Written by Shriya Rajachandra
“Injustice experienced during your childhood’. My professor asked the class to write an essay on this topic. I struggled to put pen to paper, for my memory fails to produce a moment of injustice. [TouchWood]
I had the happiest childhood, I don’t shy away from saying this. I’m truly blessed to have had friends and family who have made me the person I am today, the person I am proud to be. My childhood, as I recollect, replicates a fairytale, a disney-worthy fairytale minus a ‘hero’.
In 2020, life came to stand still but it gave me a chance to reminisce about the best period of life – my childhood. I now realise that there were moments when my heart was troubled by a foriegn emotion. Today, I give it the term loneliness.
I remember the first time I felt lonely. It was when my brother left for a school trip. He was away from home for almost a week. I was 5 and I longed to see him every day.
The second time I felt this was when he departed for a holiday. Despite being aware that I would join him on the same holiday 4 days later, I cried a river. I was 8.
When I was 12, my brother made his way to Australia because something exciting awaited him. While this annoying feeling irked me often, I found solace in meeting him once or twice a year. This was my episode of ‘childhood’ injustice.
Right now, I’m living one of my nightmares. Thanks to the current situation, my brother and I have been apart for 18+ months. The feeling of loneliness is all too familiar. Don’t get me wrong, I’m lucky to be surrounded by my parents and people who love me endlessly but these two years have been the toughest, at one point I even ended up in a hospital and all I needed was my brother. Once my mother heard me saying “I need Anna, he will fix anything.” My brother is my blanket of security, the solution to all my problems and this experience of being away is petrifying. The sense of injustice that I developed at the age of five, intensifies.
But if this long distance has given me the opportunity to develop a tough skin; and in a way I’m grateful for that. (He had to be involved in one of my many learning episodes.)
While I type this out, all teary eyed, I realise that my fairytale does have a hero. My brother, my best friend, my hero. Probably this is why the separation anxiety and feeling of loneliness exists with so much power.
Distance sucks, and this situation is unfair. But such is life, isn’t it? Having said that, on this day of Rakhi, go hug someone you love; I know I will.
But I cannot wait for that day when I make the drive to the airport with my parents and wait at the arrival gate. I cannot wait for that day when I jump up, and give him the tightest hug.
Happy Rakshabandhan Anna, Writing for you has become a yearly thing! Thank you for always making every moment an adventure of a lifetime 🙂