Dearest Shivani

It has always taken me utmost pride to call you my sister. Little, is a bonus. You turn 22 today and have seen enough already to get up, every time you fall.

It has been my blessing to be able to remember all of the childhood that you’ve witnessed and I have witnessed in the last 22 years of your birth. I still remember the day when they got you home from the hospital. I remember asking everyone if you’ll ever stop crying or if we need to send you back!

When you turned 4 and were put to a play school, I remember a certain fancy dress that you had to participate in. Mom dressed you up and gave me the responsibility along with the nanny to take you to the school. I remember pinning up a handkerchief on your dress, fighting up with the nanny to let me carry you in arms, I carefully took my little steps to walk down from the stairs at our house, significantly making sure that I don’t let you fall. You, being you, cried your heart out and eventually, we returned back without you getting onto the stage.

When you were six, I convinced you to dance on ‘Piya Piya’ and you made it on the stage. My claps were the loudest. ( You barely danced and only looked at your partner is a story for another day :P)

When you were 10, you started to stay alone at home, without a nanny, and we always told everyone around, proudly, how you receive the milk from the milkman, boil and cool it, lock the doors, seal the gate all alone, before going to the school- all at Grade 2!

When you turned 15, you danced for school, started winning accolades and it only made us prouder. Pappa made sure he laminated every newspaper cutting, you featured in.

At 17, when you told me you wish to come here in Mumbai, I missed a beat. I remember the day when I was checking your preference form results and I read that you’ve been allotted a college in Mumbai, my happiness had no bounds. You grew in here, have only made me prouder, grown smarter and bold.

When you gave us the news that you are placed, Mummy, Pappa and I knew the world is always yours to capture.

When we lost Pappa 3 months back, you have only been fearless and fierce like a wall. We knew our world will never be the same again, and the little you stood by me through everything. Now, when you are joining your work life tomorrow, I only want you to know that your tiny little hands are holding all the power in the world. As a little girl when you sat besides Pappa to watch him open a tire of the scooter, and you likewise managed to open your cycle, I want you to know, nothing is impossible in this world, and you meticulously can win anything.

I want you to know that things are going to be hard at times. People are going to be mean at times and the best way to deal with everything in life would be, to be yourself.

They don’t make more women like you nowadays, who struggle, fight back for who they are, succeed at whatever they pick in their hands, fight through sorrow like a fighter that you are.

May you always wear your crown and run the world.

Always. Proud.

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