There is a whole treasure trove of memories associated with my brother who is six years younger than me. His quick wit, fierce independence and revolt to adult hierarchy have combined to give me some of the most memorable and loved moments of life.
I was not necessarily a naughty kid, but exceptionally clumsy. On one of those random clumsy moments when I was around 12 years old, I broke my mom’s finest Borosil piece while taking it out of the microwave. Predictably the usual scene of my mom howling down at me started playing – why did “you remove” when “you were NOT even supposed to touch”? She was mighty distressed at losing this piece, that too quite so abruptly. As with typical “mommy tirades”, this one went on and on to include detailed narrations of my numerous super clumsy moments. By the time she was on the third such story of my supreme clumsiness, my cheeks had started to burn, my eyes were flushed red and hot tears were streaming down.
Just when the scene seemed to evolve into a typical parent child confrontation of monstrous proportions, we suddenly heard a booming voice “Scolding Children??!!”. My three and three quarters foot six year old brother was glaring at my mother, with fisted hands at his hips. “How dare you scold children? Scolding children is bad. Don’t scold Akka”. It took us a minute to realize what had happened.
The tension had been broken – all the anger and tears transformed into peals of laughter. No one could argue with the wisdom of a six year old – scolding children was indeed “bad” (and unpleasant). The fight for the rights of children had no resistance, my brother had won this battle hands down.
And he claimed his prize with equal style!!! My mom had to apologize and promise my brother that she’ll never scold children again (she’s almost lived that promise though there have been minor instances).