"While growing up, my elder brother Ranjit was my best friend, so I was very upset when he went to boarding school. I used to cry every time we dropped him there. Once, when I'd gone to meet him, he had chickenpox and I couldn't be near him, so I sat below his 1st floor window and chatted with him for 4 hours! He was fun-loving and popular so I was always known as Ranjit's sister... but I loved that identity.
Everything changed in 2005. Ranjit had a motorcycle accident while coming home from Panchgani, just a month before his 24th birthday. When I heard about it, I kept calling his phone, but there was no answer. By the time they got him home it was 11.30 PM - all night I kept stroking his forehead, asking him to wake up, but he never did. The next day we immersed his ashes - all 6 feet of him in 1 tiny pot.
That was the loudest I've ever cried out - I felt like someone had ripped my heart open. I didn't just lose him, I lost all of his future family - the nieces and nephews I could've had. I began sleeping during the day and staying awake at night because I couldn't bear to see my parents cry. Surprisingly, wrapping those gifts gave me a unique creative outlet and I felt at peace for the first time in months.
My friend's sister thought he'd paid for a gift-wrapping service, and she was so impressed that she said I should do it professionally. And that's how 'Wrapistry' was born - I even included my brother's initials RPW in the name. With those papers and ribbons, I tried to bring color back into our lives.
No one believed this was a profession and a lot of people laughed at me, but I didn't care -- I was finally feeling like myself again. Sometimes I wonder what he would've thought about my unique career - he probably would've teased me about wrapping boxes for a living but I know that secretly, he would've been proud."
Humans of Bombay, Fb
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