(Note: This fiction includes extensive use of the term ‘Bhaiya’. The said term is used in some parts of India to address elder brother.)
Isha had just returned from school and was getting freshened up. As she came to the dining room, her Mom said, “Listen, my dear; do you know who is coming here to stay after fifteen days?”
“I don’t want anyone to come to our home and stay here, Mom; who’s coming, by the way?” Isha said while picking and chewing pieces of a cut apple in a dish.
“Why are you saying this? Dhruv is your elder brother, and this is his home as well,” said her Mom.
“What? Is Dhruv Bhaiya coming! No, please! I‘m not going to stay with that nuisance. Mom, please shift me somewhere else as long as he is here. I don’t want to go through all the torture in his company again,” said Isha.
“Don’t overreact, baby. He is your elder brother, not your enemy,” said her Mom.
“Elder brother? He used to pull my hair, snatch my toys, hit me in the back and run away; all this happened when he was seven years older than me. Even an enemy would be better than this,” Isha said.
“Did he only trouble you? Have you forgotten that he used to tell you stories in your childhood and . . .”
Before her Mom could complete the sentence, Isha interrupted, “and yes, he also used to call me insulting nicknames like the swollen sparrow and baby panda.”
“Look, Isha, your brother, is no ordinary boy. He is studying engineering in the USA. People do engineering here and go to USA to do Master’s, but getting admission for engineering in a top class college there is a great achievement by itself,” said her Mom.
“I’m not arguing about his intelligence, Mom. I agree; he is a genius. I’m talking about his nasty behaviour with me,” Isha said.
“See, after spending two years in a foreign country and undergoing a rigorous hostel life, he would have changed a lot. Don’t worry,” said her Mom.
Days passed, and the day of Dhruv’s arrival was approaching. He was returning home after two years and for the first time ever after getting admission to Engineering in a college in the USA. He couldn’t come home during vacation after completing the first year as he had gotten unwell at the same time, and the doctor had warned him against undertaking long-distance travel. So, instead of him coming home, his Dad had to travel to the USA to look after him and take him to his uncle in New York, where he spent his vacation after the first year.
The day of Dhruv’s coming home arrived. His flight was to land at the airport late in the night, so Isha and her Mom went to sleep while Isha’s Dad drove to the airport to fetch his son. It took two-hours-wait for him to see his son’s face, after which a spontaneous smile spread on his face. By the time the father and son duo reached home, it was almost three o’clock at night.
Isha’s Mom was awake. As she heard the sound of a car in the parking lot, she lit the light in the living room and opened the door to welcome her son. Dhruv and his Dad arrived home. “Are you still awake; why didn’t you sleep?” asked Isha’s Dad.
“My son is coming home after two years from a foreign country, and you expect me to sleep when he comes home?” Isha’s Mom said and held Dhruv’s hand firmly with a joyful smile on her face.
“How’re you, my darling? You’ve grown taller than your Dad and grown a moustache and beard on the face. My baby has become an adult,” said Isha’s Mom to her son.
“I’m fine, Mom. How are you?” asked Dhruv.
“I’m also fine, my dear. Come on, get freshen up now,” Isha’s Mom said.
Dhruv freshened up and came near his Mom and hugged her affectionately. “I missed you, Mom, during the last two years. Now I want to be with you all the time during the vacation before I go back,” he said.
“My sweet baby, we all missed you during the last two years,” said Isha’s Mom and took Dhruv in her arms, rolled her fingers through his hair and kissed him on his cheeks.
“What are you doing, Mom? I’m nineteen now,” Dhruv said.
“Look at the clock. It’s quarter past three at night. People sleep this time. You can spend the entire day loving your son after getting up in the morning,” said Isha’s Dad to his wife.
“It may be quarter past three for you and me. For my son, it’s quarter to six in the evening. But you must be tired after an extensive journey. Let’s go to sleep now,” said Isha’s Mom. She spread a cushion in Isha’s bedroom, where Dhruv retired for the day.
The next morning Isha came running out of her bedroom and started complaining to her Mom, “Mom, an unknown stranger has trespassed into my bedroom. He has grown hair all over his body, face and under his arms and is snoring like a bull.”
“Mischievous girl, when you observed hair all over his body, did you not observe he is your elder brother?” said Isha’s Mom.
“Oh! No sooner did your son arrive home than I got downgraded from ‘My dear’ to a ‘mischievous girl,’ didn’t I?” Isha said.
“Stop whining now and get ready. You’ve got to go to school, and when Dhruv gets up, he too will need to use the bathroom,” said Isha’s Mom.
When Dhruv got up, Isha had gotten almost ready and was looking in the mirror just before going to school. “Hi, my little sparrow; how’re you?” Dhruv said.
“Shut up! Don’t call me sparrow,” Isha said, turning to Dhruv.
“Just show me your face. . . . My God! How different you’re looking now! You don’t show up much in our video calls; I mostly talk to Mom and Dad, so I didn’t realise you would’ve changed so much in two years,” Dhruv said.
“You’ve also changed and grown hair all over your body,” Isha said.
“Mom, please help me do my hair; I want to leave for school in some time,” Isha said loudly from her bedroom.
“Shall I do your hair?” asked Dhruv.
“Shut up. Look in the mirror and arrange your hair first. They’re all scattered after you got up from sleep,” Isha said.
In the evening, when everyone was at home, Dhruv took out presents he had brought for everyone. He had bought wristwatches for his Mom and Dad. “This was the best that I could buy there as I didn’t have much time to look around for shopping,” said Dhruv.
“No issues, my son; the watches are fantastic,” said his Dad.
“What’ve you brought for Isha?” asked his Mom.
“Why should I bring her a gift? This girl doesn’t talk to me in video calls. Even when I came home after two years, she hasn’t asked me how I was doing. It’s plain and simple,” Dhruv said.
“I don’t want gifts from arrogant people,” Isha said, “and Mom, tell that arrogant guest; I did speak to him in some of the video calls. It’s only when I had to prepare for the school exams that I was not able to make it.”
“Alright, but see what is stuck under your left eye . . . come here,” Dhruv called Isha.
“Go, Isha, he’s calling you,” said her Dad. Isha went near him.
“Seems to be some black object. Just close your eyes; I’ll remove it,” said Dhruv. Isha closed her eyes. Dhruv quickly grabbed her hand and handed her a gift wrapped in attractive paper. She opened her eyes and also the wrapper. The box contained a beautiful wristwatch for her. It was the costliest of all the watches Dhruv had brought while coming home.
It was mentioned on the back of the cover of the box, ‘To my Dearest sister, with lots and lots of love.’
“See, this shows how much your Bhaiya loves you. At least say I love you to him,” said Isha’s Mom.
“Thank you, Bhaiya, for the gift. I really liked it,” said Isha.
“And who will say I love you?” asked her Mom.
“Let him say I love you first,” Isha said.
Dhruv went near Isha and said, “I love you, my dear sister.”
“Now you say the same to him,” said Isha’s Mom.
“Do I have to say it even if I don’t love him?” said Isha.
“You are getting more and more insolent day by day. If you don’t say I love you to him, I will use your watch,” said her Mom.
“It’s okay, Mom. Don’t insist so much. I just wanted to have some fun while giving her the gift, that’s it,” said Dhruv.
Author Notes: The complete story 'Naughty Sister' is included in the fiction book 'Beautiful Relationships' which is a collection of seven fictions, each fiction having been dedicated to a specific kind of relationship, such as parent-child, friends, lovers, etc. The book is available for sale on Amazon.
Links to buy the book:
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Australia - https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/1636408206
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