Malati was jotting down the main points that she wanted to discuss in the next meeting. She received a mail from her brother. Suddenly her mood got spoiled, and she stopped what she was doing. It had been a few months, and her heart and mind were in a cold war. Whatever her heart said, her brain always denied it.
Malati was running an organization which took up societal issues such as domestic violence, child abuse, and bringing the children of sex workers to the mainstream. While she dealt with the kids of sex workers, her volunteers looked after the other issues.
“I told him not to contact me, but still, he dares to disturb me. How many times do I have to tell him to stop?” She showered her anger at her husband. He comforted her and told her not to read that mail and delete it for her peace. He left for work, and Malati being Malati, did precisely the opposite of that. She started reading the mail. Her face from red turned to pale, and tears rolled down. She went into flashback.
When Malati turned five years old, her family welcomed her brother. Seeing many kids with siblings, little Malati always longed for a sibling. She was like a doting father and a protective mother to her little brother, Nishant. They both used to play many games, which included switching roles. He used to wear her dresses and put on makeup. Their parents always adored their love and care for each other.
Eventually, Malti got married, and Nishant got admission to engineering. Once, to surprise her brother, Malati flew from Bangalore to Delhi, her birthplace. No one was at home, but she heard the ghunghroo (anklets) sound. She silently peeped into Nishant’s room. Her jaws dropped in shock. She couldn’t believe that her brother, being a BOY, had worn a saree with full makeup on doing Bharatnatyam. Nishant, on the other hand, unaware of his sister’s arrival, was engrossed in his classical dance. “Nishant! Stop all this rubbish right way” her scream brought back him to this world. “Didi believe me! I always tried to tell you about me, but the thought of losing you made me hide the truth from you” He tried to convince her. “How could you do this to us? Are you even aware of our status in society?” she choked. That day was the last day of Nishant at his home as his parents also couldn’t accept him.
She came out of her flashback when her phone vibrated. Again, the message was from Nishant, mentioning an address.
That week, she attended an international Bharatnatyam competition where Nishant also participated. Much surprising, he won also. Sitting in between the audience, Malati realized that if she couldn’t understand and accept her brother, how would she help with the issues of societal inclusivity? Nishant got reunited with his loving sister. He had witnessed both the storm and the rainbow in his life.
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