The door bell rang.
“Aaji, Mamu Dadu has come,”ran Rony to open the door. Mamu Dadu was standing there, all smiles. He picked up little Rony into a big bear hug. Rony’s Aaji, his 80 year old grandmother, came to welcome her brother. She was beaming with joy. Mamu Dadu did not look any where close to his all of 85 years of age. He had kept himself fit by leading a healthy, balanced life of walking, yoga and mindful eating.He warmly hugged Aaji after which she led him into the house.
It was Bhai Duj that day, when brothers and sisters celebrate their love for each other. It is a very sweet festival and Mamu Dadu had come to Aaji specially for this day. Aaji and Mamu Dadu were the only siblings remaining of the bunch of seven. Their love for each other was so beautiful to see.
Everyone in the house was very busy with preparations of something or the other. Rony’s father Ishaan’s only sister Ritu, was also expected by noon. Rony’s mother’s brother Rohit, with his family, was also to reach shortly.Tantalizing aroma of the delicacies being cooked, whiffed through the house. With so much of festivities around, Rony’s excitement knew no bounds. Soon, one by one everyone arrived. The house was filled with people and laughter.
The day seemed to fly past. Mamu Dadu was sharing Rony’s room. Nothing made Rony happier than spending time listening to Mamu Dadu’s interesting narrations. He found some hilarious. He often wished that Mamu Dadu would not go away and stay with them only. He bid a hurried good night to everyone and quickly snuggled up in bed near his Dadu.
“Well Ron, what is it? You seem to be a wee bit upset about something?”Dadu started off while settling in bed.
“Hmmmmmm…”was Rony’s response.
“Tell me Ron. what upsets you?”Dadu stroked Rony’s head gently.
“You have a sister, dad has a sister, why don’t I have one?You and dad were treated so specially today and I don’t have a sister even. Will I never get to celebrate Bhai Duj?”burst out Rony. He was upset indeed!
Mamu Dadu lovingly pulled eight year old Rony close to him and said, “I agree you don’t have a sister to celebrate Bhai Duj with. Having a sibling, no doubts, is wonderful. But Ron, having a sibling only does not ensure happiness or fun. Tell me, have you heard the story of Mahabharata? Have you Ron?”
“Yes Dadu, I have heard it from Aaji.The story of Pandavas and the Kauravas,” said Rony.
“You are absolutely right. The Pandavas were five brothers and the kauravas? A hundred!Can you believe Rony?A hundred brothers were they. But tell me what happened? They all fought among themselves in a war and everyone died. Didn’t they Ron?”asked Dadu gently.
Ron sat upright. Yes he had heard the full story from his Aaji so many times, but had never given a thought to the fact that how all hundred brothers died at the end.
Dadu continued, “we were seven brothers and sisters. Your father has only one sister and your mother too has one sibling. Does this make anyone more or less happy? No doubts, siblings belong to each other and are family. At the same time, we can have good friends who can be no less than family. We can love them and have fun with them.” Dadu looked at Rony. He was already asleep. Dadu smiled and pulled the blanket gently over him.
As Dadu sat there, glimpses of his life at various stages passed fleetingly in front of his eyes. The one commonality in most of them, be it happy or sad, was the faces of people, his loved ones, his family and even friends. A smile of contentment warmed up his face. He looked at the little one sleeping next to him. His sister’s grandson! So dear to him. Will he ever get to experience the magic of human love in as huge a canvas as Dadu’s, he wondered. May be something else will replace that magic. But as they speak of the ‘ Circle Of Life’, Dadu felt sure, in not so very far off times, the people will again choose ‘Human Love’ over machines. Hugging Rony, Mamu Dadu fell into a peaceful sleep.
Life, love, people