You were the one who showed me Venus.
I remember standing with you on the verandah, under a starry sky in Spain and you were crouching down by me and you pointed to the brightest, whitest star and told me that whenever I was good, that star would shine for me.
But what if I'm bad, I asked you.
I don't remember your answer to that one. I was two and a half years old, I think. But I do know that since that night, every time I look at the night sky, it's always Venus- that bright, white star- I look for. Even now at eighteen.
I remember hearing stories about the War from Daddy. He told me about the time you shot the young German pilot out of the sky. I used to watch you sometimes and try and imagine you doing that, flying a plane high in the sky under the shimmering sun. You talked to me about many things that happened to you when you were young, but you never once talked to me about the War. And I never asked. And it felt like we had a secret bond, a secret pact. But when we did the Battle of Briton in school, whenever I read that quote of Churchill's- "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few"- I felt so incredibly proud.
I remember the last time I visited you in Spain. I was twelve and Mama was with me. I remember sitting in that cafe overlooking the sea and you were so amazed because I couldn't take my eyes away from it. Is that how you felt about the sky? Like you belonged there? Maybe that's why you understood why I needed to leave the cafe and climb down to the rocks and feel the spray of the waves on my face.
I remember dragging myself away from Proiti Mashi's movies to go down and talk to you for a while. I always intended to stay for five minutes or so, but then you'd start telling me stories about Kashmir and Nehru and Manekshaw and from there we'd start talking about communism and religion and politics and you always made me feel so incredibly grown up and intelligent.
I wish I'd spent more time with you now. I wish I'd asked you more things. You always had so much to give but I never really reached out for it. But I loved you.
And every time I look at Venus shining in the sky, you will be in my heart.