We were a big pack of 4siblings at home 2boys and 2girls always at loggerheads over the pettiest of things around that kept my parents on high alert at most times. The eldest was the sober and stylish types and the only one who believed in non-violence who dreaded to endorse us as his family when we teemed-up together on our Vespa scooter sticking out from all sides like in a mini bus calling out to him at the cricket ground, my sister was often like the eye of a storm calmly playing music during her number crunching mission while others struggled to concentrate, the one who would simply undo the braids till my mom had appeased her with a perfect centric partition, the third one was the notorious type whom I dreaded even in my dreams whose adventurous stints at school and neighborhood were nothing short of a Horrid Henry series and lastly it was me who was a plagiarized version of a little bit of all their traits as I looked up to them and probably had inadvertently absorbed like a staunch copycat but being the youngest in the family I always had an edge over others as I was pampered and easily forgiven one by my parents which often invited the seething ire of my overbearing siblings but was somehow saved every time. We buzzed like bees constituting our house into a home. We would walk long distances to the traditional ground nut fair in Basavanagudi or went trekking the rocky hill temple of Ragigudda or shopped together for festivals and believed that we would stay together for ever but years later as we grew up we were all headed in different directions busy in the walks of our everyday lives so much that meeting everybody together became a treasured moment which happened only once in 6months or perhaps sometimes once in a year. Especially my sister, while we don’t give up making meticulous plans to meet up, discussing and analyzing why the previous plan failed, weeks and months pass just like that, although we live in the same town today we only get to talk on phone. We all have friends and well wishers everywhere but staying in touch with your roots your family, reconnecting and refreshing the bygone era of childhood with your siblings has its own charm that certainly enables and nourishes the emotional balance in you else you feel dejected and uncared for without really understanding why.
So one such day when the yearning had reached its roof I decided we all had to meet somewhere out in the open and we all agreed to just get out and meet at my brother’s farmhouse. On the D day loaded with food and games we drove down the narrow lanes leading to the farm. The weather was pleasant and cool, the many inmates of the farm the cows, hens, rabbits, dogs kept staring at us amusedly and we began singing ‘Old Mac Donald had a farm….and on his farm he had some cows……’ and kidded my brother as the old Mac with grey hair now, we spread the mat and lay there under the trees while the kids played in the inflated swimming pool and danced around the sprinklers, we kept chatting for a long time on varied topics about kids, schools, their silly home works to the fate of software engineers and our hubbies to the lack of exercise and how ugly the city life had become and how one day we could all settle down to do farming and agriculture hinting at my brother to hire us as laborers in the farm we kept chatting and joking without the slightest hint of what was in store for us. The weather was dilly dallying and it began to rain, the nature lovers that we sisters were we began admiring the lovely weather in our poetic language and even took a few steps out in the rain and exclaimed how we missed all this fun and how boring we had become. Soon the weather was dipping and the evening was setting in so we thought it was time to head home. My sister is normally the first to panic and jump on her toes whenever she casually looks at her watch, even if it is not late she will remind others that she will leave in the next 2 hours and will keep announcing it every 15minutes on prorate basis till the final goodbye moment arrives, so she was the first one to bid adieu to this much planned lazing grandeur, we kept waving at each other holding on to the window sharing many last minute stories and my brother in law finally plugged the ignition on and lo and behold! The vehicle roared and skidded behind since as it was parked on a steep slope and the rains had made the soil very soft and slushy. We kept a big rock behind the tyres and he tried to take off once again but the tyres were losing traction and each try only sent the vehicle deeper into the soil, so this time we found some really hard huge rocks and planted a series of them and stuck them into the soil. At this point all of us stood behind the vehicle readying ourselves to lend a push, we cried many slogans like ‘dum lagake haiiya and ‘Jai bajarangabali’ and my brother in law finally whirred off spluttering a pile of mud sludge at us and we stood there like ‘Hema, Rekha, Jaya aur Sushma’ modelling perfectly for the Nirma ad completely covered in slush but my brother in law wouldn’t stop and headed straight until he reached a flat surface. So it was session 2 now and we had to scurry down under the low level tap to take cold showers and clean up the muck as we were now shooed off from getting into the car. We finally washed as much as possible and sat like untouchables in the car and drove back home really late but it was a day well spent. The whole muck drill had actually cleansed our minds and brought us together to re live old memories of fun and frolic, the next day I woke up in the morning feeling rejuvenated and flashing broad grins at myself in the mirror ready for the day ahead feeling like a new bud altogether, that’s the magic of togetherness, which is like a therapy to rid dreariness out of you.