“Mama loves Manish more always. God please make me strong and brave like him”, whispered Avish in his bedtime prayers while he hugged his stuffed giraffe to fall asleep.
Manish was only three years older but had built quite a reputation for himself. He was sharp as a whip, knew how to take care of his own responsibilities and never caused trouble. The shelves in their room were lined with his trophies that Manish had earned by acing academics and sports and photos of his various accomplishments such as winning accolades in Boys’ scout.
Avish on the other hand showed little or no interest in anything that demanded his dedicated focus or attention. He primarily spent his time playing with their dog, Bruno and doodling in his notebook. He also secretly pretended to be a superhero when no-one was looking. Once while he was playing, pretending to be Batman, he heard Bruno whining. He rushed in his cape and mask down the stairs screaming “Bruno , here comes Avish-the-savior on a mission to save you”. Bruno’s foot had gotten stuck between under the door and mom had to carefully twist the foot out. Seeing Bruno in pain, super-hero Avish burst out into tears. “So much for Avish-the-saviour”, chuckled Manish as he sat at the table working on his homework. Mom hugged Avish and assured him Bruno was fine. “Bruno is brave, Avi.. You also be a brave boy. Don’t cry beta”, she took him in his lap and wiped his tears away. “I am not a superhero mama”, Avish sobbed more.
One morning, the family had driven up to a friend’s place for a potluck lunch. Mom and dad were dressed and carrying the food inside, their hands occupied. Suddenly out of nowhere the neighbor’s dog — a large labrador — rushed out and ran towards the family. Dad had gone in. Mom tripped and fell, the food flying in the air. Manish was also on the floor. Avish fell right next to Manish. The huge dog pounced on Manish, pegged him down and scratched his arms. Manish was terrified and tried pushing the dog off him. Avish jumped in between Manish and the dog and said “Manish, run away”. The dog sank his teeth on Avish’s little face. Manish had managed to roll over and escape. Dad had come out by then and was pulling the dog back. Avish got twenty five stitches on his face that day.
Mom had cried a lot that day, hugged him tight and said “You are my superhero my Avi” and also slept next to him. Manish had also said “I am sorry, I should have protected you” . Avish was in a lot of pain but he slept peacefully that night .. “Thank you god for giving me the superpowers today”
Inspired by a true story