My brother's name is Aren. He is two years old. Sometimes, he is good to me. Sometimes, he is bad to me. When he is good, he plays with me nicely. When he is bad, he beats me, and pulls my hair. He says, "Bad girl, Riza."
Before my brother was born, I used to go to the chapel and pray everyday, "Jesus, give me a little brother." One day, Jesus heard my prayers. I got a baby brother.
My father took my Mama to the hospital.
Then, in the evening, at about 5 o'clock, my Daddy phoned me up. I said, "Daddy, do I have a sister or a brother?" He said, "You have a little brother." When I heard that, I started jumping. I was happy.
Then, my Daddy came home. He told me, "Come on, let's go to the hospital." I saw my little brother. He was sleeping. He looked wonderful, I thought to myself. I said, "My baby brother!" He got up. He started crying. "Weehhhhhnnnnn". My Daddy carried him and said, "Don't cry little boy."
When he was just born, I asked him 'What's your name?' He blew a big bubble and said, "Ah-poo-poo-zuh!"
Grandmee was with us to help; she came down from Bombay. She came with us to the hospital. After the baby was born, my godfather and uncle (mother's brother) Joce also came down.
Before he was born, I didn't know what to call him. First I thought of calling him Bonny. Then, I thought of calling him Johnny. Then, my Mother said, "No." Everyone decided to call him Aren. My father pronounces the name as Ah-ren. My mother calls him Aron. My grandfather calls him Bootikens. My nana calls him Baba. Joce calls him "Rajaboy". Grandmee calls him "My Nunooboy". If anyone asks him his name, he says, "I'm not Baba. I'm A-R-E-N Aren."
Aren like chicken. He also likes juices; his favourite juice is guava juice. He drinks a lot of water. He likes to eat biscuits. His best junk food is Chitos, which are a kind of sometimes-spicy sometimes-sweet sometimes-plain cheesy stuff.
He is in Teacher Cherie's Play School, in Saligao. His best friend in the school is Alea.
When I get punished, he takes up for me.[He says in a stern voice, "Mama, don't shout at Riza...."] And when he is punished, I take up for him. But, we cannot stop fighting on our own.
I love my brother. He loves me too.
Photos (above) Aren a few months old and (below) at Calangute beach, September 2004.