How do you say “I love you. Happy Birthday!” to someone who has been as much of a constant in your life as your twin? Since I’m quite clueless and physically incapable of saying all that and more in person, allow me to make an attempt to show you JUST how much of madness we’ve been through together (and dazzle you with my awesome memory *wink wink*)
Having known you since Class 1, several key growing-up moments have been with you. I remember being taken in by how beautifully the 6-year old you would sport the dainty black bow sewed by your mum on your headband, marveling at how effortlessly creative you are when you’d decorate your room with dainty, elegant DIY stuff. We’ve had several milestones like graduating to ink pens and ball point pens and how excited we were by that little transition in school because it felt so grown-up in a very childish way. Being in the same school means a tonne of shared memories and silly times, including you drooling all over my ink-written science notebook in Class 6 (Yes, I WON’T let you forget this morbid detail), sharing your woes when you had braces which eventually helped a great deal when we twins had our own! Some of the fondest times I can recall are having repeat rounds of orange flavored Tang at your place, the countless Enrique Iglesias videos and just going around your area “birdwatching” and being really loud, obnoxious teenagers. Then there was the traditional summer-time shopping pilgrimage at Bandra that went on from noon to night and the occasional trip to Colaba Causeway where we’d just walk down the entire stretch and loaf around while the Sun threatened to melt our very skin.
Your 21st birthday was epic and I still carry the can ring from that night with my house keys, just as you still have the fountain ink pen we gave you before we went in for our Class 10 exams. Between going to different colleges and work (your internships, our first jobs and your move to Doha), we managed to stay as thick as thieves. Evenings eating pani puri or ice lollies were peppered with coming up with weirdly hilarious nicknames for your bosses (Remember Cyclops), the stupid but entertaining work dramas or just talking about nothing in particular. The only thing changed when you moved to Doha was missing the one person who was ALWAYS there to jump on an impromptu plan.
Then came Jan 2015, which was crazy! Sikkim happened, you flew in from Doha last minute and I still remember the flurry of texts back and forth and all the madness that ensued. The trip, I believe, was a defining moment in our friendship. I got to live with you, share a room and a bed with you, and somewhere, somehow you became my safety net. As I write this, I can see you looping your hand in the crook of my arm when we stopped to eat food en route Lachung :’). And between fighting with your boots to get the zippers on, going berserk playing in the snow, the silly giggles because we couldn’t feel our damned toes, clicking photos for your Frozen-obsessed niece, massaging our feet with body lotion, warming palms and feet with the hairdryer, washing your hair to simply conveying about how I am doing with nothing more than a few blinks from you, you made me realize something plain yet extremely beautiful – that you really are my person. You went back to Doha for work and we’ve kept each other sane (you’ve done most of the work) courtesy the countdowns, our awesome plans as to-be roomies, me nicknaming your boss (yet again 😛 ), the random-as-hell calls (thank you Watsapp people). I could go on, but then, let me not make you realize how much you don’t remember *cough* oldie *cough*
I really am not the kind to share stuff this personal but it kinda feels like everyone ought to know this one fact – EVERYONE deserves a friend like you; someone who blurs the line between friend, family, confidante and part-time counselor! I love you, Brinelle Giselle Rodrigues! And as you go to the other side of successfully having completed a quarter of the average human life expectancy, all I want to say is I couldn’t be more proud of the woman you’ve come to be – kind, compassionate, confident, adorably clumsy and just the perfect amount of crazy. So here’s wishing us many more adventures and I hope that all the dreams in your heart come true.