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Sisterhood
Blood, as they say, is thicker than water. What happens when you meet a sister you did not know ever existed? Particularly when you meet her after 14 long years? The following is a moving account of the reunion.
THINGS SELDOM were as easy as you thought and hoped they would be, thought Simran as she tried to stop fidgeting with her purse strap. Here she was - 25 years of age, going to meet Tamana, her younger sister, for the first time in her life. It even sounded alien to her ears. How was one supposed to behave with a sibling whom one had never set eyes on? And she wasn’t exactly a kid. Tamana was 14. It was hardly going to be a girly reunion, especially considering that she hadn’t even known till a few weeks back that she had a younger sister.
 
Simran’s parents had divorced when she was a baby and her father had remarried after that, presenting Simran with a younger sister she knew about but never met. Simran had grown up knowing that somewhere there was a girl with whom she shared blood ties but it had never bothered her. In fact, she seldom thought about it. She had always assumed that some day she would meet her. Now that ‘the’ day was here, she suddenly felt inexplicably nervous. All in all it didn’t promise to be a very pleasant meeting, thought Simran gloomily as the taxi sped towards her father’s house.
 
It seemed to her that she reached the house a little too soon. Alighting from the car, she picked up her bags, walked up the driveway and rang the bell with trepidation. Perversely, she felt herself hoping that no one was home and even as she realised it was a futile thought, the door opened. It was Nitu aunty, her father’s current wife. Simran thought she was nice enough, if a little on the fatty side. But she seemed to make her father happy and that was what mattered.
 
“Hey Sweetie, so good to see you. Come in. We have all been waiting for you.”
 
Simran mentally groaned as she was enveloped in a bear hug. “Hi aunty, good to see you too.”
 
Simran supposed she should have added that she was looking forward to seeing her sibling but the words stuck in her suddenly dry throat. Following the aunty, she entered the house and closed the door behind her.
 
Before she had taken two steps a small ball of fur cannoned across the floor and into her. Laughing, she dropped to her knees to pick up Coffee, her father’s golden retriever. Being an ardent dog lover she had a way with animals, a gift inherited from her mother. Coffee had decided that every inch of her face needed a lick. Simran giggled helplessly as she tried to dodge his eager tongue and looked up. And that was the first look that Tamana got of her elder sister.
 
Simran abruptly stopped laughing as she found herself looking into an identical pair of eyes. Her breath held a bit as she slowly stood up. “Simran di?” Tamana moved forward tentatively as she looked at the sister she did not know existed for most of her life. Simran nodded mutely.
 
“Wow! I have been dying to meet you ever since I heard you were coming. This is so cool. I have always wanted an elder sister!” And it was as simple as that. The natural exuberance of a 14-year old melted away the lingering traces of awkwardness that 14 years of ignorance had ushered in and Simran felt as though a load had been lifted off her shoulders. This was her sister, a part of the same natural make-up as Simran. It was such a powerful feeling, knowing you were linked to another human being, apart from your parents, by blood. For the first time in 25 years, she felt as though she had found a missing part that she hadn’t even known was missing.
 
The knowledge of having someone to look up to her as elder sister was in itself a humbling experience. And as Simran reached out to hug her sister for the first time, she realised that the tears of joy running down her face were nothing but an expression of the bond of sisterhood.
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