This is the tale of two sisters. Yeah you guessed it right, the RM sisters! Not so long back in time, I had the opportunity to be around these two for quite an extended period. Now, being around them is just not another existential fact. It is always much more than that. It is always charged with a lot of vibes, mostly sisterly bickering and leg-pulling (in their case, it can safely be called hair-pulling) kind of vibes. There is never one boring moment for an observer like me.
Growing up with only other sibling being an elder brother, I was always fascinated by the concept of two sisters. So when I “accidentally” met the RM sisters, I set out to explore. And boy, o boy (or should I exclaim “girl, o girl!”), I was in for a whirlwind.
Now D, the elder of the two, is this demure girl who is very soft-spoken and always smiling. I was just kidding. She is anything but. How I wish (and I am sure J, the younger wouldn’t agree more) she was demure and soft-spoken. She is this anything-but-demure, anything-but-soft-spoken dudette. I didn’t lie about the smiling part though; she is almost always smiling, oops grinning. As I type, I can imagine her grinning face looming large over my head!
Now coming to J, the younger, she is demure, soft-…Alright readers I won’t lie to you again. I will (try to) describe J in one word – super-boisterous-with-a-penchant-for-breaking-rules, or may be super-notorious-with-a-knack-of-irritating-D, or rather super-kid-with-a-halo-of-teenage-maturity. Whichever description the reader chooses for J, there is no doubt she is, or at least was at that time, super (super silly I mean).
These two sisters were always at literal logger-heads. However, one of the few threads that tied these two poles-apart souls together was FM radio. When the zero hour would start, D would invariably start singing in her “mellifluous” voice with Geeta Dutt; and J would say “DD, why don’t you try to sing on Akaashvaani?” At this D would grin (thanks to J – at least she stopped singing) as J would continue “At least I could turn off the radio in that case”. Yes I know it is the age old PJ, but no other description suits their FM solidarity more aptly.
Talking about PJs, I have never been able to decide who I should crown the queen of PJs between the two of them. (So I decided to reserve that title for myself as I did with many other titles.)
Another very significant point of connection between these RM sisters was the broom and the cat. D’s broom and J’s cat that is. The way Surgi, the cat would flee seeing D pointing her broom towards it was a sight of a lifetime. But it’s the chapatti and cat incident that was the most hilarious! Before coming to the story, I can’t help but note D’s chapatti making skills. She was as much as a good cook as she had a good voice for singing. The only saving grace was that we could choose not to be afflicted by her food, unlike the fact that we had no control over the melody reaching our ears and auditory nerves carrying the signal to our brain! That being said and coming back to where we left the chapatti and cat anecdote, D often made her signature world map chapattis every once in a while, which we consumed, for sheer laziness of making them for ourselves. The left over ones (there was always some as supply was always more than demand) went to the “dear” cat. That the cat survived it day after day was a miracle, but J would often complain how uncooked they were and how the cat’s stomach would ache severely after eating them. Hearing this someone said from the kitchen – ask your cat to go and sit in the sun for sometime, the chapatti will get solar-cooked in the stomach!
Much of their sisterly sparks and flares could be felt at the dinner table. Be it J’s description of the painting “The Last Supper” (ek-lambe-se-table-mein-sab-baith-ke-khana kha-rahein-the) making D roll on the floor with laughter or J scrutinizing D’s cooking skills and lamenting about how difficult it would be for D’s then-not-in-the-scene-but-inevitable-future-family to feed on her curries, they were always honing their skills of leg-pulling and bossiness on one another. There was indeed no love lost between them. Now when I hear J tell me that D’s curries actually taste good or D commenting on how mature J has grown up to be, I can’t help but revisit those three years when these two RM sisters rocked my existence. There was never a moment of gloom in the RM household, and if there ever was, one of them would crack the silliest of jokes and the whole room would be filled with the gargantuan laughter of three giggling girls…
PS. Today, D is a happily married teacher-cum-home-maker and J is pursuing her masters in Philosophy. Come to think of it, they will always remain the two of the most special people in my life.