Friday, 8 November 2013

Cousin Brother Blues

I wrote this story as a part of my Grade 7 english curriculum and I just really wanted to share this so I can get people to read it, I worked hard on it. so I hope you enjoy!

I could hear the crying of a newborn baby from the room. The high-pitched crying filled the air like a tire screeching on a smooth floor. We sat in the waiting room outside the delivery section of the local hospital. The smell of anxiety drifted through the air. The walls around me were white with little pink and blue dots to imitate the  staple colors of a young girl and boy. The waiting room just outside the delivery section was filled with anxious men waiting to receive news on their new son or daughter, elderly men and women waited for news about their child and grandchild and finally carefree children played around not knowing or caring about where they were. All these people were scattered  around, some sitting on the blue, uncomfortable, plastic chairs, some pacing around. Kids ran and crawled across the dirty, pebbled floor and others leaned on a wall with crossed arms in deep thought. Me and my whole family were in the midst of all these other people waiting for news from the nurse. The door to the delivery room opened, everyone looked up hoping it was news for them. A melody of sighs was heard as they saw the nurse head towards my uncle. She spoke to him for about a minute. I saw my uncle’s face light up over all the tension he was in. I knew that whatever the nurse told him, it was good news. A sense of relief surged through my body. The nurse then walked away and entered the delivery room once again to finish what she started.

My uncle walked towards all of us and took a deep breath. He smiled and said as he threw his hands in the air as if he was on a roller coaster, “It’s a boy!” Everyone was excited. I couldn't help but smile and laugh. Everyone was happy, except for my older sister who was hoping for a girl. Most of our cousins were boys. There were 5 boys and only 3 girls. I was disappointed that it wasn’t a girl but I was happy that it was a boy too. I guess I was sort of in the middle. We all had our share of excitement but now it was finally time to meet the lucky new addition to our family. We all walked into the room. Being the most excited, I led the group into the room. Then I saw him. His plump, cute little face, big brown eyes, thin lips and a button-like nose. He moved his hands slightly. His hands were small, and his fingers looked thin and brittle. His feet were bent as the soles of his feet touched each other.
I laughed. I got pushed aside by my cousins who were apparently as excited as I was. I didn't mind. I wanted to go see my aunt anyway. I moved towards the cold, sterile, dull coloured bed which looked as uncomfortable as a bed of nails. Heart monitors and all kinds of wires were thrown around like a bowl of spaghetti, the light gray railings on the beds seemed uncomfortable. The bed was slightly tilted upwards as if she was awake. My aunt was still unconscious from all the medication she was given by the doctors to heal the cut on her stomach.

She laid there on the bed, her eyes half open as if she was awake even though she wasn’t. Her head was tilted slightly to the left as she took small, yet deep breaths. I reached for her hand and held it. Her hand was strangely warm, her nails were painted a bright blood red which clashed with the bright blue veins sticking out of her wrist and upper side of her palm. Her hand twitched as if she felt someone had touched her. Her eyes slowly opened as she came to consciousness. Her eyes were a hazel brown, like a leaf in mid-autumn. Her long black eyelashes fluttered as she tried to adjust the sudden bright light from the darkness of her long sleep.  As her eyes opened, she looked at me and smiled, pleased to see all the company she had. She removed the strand of hair which fell on her face and put it behind her ear. She looked around, turning her head from side to side understanding her surroundings.

“Is it over? Is the baby out? Is it healthy?” she questioned softly after she understood where she was as her eyes stared straight into mine, still blurry from all the medicine. I could tell she was anxious to meet her son and to know how it was doing.She ran her fingers through her hair again. We spent almost an hour giving my aunt all the details and playing with my cousin. It was finally time to say goodbye. We all left with glum faces upset about leaving my aunt all alone in this strange unknown place even if she had been here for almost a week.

It was 2 days after we met baby Kabir for the first time. It was the day my aunt was released from the hospital. It was a bright sunny day. Hot and humid wind blew from side to side, after all, it was the middle of summer. The crows were perched on the lemon tree which grew in my grandmother’s backyard. They cawed loudly at each other as if they were talking. I sat on the swing set which hung on the tree and moved back and forth. I could hear the shuffling of feet from my grandmother's house as they were trying to get ready for the welcome home party we were throwing for my aunt and her new son. I sat there with a glum look on my face. I cracked my knuckles and held on to the chain of the swing. I clutched onto it tightly and and got lost in thought. My thinking was interrupted when I could hear the creaking of the gate. My mother walked in wearing her special, traditional indian clothing, her coloured red hair let out as it flowed back in the wind. Her face was pure, she had not applied her usual red lipstick and dark black eyeliner. From the corner of my eye, I could see her rolling her eyes, she pressed her lips together, approached me and crossed her arms. I could tell she was disappointed that I wasn't helping out with the party.
“You know, it’s pretty crazy in there! We could use an extra pair of hands.” she told me in a calm voice with a hint of stress and anger.
“I know” I said, emotionless.
“Okay, what’s wrong?” she said as she approached me and sat down on the second swing.
I wiped the tear which suddenly streamed out of my eye and turned to her. “What if everyone likes Kabir more than me? What if no one cares about what me or any of the other kids think?” I asked her.
Her face broke out into a look of confusion, “Honey, we all love you and all the others just as much as we love Kabir! You know that right?” She asked me.
Suddenly, I began to feel the wall closing in. I’m not used to having someone talk to me like this. I was losing space. I sucked it up and said to her “I’m just being weird. Overly-sensitive. I’m fine.” I got up and left my mother hanging. I could tell that she was confused on my sudden exit. She probably didn't understand what I was going through. I understood why she would feel upset after I did but what I don’t understand is why she would say what she just said to me. Maybe she meant everything she just told me or maybe she was just saying that to get me in a better mood, make me feel like someone cared, I guess I will never know.

I walked into my grandma’s house and approached my uncle. Before I could reach him, I heard my brother yell out, “SHE’S HERE!!!!” Everyone rushed out pushing each other aside so they could be the first one to see her. My aunt walked out the taxi we had called for her. She lifted the baby from her lap and held him. She gestured towards my father to help her get all her bags. My dad walked towards the car, picked up the one big blue bag from the back and paid the taxi driver. I went and helped my dad out while everyone circled around my aunt and brother to see Kabir. I lifted the blue bag with the help of my father and took it to the living room. He dropped it and went outside again but before he reached the door, the group walked inside. This time, my other aunt held Kabir. I noticed that my uncle was not there. I looked around the house. Just as I was going to go through the curtains which separated the two guest rooms I saw him. He sat on the corner of the bed, his hands supported his head as his back bent over towards the floor. His face was disoriented because of his hands which pushed his cheeks upwards. His clean-shaven face was hidden by his dark and dirty hands. His eyes were half open. I could tell he was in thought. probably thinking about all the responsibilities that were thrown at him the second this son was born. He seemed exhausted and overwhelmed. I had never seen my uncle like this. He always seemed very tough and always tried to have a good time. All the memories I had with him were exciting adventures we took together and how he would throw me up in the air when I was little. I finally realised, that there was truly a deep connection between us and I hated seeing him like this.

My uncle was a tall man. He had a clean-shaven, fair face. His dark brown hair was short, and straight almost like an animals fur but whenever he was nervous he would run his fingers through his hair and push it upwards creating short spikes, which he said, apparently made him feel younger and “hip”. I laughed so hard whenever he does that. We almost always made fun of each other in every conservation we had. His regular muscle tee and baggy jean really flaunted his big and strong muscles. He always made me smile. We were both proud to call each other family and wherever we went together we had fun, because we were so close.
I was interrupted when I heard the clip-clopping of heels heading in my direction. I turned around and my aunt stood there holding her newborn baby. She looked confused. I turned around and pointed towards my uncle. Her confused, yet tired face turned into a frown.

Unlike me, my aunt was brave.She wasn’t afraid to go and ask him what was wrong. She strutted down the hall and into the room with her head held high, just like a model and took a seat beside him. She stretched her arm and put it over his shoulder. She then said to him in an anxious yet soothing voice, “Hey! What’s wrong?”. My uncle looked up and stared into my aunt’s innocent eyes. He opened his mouth to talk when both of our eyes met. He had spotted me! As swiftly and quickly as I could, I shut the curtain and walked away pretending I hadn’t heard anything. After waiting for about one minute, I approached the room again. I pressed my ear against the curtain trying not to make it move. I felt bad about eavesdropping but not as bad as I felt for my uncle so I decided to continue eavesdropping. I heard voices. After approximately 2 minutes of continuous voices, I decided to take a quick look. Before I could, there was silence. I could hear the shuffling of feet on the pebble floor heading towards me. I ran and sat down on the couch and picked up a book which was lying there. Just then, my aunt and uncle appeared through the curtain. They were both smiling. My uncle held Kabir as he looked down and the puffy little blanket and smiled. My uncle came towards me and said, “Come on, you’re going to miss all the fun, we have cake!” he said.

But I still had no idea why he would be so calm with me. Honestly, if I had seen someone spying on a private conversation, I would be really mad at that person.
His eyes told me that he knew what I had saw and he didn't care. His eyes also looked calm. He smiled. I knew that he loved me, no matter what just happened. I smiled, got up and followed him. The whole family gathered around the dining table to cut the cake. I looked around the table. I saw my mother, my father, my brother, all my cousins, all my aunts and uncles and realised
how lucky I was to be in such a wonderful loving place. This experience changed me, I could feel it in my gut. I know now, that my family is there for me, and most of my insecurities were gone.  I raised my glass of coke into the air and said “To family and the love we share for each other”.

Image taken from my camera of my real cousin brother. 


  1. Love that you posted your story on your bog! Forget about the grade, just be happy you wrote such a warm and touching piece. Let me know if you would like me to share it with a larger audience. For starters, I would share the link with your aunt and uncle.

    1. I would like it if you shared it with a larger audience and I am going to share it with my aunt and uncle when I meet him during the winter vacations and thank you.

  2. What a wonderful post! It actually brought tears to my eyes as I read about the warmth of your family's love for one another. You write very well. I enjoyed your descriptions. As I read, I was imagining what the new baby looks like and wishing I had a photograph. (I was going to suggest that you post one.) Then I saw the picture at the end--just as you described him!

    Thank you for sharing this with me (I am in Columbus, Ohio-USA). Keep up your excellent writing!

  3. Wonderful story! What ist it that I liked about it? Is it the touching story? Is it the choice of words? Is it something else? Ah, who cares, what matters is that it was wonderful in every aspect. Great job! As Mr raisdana said, don't care about the grade, it will definitely be more than an 8.:-D

  4. Wonderfully done Urja. You make us secretly proud (Ok, not so secretly now :-)

  5. Nice story! Glimpses of a master storyteller!!

  6. Very well knitted with emotions . Amazing.
    Good job . Keep it up .

  7. Ria, thanks for describing me as a man with muscle in your blog...that would encourage me to hit the gym tomorrow morning!!:) It's completely terrific writing, and I would want you to to have this as a career and become a full time writer! I am so happy to have you as family, and love you so much:)

  8. Real treat to read this outstanding piece of writing. Enjoyed every bit of it. Thanks for sharing. Keep it up!!

  9. V articulate and enjoyable description by an extremely observant and sensitive individual! Amazingly mature writing!!! Congrats Ritu and have a celebrity writer in the making , God Bless

  10. What everyone said. What a great post, Urja. :) (I am Ms. P from next door).