E-Pao! Incident - A tribute to my sweet sister

A tribute to my sweet sister

Takhellambam Anjan *

As siblings we grew up together or may be not....!!! Strange isn't it?

It is true and sad enough I have never been able to fathom how far she had gone to keep things in tact.... Yes I am talking about my sister who is younger to me by two years.

I grew up away from my family and my motherland. I was the brightest kid in the family and it was very obvious that my parents wanted me to go to a good boarding school where I could learn lessons for life.

I left Manipur when I was in fourth standard. Hence I have been staying away from my land and my family for the past fifteen years or so. During all those years I was never ever brought to the vicinity of how my family was battling all the financial crunches while I was away busy with my own schedule.

My younger sister is the sole witness to how my parents struggled hard to put me in the best of schools and colleges so that I could become a so called successful person. I have literally traveled the whole of India and have studied in some four different places.

However while all these were happening my younger sister quietly saw everything back home and never asked for anything in her life. She was a mediocre student who would manage to pass all the exams in second division with the least of efforts and would rather spend more time doing household chores than studying inspite of the fact that she was a convent school product.

Invariably her friends would ask her to come out and freak out with them which is quite a characteristic for convent school products. She would give her own polite reasons and manage to slip through. That's how she sacrificed her most enjoyable days and kept herself aloof from all the small joys she could have had at her disposal. It is quite strange indeed how situations mature people. At such a young age she could clearly segregate what to do and what not to do.

My visit to my hometown was once a year or maybe once in two years and they were beyond doubt the happiest days I ever spent. Sometimes my vacation would fall in spring around the same time when we celebrate Yaoshang.

The breeze in the morning after a light shower when the sun comes out still brings that same freshness and rejuvenation even now when I just think about it. Sometimes the thought of the chilli winter vacations with all the delights of Manipuri dishes just seem to summon me back home. My sister never showed her deeper self while I was home.

She was more than eager to make all the dishes I would demand and would talk about all the lighter things in life, very cautious that I should not even get a clue of what happens when I leave.

My father with his chronic diseases and my mother who teaches in primary school for a meagre salary did more for me than most of the parents did for their children. But this is about my sister and I will not write anything about my parents.

This June my sister declared her love and got married to a young man who is definitely older than me and it was then that I realized that she is going for good. My stay at home around her wedding time was cut short with pressures from my workplace.

I had to report to my workplace asap. Add to it the fact that my brother-in-law who is older than me would have to refer me as da or ebai. The very thought of it was quite uncomfortable for someone like me to go to her house after marriage.

I still like wearing boot cut levis and plain T-shirts and party with friends every weekend. In a way I have not come out of that college mentality where you live for the moment. So eventually I could not see her and speak to her at length.

Well what could I have possibly spoken to her? About marriage and starting a new life? That's quite a question..!!!!

I mean look at it. She just finished graduation and I just started working. I never realized she had grown up to take a huge responsibility. And I was myself a little lost about the whole thing of marriage and had a really mixed reaction.

I had promised her that I would take up the cost of her further pursuing a master's degree and when the time came she backed out. I was little mad when I first learnt that she had eloped but I could not be rude to her at any point of time.

I had no right to be. So the marriage went on fine with no hassles at all except that everything was unimaginably hectic especially for me.

After coming back from Manipur my only contacts with her are those few phone calls which I make occasionally asking how she is doing. I can only imagine how she would be running around doing chores in her new house.

She left a void in my life as I could never understand her and when the time came for me to ask her she had gone. It is this very reason that makes me ponder over a solitary thought as to how much should I do for her when she would feel that my existence has a meaning and that her struggle and endurance against all odds in life also brings forth the best a person could get.

This article is an attempt on my part to shout out loud how proud I am to have a sister like her though I know she would not probably find time to read this herself partly because of her chores and mainly because of inaccessibility.

Either way this is a tribute to a very good sister who showed grit and courage at all odds in life for an indifferent brother who realizes things very late...!!!!

As the Ningol Chakaoba approaches I see an opportunity to redeem myself. Sorry no marks for guessing.

Yes I am going to give something for the first time to my sister which she will treasure. As I keep on looking on my LCD in this damn posh cubicle sipping a hot cuppa I just keep wondering when are these people going to give my pay check....!!!!!!!!!!

Takhellambam Anjan, a resident of Bangalore, writes for the first time to
You can email the writer at
This article was webcasted on 2nd November 2005.

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