This is a tribute to my sister I wrote just hours before her wedding (circa Feb 2005), sitting on the cold, hard upper berth of a second-class compartment as the train to Bombay dragged its wheels into Victoria Terminus.
I'd missed the train the day earlier, and had been very upset at the extreme reactions that had provoked. I'm happy I could transform that anguish into something heartfelt and joyous for my lil sis!
(A Brother's tribute)
copyright Aman V. 2009
Many years ago, a charming little girl with laughter in her eyes and the warmth of sunshine in her heart, created a beautiful birthday gift for her mother out of ordinary packaging paper - and carved for herself a special place in our hearts.
Three decades later, that winsome smile is still intact; the same creative spark that lit up her mother's world so many years ago fires all her professional efforts today. The strong woman-of-the-world frolics happily with the playful, mischievous child - and that is the essence of her lovliness.
Some of you may know her as a steadfast friend; some as just a very pure human being. Many of you may know her in her public persona as an editor; some have been lucky enough to come close to her and feel the wonderfully reassuring warmth of her generous heart. As her brother, I've been fortunate enough to have known her in all these avatars, and have been uplifted and inspired by each one of them.
In an industry known, unfortunately, for its dubious morals and fickle friendships, she has remained steadfast and pure. In turbulent, changing times, when everything was crumbling around her, she held the fort, staying true to herself and to those who'd put their trust in her. That calls for tremendous strength of character - and she possesses both strength and character in abundance.
Her journey to womanhood has not been easy - it never is, for any woman in this unfair, skewed world. Of course, havig two monkeys for brothers couldn't have made matters any easier!
Yet she has faced all her trials and tribulations with a gentle smile, embracing her troubles, letting them chisel her into the soft-spoken woman-of-steel that she is today. Many possess courage - but she has that rare ability to inspire courage in others. I am a living example.
i will never forget how she materialised as if out of nowhere and snatched me from of a life-threatening situation all those years ago. Without her unconditional love and unflinching support, I wouldn't be standing before you tonight.
I owe her much more than my life - I owe her my very identity. She has been our source of inspiration and strength, and I know she'll be a shining angel in Alex's life too.
We love you, Mini, and we're so very proud of you! For so long, you've been a beacon of hope and joy for us - may Alex now be yours. Stay happy and safe, gentle soul!
When you wing your way to distant shores, a tear and a lump will speak of our deep sadness. But somewhere, in some as yet undiscovered nook of our hearts, a lilting melody will dance to
an infinitely uplifting rhythm - for our precious little one has finally found a loving heart to beat alongside her own!