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Happy Birthday, Brother!

This is Gopi Mohan Sundaram. 

I call him Muthettan – my adorable brother with the handsomest smile..... 

My earliest memories of childhood vacations begin with Muthettan – waiting for me at the gate of “Menons” – my grandmother’s home located right behind the Ernakulam Shiva Temple.

First glimpse and then Muthettan would break into smiles, I would be lost in bear hugs as Ettan and Mutthettan surrounded me – they are my mother’s brother’s sons and my “blood” brothers as I call them.                 

Those were the days when there were no iPhones or iPads to keep us glued to our seats. Bored way too often, one of our favourite child hood games was breaking and mixing bricks that used to lie around the road, putting it in water and pretending to sell “orange” juice in a bucket! It didn’t matter that it wasn’t even a proper game – it kept us busy on summer days and we ended up looking dirty with mud marks on our faces by evening. We loved it and enjoyed the fun, of course. Who cared about mud back then?

It goes without saying that cricket was their favorite sport but I didn't join them. There used to be a tamarind tree in my grandmother's house. I used to lean on the branches and watch them play. If I got the hunch that they want to drag me into the game, I would quickly disappear because I didn't like playing cricket. 

Shopping was a luxury for us back then but what I do remember is I loved to wear the new clothes that Muthettan got and he used to get so angry at me for that!

Evenings – sandhya neram – used to feel like a slice of heaven. Ettan and Muthettan sang Carnatic music like veterans. So, the evening lamp would be lit in the puja room, they used to sing and I used to listen, thinking that this feels like devaloka. It was the most beautiful moment, really. 

During my teen years however, I saw a different side to Muthettan. He was very protective about me, asked his friends who were mostly my classmates to keep an eye on my activities (that still irks me!!!) and he would scold me periodically about things that didn’t meet his approval.  He gave me advice, was extremely protective and caring. 

The memories and the love we share can go on and on.....

Even when we don’t meet up for years, when we do, we become like the kids that we always are at heart.

Today is Muthettan’s birthday. Years have flown, but memories

Happy Birthday to and hugs to my two brothers, Ettan and Muthettan and their beautiful families too! 

God bless you all, you guys are in our loving prayers always.