How my sister became my best friend
We are five sisters in our family. We have no brothers.Iam the eldest daughter of my parents ,my name is Rama.There is a gap of two to three years between us, sisters.The sister next to me is Suseela.Then,Bharathi,Uma and then the youngest , Thangam.
Today I got a call from Suseela .From then on I have not been able to concentrate on anything.She said that she would be coming to India next week on a holiday with her husband and children and as usual would stay with us atleast for a week.
While driving home,shopping for vegetables on the way home,and while cooking, my thoughts were about my sister .
Twenty years back,I had finished B.COM and was trying for a job in a bank.Suseela was in the final year of B.Sc,Maths.The others were in school,in various stages of study.I was always a simple person,I never cared much about wearing different,different sarees everyday,never broke my head on how I should rotate and wear my sarees in such a way that it would look as if I had a huge wardrobe.Iwas a seedha sadha person.But Suseela was different.She liked to dress up well and would wear salwar kameez with special permission from mummy, even those days.Wearing salwar kameez was a big thing those days.
One day I observed Suseela wearing a lipstick to college.That was too much according to me.I should have kept quiet,but I went to her and said,Susee,No,I dont like it
She said sarcastically,You dont like the lipstick colour?and raised her eyebrows.
I was annoyed.I said,Susee,where is the need to wear lipstick to college,please remove it.
She turned around and said in a calm but firm tone,Please do not interfere in the way I dress up and my personal wishes.
I was stunned.I was stunned because my parents had instilled certain values in us.Even though, they never had a son, they never even showed on their face, even once that they would have liked to have a son or they wished one of us were a son.Besides my mother was a stickler for discipline.She made it clear that the younger sisters gave respect to the elder sisters.Never would she allow a younger one to speak rudely or back answer an elder sister.
I was hurt when Suseela told me to my face that she considered my words of advice as interference in her personal tastes.
I did not tell my mother about this incident,my mother would have fired her.Hence I swore to myself that I would be careful with Suseela in future.
Months passed.I and Suseela used to go to the Amman temple near our house,every Friday.On a Friday as usual, we went to the temple in the evening,had darshan of the Ambal and were sitting in the praharam.I observed that Suseela was not her normal ebullient self, making small talk and cracking jokes.I asked her,What is the matter,Susee?You are quiet today,normally you are such a chatterbox?
Susees eyes misted,I waited for her to tell me anything that she wanted to tell me.
She kept quiet for sometime.Then she said ,Nothing,Rama.This Bharathi,no?She spoke to me very rudely today.I was so hurt,Rama.I never thought that my younger sister would talk to me in this manner.
I kept quiet.She continued.Rama,nowadays Bharathi has a new friend.That girl is from a very rich family,not only that, she is not a studious type.There is no need for her to get good marks ,you know,she has made it very clear that she will finish her graduation and get married.But Bharathi has dreams of becoming a doctor,you see.Our father says that if she gets good marks, he would help her realize her dreams.But of late Bharathi is always in the company of that rich girl.That girl takes her friends to hotels.cinemas etc.So I told Bharathi today morning,Bharathi,be careful.You have very good ambitions.Do not go around with that girl,you wont be able to concentrate on studies and your dream of becoming a doctor will remain a dream only Do you know what she told me as a reply,Rama?Susee voice broke.She said,Bharathi turned to me and said,Mind your own business,Rama.You can guess how hurt I would have felt Rama.Is this the way the younger sister would talk to her elder sister?Suseela covered her face with her face and started sobbing.
I waited for her to calm down.Then I said,Well,Susee,There is not much difference between Mind your own business and Do not interfere in my personal wishes you know?
Suseels face lost colour.She had fresh tears in her eyes.She took both my hands in hers and said,Rama,I know that I had hurt you the other day,when I told you not to interfere in my wishes.How hurt you would have been?I feel sorry about what I told you,Rama.Please do forgive me.
Not minding that we were sitting in a temple, where many people were present.I hugged my sister tight.I did not say anything.I did not have to.There was no need for either of us to speak.She understood me and I understood her.
When we returned from the temple that evening,we were not only sisters.We had become very close friends.
From that day till date,Susee and I are thick friends.We confide in each other our joys,sorrows,our dreams and our anxieties.All the five of us are close but the relationship between Suseela and I have become so different.
Iam married ,have grown up kids and am the Branch Manager of a nationalized bank today,Suseela got married too and is in Singapore.She is a computer professional,having done a course in computers after marriage.The other sisters are also well off .
Once in two years Suseela comes to India on holidays .She informs me about her arrival well in advance, so that I apply for leave and keep myself free when she is with us.On those days,we go out have fun and generally paint the town red and blue and all colours possible.In the nights, we dont even sleep,we chat and chat till the small hours.
Once she returns to Singapore,I continue to feel the fragrance of the times we had together.They remain the best days in my life.
We would have remained very affectionate sisters and not become such close friends, but for the incident that happened in the temple, when I opened my heart to her and let her know how hurt I was and Suseela opened her heart to me and apologized to me.We understood each other.We never kept our grouse in our hearts and that must be the reason,we are the best of friends today.