For my brother :)
I don't know if you remember, you talked of silly things. You told me once that the universe records every sound that is ever made, and that some day, it will play it all, at once. I took note and decided to watch what I speak, so when the playback happens, I am not ashamed. That theory seemed so believable, I would keep wondering how all these different sounds from different places in different languages would be distinguishable when they are played together, and I would end up explaining to myself that the universe would not make an effort so futile and that it would make sure to make us hear only what made sense to us.
I believed you, because for a long part of my childhood, I did not know where I ended and you started. You said silly things that always made so much sense. Why, for example, would I doubt that pencil shavings kept in milk and frozen would turn into rubber? It was all so clever, freezing would solidify the milk, and the milk would obviously explain the white colour of the erasers we used. So, when Shilpi's mom found out about that experiment I did with her and laughed, I still explained to her that we probably added too much milk, or didn't allow the freezing to happen long enough.
You talked of the universe one moment, and pencil shavings the next. But you always tried to explain. To ask questions and have answers. Sometimes, I wonder, what you did in those evenings when I sewed garlands with those wild yellow and pink flowers in the garden, because you were never around. Perhaps that is when you observed the earthworms, and took my curiosity to the highest peaks later when you spoke about the cycle of the universe, about how, there is a bit of the earthworm in us, and a bit of us in the earthworm.
I remember watching the ants with you in the verandah; we would try to distrupt their line, and observe how they struggled to find their way. Sometimes, we would blow an ant off its path, and that would sadden me, because I thought it impossible that the ant would find its way back to its family, considering its size, and considering that the displacement would probably be like another end of the city for it.
We cared about ants then. And about pencil shavings and the one-ness of the universe. Together, we had deciphered everything they tried to teach us in textbooks all our lives.