A few days back I read a story extremely fascinating about this little girl Toto Chan. She was adorable in so many ways, for her inquisitiveness, innocence and empathetic nature. What really caught my nerve was that I had known someone like her all my life. I have seen her bloom from a little bundle of my joy, envy and support to a sincere, hardworking and honest human being. I am sure Toto Chan would have made a girl like her.

Some people are special in all the known ways. You may fight with them, scold them, hate them in a childish verve but you can never love them less.

Ariba has been one such person to me. I remember the day she was born. I woke up to find my mom missing and asked my uncle where she was. I was told God has sent a little angel to our place. Little curious, a lot doubtful and very fascinated by the news I was taken to see the little angel. To my wonder she was a red, delicate piece of art. I knew I would admire art for rest of my life without any doubt.

The new found joy was brought home and kept under utmost care. This tiny piece was a super active being. Brighter and cleverer than many kids, she would do all adorable stuff. But she was also a big deal to be dealt with. I remember my father strolling for hours to lull her to sleep, she would fit in his long overcoat in the winters. I rejoiced her presence nevertheless.

Growing up she was one of the smartest kids seen, and active like mind flashes. I remember her just being saved from an electric shock when she dipped herself in hot boiling water still connected to electric supply. I returned from school to be informed she had been burnt badly and my father was lulling her to sleep. It broke my tiny heart to see her hurt. My little bundle of joy was in pain. But what could stop her despite this. 2 days later it was eid and she was back on feet with same zest, entertaining every guest, garnering all praises and admiration.

She never failed to catch attention, one of the most loved children. Ms. little had her own set of three kids whom she would bathe each day, pamper and love. They happened to be an onion, a tomato and a potato who resided in a bathing tub. She would call all the aunties in colony as Bhabhi and invite them to my place every now and then. Scared that mom may get irritated after a while she started inviting them and asking them to excuse themselves saying, they have had tea and snacks already before coming.

Growing up we had endless fights. Pulling the bare minimum of hair on our heads to what not we nearly killed each other. Sometimes I would wonder why does she even exist coz then I had to share Maggi and chocolates with her. And I would complain to mom to which she said, having a sister is a blessing and both of you would grow up to be best friends. I think she was true to every single word.

Ariba on the other hand had her complaints about not been trusted and loved much as me being first child. To this I think were other dimensions too which she could not see, I was expected to be more responsible and more adjusting. She had her own ways of doing things. I remember her fighting for me with kids in colony to rescuing me from mom’s wrath at bad times. One of the guys in our colony once hit me with a stone only to be instantly pelted back with a stone right near his eye. My little don had no space for sibling rivalry when it came to outsiders. She was all ready to beat the shit out of anyone who touched her sister. She even rescued me from mom for my mistake once saying she will only eat if mom doesn’t beat me. How ingenious and sweet was that. But that wasn’t all, there were our share of sibling moments too. When it came to fighting poor me was beaten always with her shrieking and crying to call mom’s attention at her pity state. And guess what who was actually thrashed was the other one dude. And then on some days mom beat me (which was anyways too rare, enough to be counted on fingers), and I would lock myself inside my room. And then Ms. Mischief would look for all weird reasons to make me open the door only to mock at me jeeringly. Huh that was cruel, utter evil.

And then I definitely was her all time inspiration (touch wood) and of course wage less labour to cover her books and make her posters, apply mehndi, make cards etc. She would return the kind favour with disgusting the thing done or made. Every time we would have a fight over her thanklessness but I knew who would do if not me and had a saintly last laugh.

I remember her craze of getting married (I don’t think that it lasts any longer), and on top of that she would always tell me ” Appi tu mere baccho Ki Khala banegi na?” And I know she might not abide by this now but her craze for marrying a wheatish complexioned guy who would have a stubble was insane. She seemed to be inspired seeing one of my father’s friends. I wonder if our childhood dreams comes true sometimes..haha!!

And who would know this better than mom, how difficult was it to dress her up for school. She rarely left the school without a slap I guess because she would test mummy’s patience to last stage. Sometime she didn’t find her clothes ironed, sometimes shoes not polished, sometime pony tail not good enough and so on. Making food for her was another task. Half the things would never satiate her taste buds. And of course there weren’t enough clothes in her closet ever. Tough time shopping for her as well because firstly she never finds what she wants in the market and if you buy her something she might rarely end up liking it. I wonder and warn the guy who is going to take her. Trust me she is special and difficult. I don’t think anyone has been as pampered as her of us three. Adjusting isn’t her cup of tea.

And you might as well know (which you definitely will discover) she is a perfectionist yet generous, tough on outside yet kind at heart, outgoing on surface yet sensitive and sensible at core, notorious yet helpful, head strong and ambitious yet honest. She is a little ball of fire living life on her own terms yet spreading love and concern for everyone.

Her stories of mischief and notoriety are endless, from behaving as if possessed when taken to a relative’s place, to breaking things, to kicking me, to fighting with our mutual bundle of joy Adeeb, to lying flat on a road in market for buying a doll. My parents sure did a commendable job raising her. Only thing she relieved them from was studies. Self-efficient, hardworking and excelling every single time was what could define her journey as a student to selection in IIT, campus placement and now finally to US on a scholarship. She definitely made them more than proud. And I believe will keep doing that for rest of her life.

I could not rejoice a person as much as her. And I pray Allah bless her with the best all her life here and hereafter. May she be amongst the righteous ones. May Almighty protect her against the evil eye and bad influence In sha Allah.

Eat, Pray, Love…Go get the new heights my little piece of mischief!

4 thoughts on “LITTLE TOTO CHAN

  1. The story infact came as a surprise package to me! Both being my very sincere and calm students are potrayed so mischievous and naughty! 🙂
    Really loved the way you have penned down everything that came your way growing up together, from the day Ariba was born. And hats off to your ‘indelible’ memory, for you have given so minute details of your togetherness that when i compare it with myself, i’d have surely lost those moments into oblivion till now. 🙂
    Be happy, stay blessed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can see Ariba’s and your childhood in a flash with the article. Well written, showing that the love of elder sibling goes beyond dimensions the younger can expect, myself being one could relate.

    Liked by 1 person

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