‘I often wished myself away instead of my brother’
AS A six-year-old I saw my kid brother, all of four, battle an excruciating cancer of the eye and a year later, succumbing to it. His death had a huge impact on me. I was the second girl child in a well-educated and progressive family. No one in my family ever made me feel uncomfortable but I often went on my own guilt trips. Thanks to the society’s obsession with the male child, I often wished myself away, thinking it would have been the fairest thing to have happened to my parents.
I vividly remember the day my brother died; his body kept in a room filled with incense, and my mom in another room, almost unconscious. My parents tried very hard to save my brother’s life. Of course, I was too young at that time to understand the meaning of “death,” but I remember going up to my mother and telling her, “I should have gone instead.”
The next few years of my life were as normal as they could be. We never spoke about my brother even on his