocation day. It was a moment of pride. Now he is working as a doctor at a hospital in Bangalore. He’s says he has fallen in love with a girl from lower caste and they wish to marry. Our relatives are resenting the idea but its my time to stand for him. And I will.
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About Anup Joshi TV

Anup Joshi is an emerging young writer searching for space in Nepali literature. He writes poems, stories and lyrics for songs. As a student of English literature he loves reading books. He is also a passionate photographer and enjoys travelling.
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