As I peeped out of the front seat, I saw you holding onto the bars of the school gate with your tiny hands while crying your eyes out. I was driven home. You did not want to be separated from me. You were 5. I was 7.
As we grew up, you became an integral part of my life. Annoying yet inseparable.
I remember waking you up in the middle of the nights while I was having panic attacks about my grades. You sat with me calculating marks and assuring me that I would pass. Thank you
You were an integral part of my life. I said that already, didn’t I?
I remember you as the frail little girl who was interested in the encyclopaedia and books and asking questions way ahead of your age and time. “What was Quaid-e-Azam thinking when he created Pakistan”, you would ask. You were 10.
People fighting in the house, I remember. While I was enjoying the commotion, you got out of bed burning in fever and told them to STOP. Silence, guilt and they stopped. You were 12. Way ahead of your age and time.
I remember you as you walked with heavy grocery bags up and down, up and down, 5 floors, without ever complaining. Way ahead of your age and time. Thank you.
I remember you were a confidant of my mother. Way ahead of your age and time. Thank you.
I remember you as you listened to me about the trivial issues in my life but I do not remember hearing your voice because I was self-absorbed. Way ahead of your age and time. I am sorry.
I remember as your childhood was snatched away from you. I am sorry.
I remember how you were forced to be an adult when you should have just played with your toys and fought with your siblings. I am sorry.
I remember you sitting in the library listening to people as they asked you for advice. They were much older than you. You were way ahead of your age and time. Thank you.
I remember you standing right beside me when we decided to leave our father. Thank you
I remember how we both navigated through depression together. Thank you.
I remember your last 13 years of struggle in an unknown place without support. I am sorry.
I remember your tears, your pain, your abyss. I am sorry.
I remember your ugly past. I am sorry.
But, I know you now as the woman with remarkable strength, with a fearless attitude, with a fanatical determination to succeed, the woman who has persevered in the face of everything, the woman who is highly intelligent and ethereally beautiful.
I know you as the woman who stands in front of a crowd with captivating energy, hoping to bring a change in one heart at a time
I know you as the woman who is crazy enough to change the world.
I know you as the woman who flames my fire, who puts a lid on my obsessions, who has piercing, brutally honest but wise words.
I know you as the woman who is as cynical as me
I know you as the woman who finds death equally fascinating
I know you as the woman who I cannot look at during presentations and important lectures fearing that we will both have a fit of laughter for no reason. You assure me that we will never change.
I know you as the woman who I still manipulate in doing things for my personal entertainment. Thank you
I know you as the woman I respect.
I know you as the woman I love.
I know you as my little sister who thinks she is older than me but she always forgets that I have seen 1 and a half years of more life than you. I love you.
I am glad that our parents decide to have you. Life with you has been a big disaster but without you would have been a hopeless chaos. Thank you.
I wish you a very happy birthday.
And to life!
And to all the successes and failures.