For Brothers

Very few are gifted with brothers. And still less with brothers as wonderful as mine.

Who or what is a brother? Does he have to share your parents? Can any human being suddenly become a brother? Lord Ram gave Hanuman that great glory when he said, ‘You are as dear as Bharat to me.’

This Raksha Bandan, let me toast the brothers in my life.

 

When you falter,  there is his steady hand

When you fail,  there is his encouraging word

When you struggle, there is his quiet support

When you cry, there is his strong shoulder

When you get up, there is his proud smile

When you walk on, there is his victory sign

When you win, there is his warm laughter.

When there is suffering, moments of intense grief

You reach out and call –

My brother! And he is there.

Till the path ends, till the gate closes

Let us then walk together.

Till the next story scripted by

The master author, sees us

Again, as sister and brother

Let us walk

Quietly together.

*

 

 

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This Rakshabandan Prayer…

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The Psalm 23:4 says, “Even if I walk through the valley of shadow and death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

Today is Rakshabandan- the power of the brother’s protection as a safety charm even as the sister ties a Rakhi around his wrist.

Times of India Sacred Space quotes Sree Ravishanker:”The purpose of Rakshabandan is to remove fear from our lives. It is fear that distorts our goodness and our creativity. It shrinks our personality and badly affects our behaviour with other people.”

***

For me the Bible, the Rakhi and the meaning of the quote all merge into one prayer of gratitude- my brother.

All my life, he has protected me from harm, banished my fears, encouraged my dreams, and has been proud of me.Every step I take, even through the valley of shadow and death, his love continues to be my  constant support. No sister would have been blessed with a better brother than mine.

For you Anna, on this Rakshabandan :

Every birth, be my brother. I owe my life to you. May my life itself be the amulet around your wrist. Stay blessed always.

Unconditional

Today is Rakshabandan. I message my brother. I get a smiley in return.

” What is unconditional amma?” asks my little girl.

I had adopted the technique Roald Dahl suggested, in his poem about television. That had made her addicted to books, to my great delight. I thank Dahl and stop myself from asking, if she was reading about love.

There is no other explanation. Only love is unconditional. Hatred, comes with twists and turns of malice. Indifference,  is a cool blue steel. Mockery is all yellow laughter. Envy, I think is not green. It is one flash of shark teeth-all red and bloody.

” Unconditional love, ma. What does it mean?”

I have on my lap, ArogyaNiketanam-Tara Shankar Bandopadhyay’s  Bengali Classic. A very dear lady has gifted it to me, and it is a translation in my mother tongue.

For a moment, I ruminate on what Jeevan Mashai, aka Mahashay, great soul and healer would have explained:

“Death is unconditional.”

It is too deep for an answer.

” Like my love for you both,” I say, ” like the love of most mothers and fathers for their children.”

” Huh?”

” Hmm… Like your love for Chechy,” I grin.

“Huh?”

” Regardless of anything, you love her, right?”

” Mommmmmm, ” I hear a groan from the other room, ” do not give her ideas!”

” Huh?”

” Ok, it is like this- if this person needs , hmmm an eye- you offer both of yours. There is no separation. You are, because he is.Or she is.”

” Huh?”

” You know your uncle? ”

” Yeah”

” Let us say that amma has unconditional love for him. What do you understand?”

” If he needs an eye, you will offer both. But you will turn blind.”

” Exactly-it is not important whether one turns blind or not”

“Mommmmm…that is soooooo melodramatic… She cannot get metaphors…hmmm,” says the voice from the room.

” Unconditional means…ok, but then how will you give him an eye?”

” I am sending him a Rakshabandan message instead,” I smile, ” it means the same”.

” Weird,” comments the voice.

” Ok- so Harry Potter’s mother would give her two eyes for Harry. She had unconditional love for her child,” concludes the little one.

” Now you got it right. ”

********

I mail my brother, a picture of his nieces.

May they learn to be there for each other, as you have been there for me- through life’s most treacherous paths, offering a steady hand. Unconditionally.

With love, this Rakshabandan.

I am the blessed one.

*****